(August 3, 2013) -- Despite a frantic stoppage-time rally, Sporting Kansas City fell to the New York Red Bulls 3-2 on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. Dom Dwyer's first career goal in the second minute of stoppage-time was not enough as the visitors scored twice in the second half to take three points and move into first place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of second place Sporting KC.
Sporting KC came out of the gate strong, playing the majority of the first half in New York's defensive side and tallying a season-high 15 shot attempts in the first 45 minutes.
The home side nearly opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Aurelien Collin lofted a long ball over the New York defense. Kei Kamara controlled the pass, cut to the inside and swung a ball to the 12-yard box. Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles reacted quickly to save the first attempt and Soony Saad was first to the rebound but couldn't direct his follow-up effort on frame.
Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen equaled Robles' effort minutes later when he found himself one-on-one with Johnny Steele. The Red Bulls countered off a Sporting KC corner kick and Thierry Henry picked out Steele streaking down the left flank. Nielsen stayed big and used his body to parry away Steele's attempt.
The Red Bulls broke through in the 27th minute when Dax McCarty found himself unmarked in the middle of the pitch and split a pair of Sporting KC defenders. Steele ran on to the through-ball and placed his shot past Nielsen to put New York ahead.
Kamara leveled the match for Sporting KC minutes before halftime with his 50th regular season goal. The play began when Chance Myers curled a ball in from the wing to Saad at the six-yard box. The third-year winger headed it on target, but Robles blocked the first attempt. The Sierra Leone international was in good position and cleaned up the rebound to level the match.
The Red Bulls scored twice in the second half on the counter attack to take a 3-1 lead. The first goal came in the 63rd minute when Lloyd Sam slid the ball to Fabian Espindola, who beat Nielsen to the far post. Sam, who entered the match in the 60th minute, was in the thick of the action again, scoring in the 70th minute. Robles began the play with a long throw from inside his 18-yard box. Steele picked up the pass down the left wing and played a perfect ball behind the defense to Sam. The English winger cut once and fired past Nielsen for his second career goal.
Down two goals, Peter Vermes brought on forwards Dwyer and Teal Bunbury. Dwyer made an immediate impact, nearly tallying a goal in the 82nd minute. After a short corner kick, Saad played a cross to the six-yard box. Dwyer connected with a header but his attempt ricocheted off the crossbar and away from danger.
With time running out, Sporting KC continued to throw numbers forward and pulled one back in the second minute of stoppage time. Dwyer found his first career MLS goal when he headed a Kamara cross past a helpless Robles from close range.
Despite 10 minutes of stoppage time due to an injury to New York's Kosuke Kimura, Sporting KC could not find the equalizer and fell by a one-goal margin for the second consecutive week.
Sporting Kansas City face a quick turnaround as they kick off the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. The squad will travel to Nicaragua to face Real Esteli on Wednesday before returning home for next Saturday's match against the New England Revolution at Sporting Park.
Sporting Kansas City is 10-7-6 in 2013 and currently in second place in the East with a +9 goal differential.
Sporting Kansas City is 5-4-3 at home in 2013 with a +7 goal differential.
Sporting Kansas City is 19-18-11 all-time against New York, including a 14-8-3 record at home in the series. Sporting Kansas City earned a 1-0 victory in the previous 2013 meeting at Red Bull Arena.
Saturday's loss snapped Sporting Kansas City's five-game unbeaten streak against New York (3-0-2). Prior to Saturday, Sporting Kansas City had kept clean sheets in four of the previous five meetings.
Saturday's attendance of 21,304 was the Largest crowd in stadium history, surpassing the mark set on Wednesday for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game.
Sporting Kansas City has sold out 28 straight MLS matches at Sporting Park.
Sporting Kansas City ranks second in Major League Soccer in overall home attendance in 2013.
Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen has started and played every minute in 79 consecutive MLS matches dating back to 2011, the fourth longest streak in MLS history.
Sporting Kansas City is 0-5-0 when trailing at the 75-minute mark in 2013.
Sporting Kansas City is 8-4-4 against Eastern Conference opponents in 2013.
Sporting Kansas City is 222-213-115 all-time, 146-79-50 at home and 34-40-13 in August.
Sporting KC leads MLS in shots taken (364) and shots against (198) in 2013.
Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara scored his fifth goal of the season, second most on the team, and 50th career MLS regular season goal on Saturday. Kamara now has the 11th most goals among active MLS players.
Kamara has four goals in his career against New York, most among all active Sporting KC players.
Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer scored his first career MLS goal on Saturday, striking in second-half stoppage time.
Kamara earned the assist on Dwyer's goal, his second assist of the season and 23rd of his MLS career goal.
