Sporting Kansas City’s matches this year have not fallen short on drama. Saturday was no different, as SKC advanced to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals with a 3-2 win over FC Dallas. Here are three things we learned:
Daniel Salloi finding his groove
Salloi has a knack this season for being at the right place at the right time. He’d already tallied four goals this season, even before his two-score performance Saturday. His second of the night gave Sporting a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute. His first saw him cleaning up Ike Opara’s header – which probably would have made it into the net of its own volition, but it doesn’t hurt to have backup.
Salloi even jokingly apologized to Opara for stealing his goal. But, “I’ve got to score everything,” he said. And he’s starting to.
Back line vulnerable
Sporting’s back line spent the majority of the first half playing on its heels, reacting to shot after shot created by Dallas. By the time FC Dallas put one away in the 18th minute, SKC had already accumulated seven chances.
Manager Peter Vermes said he wasn’t worried after FC Dallas went up early in the first half, and was happy with ending the half in a tie.
And SKC was playing with its backup keeper, Adrian Zendejas. Still, many of Dallas’ chances, as well as its first goal, seemingly came from disorganization or mistakes in the back from Sporting.
SKC fans care about Open Cup
It helps that Sporting is reigning champion of the U.S. Open Cup tournament.
It’s not an MLS Cup, but Kansas City fans have made it no secret that this tournament is important to them. The “Gotta Have That Cup” signs are still plastered on several downtown buildings from last year. And the same slogan looks to be sticking this year: Sporting fans showed up in droves for a late-night Saturday match, despite it being on the same night as one of the city’s biggest outdoor music events, Boulevardia.
Attendance Saturday was announced at 15,238, and the stadium looked to be holding every bit of that number.