Sporting KC Advances To QF Of CONCACAF Champions League

By: Sporting KC PR (Posted By J.B. Bauersfeld)
By: Sporting KC PR (Posted By J.B. Bauersfeld)

Sporting Kansas City: Eric Kronberg; Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler (c), Seth Sinovic; Oriol Rosell, Lawrence Olum, Graham Zusi; Jacob Peterson (Josh Gardner 92+), Teal Bunbury (Dom Dwyer 79), C.J. Sapong

Subs not used: Jimmy Nielsen, Ike Opara, Benny Feilhaber, Claudio Bieler, Soony Saad

CD Olimpia: Noel Valladares; Henry Bermudez, Fabio De Souza (c), Brayan Beckeles, Nery Medina; Carlos Will Mejia, Irvin Reyna, Hendry Cordova, Javier Portillo, Rigoberto Padilla (Roger Rojas 80); Antony Lozano (Ramiro Bruschi 88)

Subs not used: Reynaldo Tilguath, Israel Fonseca, Jose Arevalo, Mariano Acevedo, Donis Escober

Stats* KC OLI
Shots 11 6
Shots on Goal 5 1
Saves 1 5
Fouls 15 16
Offside 4 0
Corner Kicks
9 4

*All stats as scored by Opta

Misconduct Summary:
KC -- Aurelien Collin (caution; reckless foul) 25
OLI -- Carlos Mejia (caution; delaying a restart) 40
KC -- Teal Bunbury (caution; unsporting behavior) 40
OLI -- Nery Medina (caution; reckless foul) 61

Scoring Summary:

(October 23, 2013) -- Sporting Kansas City advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League following their 0-0 draw against CD Olimpia on Wednesday night at Sporting Park. Sporting KC will await the results from Thursday night's CCL matches to see which team they play in the next round of the tournament.

Sporting KC finished first in their group with a 2-0-2 record (8 points). The eight group winners advance to the quarterfinals, which will be played in March 2014.

Sporting KC can finish no higher than sixth place in the overall standings. The top four teams have home-field advantage which means Sporting KC would host their opponent in the first leg of the quarterfinals at Sporting Park and head on the road for the second leg.

Wednesday night, Sporting KC controlled 68% of the possession but were unable to beat Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares. The Honduran national team goalkeeper recorded five saves on the night, including two on Jacob Peterson in the first half.

In the second minute, Peterson cut to the middle and laced a left-footed shot on target. Valladares reacted well and tipped it over the crossbar for a corner kick. In the 29th minute, Seth Sinovic curled in a ball from the left flank. Peterson darted to the penalty spot and headed the ball cleanly to the near post, but Valladares knocked the attempt away with his fingertips.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made one save on the night for his third shutout of the tournament. The veteran goalkeeper finished the group stage with only one goal allowed in four games played and has allowed only two goals in six games played this year in all competitions.

Wednesday's match was a physical affair, as the two squads combined for 35 fouls. Sporting KC center back Aurelien Collin picked up a yellow card in the first half and will be suspended for the first match of the quarterfinals due to yellow card accumulation.

Sporting KC will return to League action on Saturday with their regular season finale against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Sporting KC is currently one point back of the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake in the MLS Supporters' Shield race. Saturday's match will kick off at 2 p.m. CT on the NBC Sports Network.


With the tie, Sporting Kansas City will advance to the quarterfinals of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Championship League tournament in March 2014.
Sporting KC are in the quarterfinals of a CONCACAF tournament for the third time in team history and first time since the 2005 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. The team reached the semifinals of the 2002 CONCACAF Champions' Cup.

Sporting KC finished in first place of CONCACAF Champions League Group 2 with a 2-0-2 record and eight points.
CD Olimpia finished in second place of CONCACAF Champions League Group 2 with a 2-1-1 record and seven points.
With the shutout on Wednesday, Sporting KC have eight shutouts in international competition all-time. Wednesday marks the fourth time Sporting KC has been shutout in international competition all-time.
Wednesday was Sporting Kansas City's final match in CONCACAF Champions League group stage. In the previous three matches, Sporting KC earned 2-0 victories on the road at Real Esteli FC and CD Olimpia before adding a 1-1 draw against Real Esteli FC at Sporting Park on September 17.
With the shutout, Eric Kronberg moves into a tie with Tony Meola for most shutouts in international competitive matches in club history with three.
Manager Peter Vermes is unbeaten as the Sporting KC head coach against international opponents. That record includes the team's 2-1 win over Manchester United, as well as draws against Newcastle United, CD Guadalajara and Stoke City.

Sporting Kansas City assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin has been a player or member of the technical staff in every international competitive match in club history.
Wednesday marked Teal Bunbury's second competitive start since returning from a knee injury suffered during the 2012 season.
Sporting KC is 6-8-7 all-time in competitive international matches and 2-3-6 at home.

