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Sporting KC shutout in Colorado

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Sporting Kansas City fell 2-0 on the road to the Colorado Rapids Saturday night. Former SKC forward Diego Rubio scored the winning goal.

Manager Peter Vermes was forced into making two changes from the 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo. With Khiry Shelton injured against Houston and Daniel Salloi picking up a “knock” recently, striker Nikola Vujnovic started at center forward and Marinos Tzionis on the left. Neither player has had much time to learn SKC’s style of play and that is especially true for Vujnovic, who just arrived this week.

SKC could not build a consistent offence early on and it did not take long before Colorado was able to transition quickly and score. A couple quick passes and Rapids left back Lucas Esteves was attacking into the SKC defensive third. Esteves chipped a pass at waist height past Andreu Fontas through to Rubio. A quick touch and Rubio is the SKC box alone where he sliced it past a helpless Tim Melia.

A couple minutes late, Melia was put on the spot again when Michael Barrios recevied an over-the-top ball, putting him in on goal alone. Melia was able to drop and stop that effort to keep it a 1-0.

With Felipe Hernandez picking up an injury, Cam Duke came on for him in the midway through the first half. SKC started to build more possession, stringing long passing sequences together, getting a bit of a rhythm between new players and veterans as the first half came to a close.

The second half saw the advantage swing back to Colorado initially with pressure on SKC’s defense earning a corner kick for the Rapids. Jack Price perfectly picked out Steven Beitashour on the far side. Betashour played into Mark-Anthony Kaye who re-directe the ball past Melia to make it 2-0 in favor of the home side.

With the 2-0 lead, Colorado sat back and forced SKC to attempt to break them down, and then countered when they had the opportunity. Tzionis, Vujnovic, Duke and Russell all made attempts to dribble and penetrate but few chances were created.

“I think in the second half, we came out a little bit slow,” Cam Duke told media post game. “That second goal definitely hurt us a bit, but I think in that situation we need to respond and keep fighting because if we get a goal back, we have a chance to tie the game and even win the game.”

For Vermes, it was tough already tough with Alan Pulido out for the year and Gadi Kinda not back yet, but then injuries to Shelton and Salloi forced him to start two newcomers on the forward line.

“It’s hard when you have all the guys out that we have out right now. All of them. I’m talking about (Alan) Pulido, Gadi Kinda, Daniel (Salloi), Khiry (Shelton), just keep going. Having all those guys out – and Felipe, that’s why I had to take him out in the first half – right now it’s just too many guys out and too many changes within the group and a lot of new guys in the team that haven’t been here before. So it’s just very difficult,” Vermes stated.

“It’s hard. It’s not a good opportunity for them to play in the group this way,” Vermes responded when asked about the new forwards. “You put people into games to try to have success. To do that, they need to spend a little time with the team. They need to see the League a little bit. All those things those guys aren’t getting because of the situation we’re in, but we’re going to have to fight through it. They’re going to have to figure it out. We’ll have to keep working. That’s really what it comes down to.”

Former SKC forwards have had success against SKC this season. Both Rubio and Dom Dwyer scored winning goals against their former team this year. They are not the only former players to score on SKC.

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Andreu Fontas (Kortne Ford 81’), Logan Ndenbe (Ben Sweat 81’); Remi Walter, Roger Espinoza (Jake Davis 81’), Felipe Hernandez (Cam Duke 28’); Johnny Russell (C) (Kayden Pierre 83’), Nikola Vujnovic, Marinos Tzionis

Subs Not Used: Kendall McIntosh, Kaveh Rad, Robert Voloder, Ozzie Cisneros

Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough; Steven Beitashour (Sebastian Anderson 89’), Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar, Auston Trusty, Lucas Esteves (Drew Moor 67’); Michael Barrios (Darren Yapi 88’), Jack Price (C), Mark-Anthony Kaye, Jonathan Lewis (Max Alves 89’); Diego Rubio (Andre Shinyashiki 73’)

