Sporting KC Sweeps Series With 2-1 Win At Montreal

(July 12, 2014) - Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer scored his 14th goal of the season, and sixth of the year against Montreal, in the 89th minute as the reigning MLS Cup champions earned their third straight road win with a 2-1 result over the Montreal Impact on Saturday at Stade Saputo. With the victory, Sporting Kansas City sweeps the season series with a perfect 3-0-0 record against the Canadian club and remains in second place in the Eastern Conference.

The visitors took the lead less than four minutes into the match when Dwyer beat Troy Perkins to a long throw-in from Matt Besler for the earliest goal scored in a Sporting KC game this season. Now 8-0-4 when scoring first in 2014, Sporting Kansas City's unbeaten streak was put in danger when Montreal pulled level in the 28th minute.

The equalizer came on Montreal's first shot of the match and one of only two attempts by the Impact in the first half. Marco Di Vaio directed a perfectly placed header inside the far post after Justin Mapp did well to pick out the 37-year-old Italian with a header of his own. Di Vaio -- a 20-goal scorer in 2013 -- is the Impact's all-time leading scorer with 28 goals, while Mapp recorded his 63rd career assist (fourth most among active players) and 10th against Sporting KC.

Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made his first MLS start for Sporting KC on Saturday, replacing the injured Eric Kronberg in net, and improved to 4-1-1 all-time against Montreal with the win in his debut. The Overland Park, Kansas native denied Andres Romero in the 33rd minute for his lone save of the match and made an important intervention to thwart Jack McInerney minutes later.

Sporting Kansas City started the second half as the more dangerous of the two sides but it would take nearly the full length of regulation to capitalize with the match-winner. Aurelien Collin's header carried narrowly over the crossbar off a free kick from Graham Zusi and Perkins did well to make a one-handed stop on Antonio Dovale's effort at the 60-minute mark.

Besler, making his first appearance since returning from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, again proved to be dangerous on the attacking end with a trademark long throw in the 63rd minute. His delivery struck the arm of Krzysztof Krol, making his Montreal debut, but the infraction went unpunished by referee Hilario Grajeda.

Montreal's attack awoke with their first shot of the second half in the 67th minute from the foot of Felipe Martins. The attempt rolled wide, as did an attempt from McInerney shortly thereafter. The 21-year-old threatened again in the 78th minute and earned a corner when his shot deflected wide of its target before Hassoun Camara curled his shot just beyond the far post in the 86th.

Sporting Kansas City punished the last-place Impact for the missed opportunities by capitalizing on a moment of indecision between Perkins and veteran defender Heath Pearce in the 89th minute. Pressure from second-half substitute C.J. Sapong produced the decisive goal as the ball fell to Dwyer with Perkins caught out of position.

The Englishman took one touch to settle and sent his shot into the empty net for his fourth game-winning goal and fourth multi-goal game of the season (both MLS highs), including braces in each of the team's three meetings with Montreal. His 14 goals are one shy of Bradley Wright-Phillips for the MLS lead and rank third on the club's all-time single season goal scoring chart, trailing only Eddie Johnson (15 in 2007) and Preki (18 in 1996). Dwyer leads all MLS players with four game-winning goals.

As a result of the second half away goal on Saturday, all fans can text BWWSKC to 72727 to receive a buy one, get one free snack size wing order at all Kansas City area Buffalo Wild Wings locations.

Sporting Kansas City remains on the road, where they have won five times in 2014, for their next MLS match at the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, live locally on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV. The team's official watch party will be held at Turn 2 inside Hollywood Casino (777 Hollywood Casino Blvd.) in Kansas City, Kansas with doors opening at 4 p.m. CT. All in attendance can take advantage of $3 Boulevard Pale Ale and Boulevard Wheat drafts, as well as $6 wings, and will be entered to win an autographed soccer ball and Sporting KC jersey.

FAST FACTS

Sporting Kansas City earned a 2-1 victory at Stade Saputo on Saturday.
With the win, Sporting KC is in second place of the Eastern Conference with 29 points and trails only D.C. United (31).
Dom Dwyer opened the scoring for Sporting KC in the fourth minute of play before tallying the game-winner in the 89th minute.
With two goals on Saturday, Dwyer moves into sole possession of second place for the most goals scored in the League with 14. He trails only Bradley Wright-Phillips (15).
Dwyer has now scored six goals in three meetings against Montreal this season, with two goals scored in each of the three matches.
Dwyer's 14 goals rank third most on the team's single-season goal scoring chart all-time, behind Eddie Johnson (15 in 2007) and Preki (18 in 1996).

Matt Besler earned the assist on Sporting Kansas City's first goal from his long throw-in. The assist was his first of the season and seventh of his career.

Montreal Impact striker Marco Di Vaio put Montreal on the board in the 28th minute.
Di Vaio's first half goal was assisted by Justin Mapp and Patrice Bernier.
The goal was Di Vaio's 28th career goal, most by any Montreal player, but first career goal against Sporting KC.
Justin Mapp recorded his 63rd career assist, fourth most among active players. Ten of his 63 career assists have come against Sporting KC.

Saturday's meeting was the third between Sporting KC and Montreal this season. Sporting KC swept the season series by a combined scoreline of 9-1.
Sporting KC is 8-5-5 in 2014 and 5-4-0 on the road. The team has won three straight road MLS matches.

Sporting KC is 237-221-121 all-time and 84-140-66 all-time on the road.
Sporting KC is undefeated (8-0-4) when scoring first in 2014 and 3-3-4 when tied at the half.
Sporting KC is 5-3-1 against Montreal all-time and 3-1-1 at Montreal.
Sporting KC is one of two teams with multiple victories at Stade Saputo since the Impact entered MLS in 2012. Montreal holds a 23-12-8 regular season record at home over the last three years.
Since MLS expanded north of the border in 2007, Sporting KC has a 7-4-5 road record versus Canadian clubs (Toronto: 3-3-3, Montreal 3-1-1, Vancouver 1-0-1).
Sporting KC's seven regular season victories all-time on Canadian soil are second most from an American MLS club.
Sporting KC was without goalkeeper Eric Kronberg for the first time this season on Saturday. Kronberg fractured the fourth metacarpal bone on his left hand during training on Wednesday.
Midfielder Toni Dovale returned from his two-game suspension.
Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum started on Saturday, marking his first appearance for Sporting KC in the MLS regular season. He becomes the 13th goalkeeper to start an MLS match for the club in team history.
Gruenebaum made 54 starts the previous two seasons with Columbus and led MLS with 124 saves in 2012.
Igor Juliao led all players on Saturday with 13 duels won.
Montreal defender Krzysztof Krol made his Montreal debut on Saturday after being added to the roster yesterday.
Juliao and Krol led all players with four tackles won on Saturday.

Aurelien Collin led all players with five interceptions on Saturday.

Lawrence Olum led all players with 76 passes (86.84% passing accuracy) on Saturday.

Graham Zusi led all players with three chances created on Saturday.

Sporting KC leads all teams with 42 chances created from set plays.
Sporting KC is tied with Seattle for the most away wins this season (5).
Sporting KC leads MLS teams in possession (57.73%).


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