Jun 3, 2018; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting Kansas City forward Diego Rubio (11) celebrates after scoring against Minnesota United in the second half at Children's Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
For the fourth time this season, Sporting Kansas City rolled to a victory of two goals or more – this time 4-1 against Minnesota United FC. Here are three things we learned from Sunday’s match:
Gerso Fernandes: underrated spark plug
Kansas City may have scored four times, but perhaps one of the biggest cheers of the night came in the fourth minute off a non-scoring moment. Gerso Fernandes, getting his first start of the year, brutally nutmegged a defender on the far side. His shot was saved, but it was a moment that set the tone for Sporting, which fired 25 total shots at Minnesota.
Fernandes played the whole match, the first time he’s done so this season, and was a constant thorn in Minnesota’s side.
Without Johnny Russell, Sporting still has depth offensively
Sporting was without its leading goal scorer Sunday, as Johnny Russell is away on international duty with Scotland. But goals flew in from everywhere anyway, and Kansas City once again showcased its depth.
Salloi, who has been a usual suspect this season, got the scoring spree started, but from there it was a cast of relatively new characters in the scoring column. Diego Rubio and Cristian Lobato each scored their second goals of the season. And 19-year-old Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal threw in his first-ever MLS goal to spread the love.
Russell has been outstanding so far this season. But even without him, goals can fly in from almost anyone.
SKC continues to see production from homegrowns
Sunday’s match saw two significant moments for a couple of teenagers who have come up through Sporting’s program: Wan Kuzain and 17-year-old Jaylin Lindsey, another homegrown player who made his debuted.
“When you have the environment we do, where you look at our academy teams, into our Swope Park Rangers and into our senior team, everybody is playing the same model of play, the transition for those guys – it’s really easy, because the acclimation period of learning our system of play isn’t really there,” Vermes said. “What they’re only trying to get accustomed to is the speed of play. … It’s a lot easier doing that when you already understand the system of play. … Hopefully one day we’re going to see 11 players starting on the field who are coming through our system.”