Subs Not Used: Clint Irwin, Bryan Acosta, Nicolas Mezquida, Collen Warner

Scoring Summary:

COL — Diego Rubio 2 (Lucas Esteves 2, Michael Barrios 2) 21’

COL — Mark-Anthony Kaye 1 (Steven Beitashour 1, Jack Price 1) 51’

Misconduct Summary:

SKC — Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 29’

SKC — Cam Duke (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 57’

COL — Keegan Rosenberry (yellow card; time wasting) 62’





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Loons vs. NYCFC preview: Rematch at long last

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7 p.m. vs. New York City FC · BSN, 1500-AM

Preview: These two teams meet for the first time since April 2019, when the Loons opened new $250 million Allianz Field. Ozzie Alonso scored the stadium’s first goal in a 3-3 draw. This will be only the fourth time they have played competitively and the second at Allianz; each team is 1-1-1. … Wednesday’s 2-1 U.S. Open Cup loss to third-division Union Omaha knocked the Loons out of the all-comers tournament in the round of 16. Their last MLS game was Sunday’s 2-1 victory at FC Dallas. … NYCFC’s Open Cup victory over New England makes them 10 games undefeated in all competitions. Its last loss was in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against Seattle. Its last league loss was against Toronto in early April. … The Loons will play without yellow card-suspended Kervin Arriaga and Michael Boxall.

Injuries: The Loons’ Hassani Dotson and Patrick Weah are out for the season; goalkeeper Tyler Miller (abdominal) and defender Romain Metanire (thigh) are out, too. Leading scorer Robin Lod (thigh) is listed as questionable, as are midfielder Wil Trapp (ribs) and strikers Luis Amarilla (foot) and Abu Danladi (thigh). NYCFC lists Anton Tinnerholm (Achilles tendon) and Kevin O’Toole (head) as out and Chris Gloster, Tayvon Gray, Maxi Moralez and Malte Amundsen as questionable, all because of “lower body” injuries.



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Alex Roldán turned down call-up to El Salvador

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Alex Roldán was conspicuously left off El Salvador’s roster for some upcoming Concacaf Nations League matches. On Friday, El Salvador coach Hugo Perez explained why.

“To close this chapter I want to say that Roldán is not coming because he is not happy with what happened before the game against Canada,” he said in Spanish. “He prefers to take some more time to digest that. But that is the reason, there is no other. Those are things that don’t have to happen, but they did. But we can’t do anything anymore, we have to turn the page and move on.”

The incident in question happened in February, when the El Salvador players released a statement saying that they intended not to play a World Cup qualifier due to a dispute over bonuses. Although they eventually relented, some hard feelings apparently persisted.

The 2-0 loss to Canada effectively eliminated El Salvador from World Cup contention and Roldán was not part of the team during the final qualifying window, nor a friendly in April.

Although Roldán only made his El Salvador debut during last summer’s Gold Cup, he’s already made 15 appearances and established himself as a team captain.

In a Twitter post, Roldán didn’t offer a ton of elaboration but did say that he “didn’t want to come back with bad thoughts and ruin relationships” and left the door open for a return in the future.

El Salvador’s loss is the Sounders’ gain, however, as Roldán will now be available for the team’s June 14 match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.





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João Paulo undergoes ‘successful’ ACL surgery

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João Paulo underwent “successful” ACL surgery on Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bert Mandelbaum in Santa Monica, Calif., the same doctor who did both of Jordan Morris’ ACL procedures. The injury occurred during the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final on May 4.

Generally speaking, the recovery timeline for ACL surgeries is 6-9 months, which means the earliest João Paulo could return is sometime early next year, most likely in February or March. If the Club World Cup takes place in 2023, the thinking seems to be that it would likely happen in mid-February. The MLS regular season usually starts in late February or early March.

It took Morris about eight months to return from his most recent ACL surgery, but he was about five years younger than João Paulo is now. Jordy Delem needed almost a full year to recover from his ACL injury.



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