New York has conceded 12 goals in the final 15 minutes of MLS matches in 2013, the third most in MLS this season.
Sporting Kansas City's 15 shots in the first half on Saturday was the second most by a team in the first half of an MLS match this season.
Sporting Kansas City's 27 shots on Saturday ties the team's all-time single-game mark.
Kamara surpassed 14,000 minutes in his MLS career (including postseason) on Saturday, becoming the second player on Sporting KC's roster to reach the milestone.
Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic surpassed 8,000 minutes played in his MLS career (including postseason) on Saturday.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Jonny Steele scored his third goal of the season and fifth of his MLS career on Saturday.
Jonny Steele's goal snapped a 545-streak in which a New York Red Bulls player had not scored against Sporting KC. The only goal allowed by Sporting KC in that span during the series came on an own goal.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty recorded the assist on the goal, his second of the season and 28th of his MLS career. He now has two or more assists in seven straight MLS seasons.
McCarty has three career assists against Sporting KC, most among all active Red Bull players.
New York Red Bulls forward Fabian Espindola scored his seventh goal of the season, tied for the team lead, and 42nd of his MLS career on Saturday.
Fabian Espindola has three goals in his last two matches, after scoring twice from the penalty spot in a 4-3 win over Real Salt Lake last week.
New York Red Bulls forward Fabian Espindola has three goals in his career against Sporting KC, most among all active New York players.
Lloyd Sam recorded his first assist of the season and second of his MLS career, coming three minutes after entering the match as a second-half substitute. He added a goal six minutes later, his second of the season and his MLS career.
Steele's assist on Sam's goal was his fourth of the season and sixth of his MLS career. Goalkeeper Luis Robles also earned a secondary assist on the play.
New York has scored one of the team's 36 goals from outside the penalty area in 2013.
Saturday marked only the second time this season that Sporting KC has allowed three goals. Sporting KC has lost four straight matches when allowing three goals, dating back to the 2011 season.
Sporting Kansas City has held New York Red Bulls Designated Player Thierry Henry without a goal in seven career matches.
New York scored on three of their five shots in the match. All five shots were on target for the Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls have scored 17 first half goals in MLS 2013, the most of any team in the League.
Sporting KC forward Soony Saad recorded eight shots, most among all players on Saturday and second most for an MLS match in his career. His three shots on goal were also most among all players on Saturday and ties his single-game career high.
Saad also led all players on Saturday with 18 duels.
Sporting KC defender Chance Myers recorded four key passes and seven total crosses on Saturday, most among all players.
Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin recorded seven interceptions on Saturday, most among all players.
Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara recorded seven aerial duels, winning five, on Saturday. Both marks are the most among all players for the match.
Sporting KC midfielder Oriol Rosell's 91 touches and 80 passes (completing 72) on Saturday were the most among all players.
Sporting Kansas City's 10 fouls committed on Saturday were second fewest in an MLS match this season.
Peterson Joseph recorded his first career shot on goal on Saturday.
Seth Sinovic's 12 shots in 2013 ties his single-season career high. His three shots on goal are also a single-season career high.
New York Red Bulls defender Kosuke Kimura was injured in second-half stoppage time and left the field on a stretcher.
New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke was dismissed in second-half stoppage time for foul or abusive language.
Sporting Kansas City was without Graham Zusi, Paulo Nagamura and Josh Gardner on Saturday due to injury.
New York was without Santiago Castano and Armando Moreno on Saturday due to international duty. Both players are currently with the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team.
New York was also missing Tim Cahill, Connor Lade and Heath Pearce on Saturday due to injury.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Ibrahim Sekagya made his MLS debut on Saturday. He joined the club from Red Bull Salzburg last month.
The inaugural class of Sporting Legends was honored at Sporting Park on Saturday with inductees Preki and Tony Meola in attendance. Both players were recognized on the field at halftime during an unveiling of their names above the championship wall in the southeast corner of Sporting Park. Meola and Preki both addressed supporters in the Boulevard Members Club after the match.
Fellow inductee Bob Gansler will be honored in October while at Sporting Park for the U.S. Men's National Team's FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Jamaica.
The NBC Sports Network nationally televised Saturday's match live from Sporting Park with the commentary team of Robbie Earle, Steve Cangelosi and Russ Thaler.
Sporting Kansas City is 0-2-2 in games televised nationally by the NBC Sports Network.
Saturday's match was sponsored by Panasonic.
Midfielder Christian Duke and forward C.J. Sapong - on loan to Sporting KC's USL PRO affiliate Orlando City SC -- saw minutes on Saturday for the Lions. Duke started and played 45 minutes, while Sapong entered in the 53rd minute of the match.