CD Olimpia made their second trip to the U.S. in four months for this match. The team conducted their preseason training in Miami in July.
Sporting KC was held scoreless on Wednesday for the first time during the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League. In the previous three matches, Soony Saad (2), Jacob Peterson, Ike Opara and Dom Dwyer scored goals.
Sporting Kansas City is one of five MLS teams to qualify for the 2013-14 edition of CONCACAF Champions League. Thus far, Sporting KC, LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes have qualified for the quarterfinals.
CD Olimpia are 11-9-6 all-time in CCL, 3-6-4 on the road in CCL history and 0-1-3 against U.S. opposition.
CD Olimpia are 27-time league champions and one of just two teams to participate in each of the last six CCL tournaments. They reached the quarterfinals in the 2010-11 tournament.
Aurelien Collin received a yellow card on Wednesday, his second during CCL competition. Collin will not be available for Sporting Kansas City's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg match in March of 2014.
CD Olimpia were missing three players on Wednesday. Luis Garrido (MCL) and Douglas Caetano (ACL) suffered injuries in the team's last two league matches. Byron Mendez did not travel (visa issues).
Oriol Rosell and Seth Sinovic are the only two Sporting KC field players to start all four CCL matches in the 2013-14 edition of the tournament.
Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic all started on Wednesday for the first time since August 31.
Wednesday's appearance was Chance Myers CCL debut.
With the start, Eric Kronberg records his 4th CCL start and 6th start of the year for Sporting KC. Kronberg is 3-1-2 with four shutouts and a 0.33 GAA to date in 2013.
Attendance on Wednesday was a sellout of 18,467.
Matt Besler led all players on Wednesday with 11 clearances and 108 touches.
Oriol Rosell led all players on Wednesday with 10 interceptions. He completed 70 of 74 passes for a 94.6% passing completion.
Lawrence Olum led all players on Wednesday with 86 total passes.
Sporting Park held their first Pumps on the Pitch ladies night in conjunction with Wednesday's match. The evening included a pre- and post-game party for the ladies in attendance that featured complimentary Barefoot wine, player appearances, giveaways and more.

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the game...
We dominated the game. We had 70 percent possession. We had good chances, a very good run of play and we didn't give anything away. I'm still trying to understand on the goal that we score what the actual call was, but in the end, we needed to win or tie the game for us to advance. Being that this is the first time the club has advanced into this international competition, it was a major goal of ours this year, so I think we're extremely pleased that we've advanced to the knockout stage and we'll start preparing now for next year.

On the play of Teal Bunbury and Graham Zusi in the game...
I thought that Teal [Bunbury] was, first and foremost, was very good for us tonight. His movement off the ball, his defensive pressure when we didn't have the ball up front was fantastic. I think [Graham] Zusi's work rate on the field is second to none, I thought that they actually combined, at times, very well. But Zusi had a free role in the game tonight so his job wasn't to be the link up guy to Teal. His job was to try and make the game and I thought that he was very busy, good on the ball, and excellent tonight. It's hard to criticize anyone on your team when you walk away with 70 percent possession and with the number of chances we had and the number of calls against us. I think the guys did a very good job.

On the physicality of the match...
It's a man's game and that was the interesting aspect for me after the first few calls that were made. The referee has to understand the significance of the game for both teams. And with that, you have to understand that it's going to be physical, but at the same time it doesn't have to get out of hand. You have to stay consistent with those calls, but for me you have to know that it's going to be a battle and it's going to be a contest of man versus man and you have to be able to deal with those situations. And I thought for us, we dealt with them very well. We weren't lying on the ground every time we got touched, those are the things that I have a big problem with and I think it's a lack of respect for the game and you never see our players doing that.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg

Thoughts on the match...
I thought we played to win the game and we created enough chances to win it, but we locked it down in the back and that was the most important thing.

On the team's defense during Champions League...
I've been very pleased to be a part of the Kansas City defense in the Champions league. They've been solid all four games and I've been really happy to be a part of it.

On the quick turnaround in MLS play...
It's a quick turnaround. We have a game this weekend. But we'll be happy about it tonight, but tomorrow it's right back to work and we're thrilled to be through to the knockout round. I feel like we expected to be through, and it's good to accomplish that goal.

Sporting KC defender Matt Besler

Thoughts on the match...
It was a physical game. It was a battle. We knew Olimpia had to try and come out and win the game so they threw some numbers forward and I thought we did a good job of handling some of their pressure. It's a little frustrating that we didn't win that game when we had the chance to. Three points would have been great for the seeding, but the way we're looking at it is that we advanced and that was one of our goals at the beginning of this season, so we're happy from that standpoint.

On the team's defense...
I think the first half it didn't change too much. We came out with high pressure trying to win the game, trying to score goals. I think tactically we changed a little bit because as the game wore on we knew a tie would get us through, so we were a little more determined.

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