Kei Kamara to the rescue! (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Thank you, Kei Kamara.
Kamara's 83rd minute goal allowed Kansas City to leave Canada with all three points in a match where Sporting once again were able to dominate much of the statistics, but had trouble putting the ball into the net.
It's never easy to win on the road in MLS, no matter who the opponent may be. But given just how much of the game Sporting Kansas City were able to control at times, a 0-0 draw would have been a let down.
Luckily for us, Kamara was finally able to get one past Toronto FC goalkeeper, Milos Kocic, and now Kansas City returns back to Livestrong Sporting Park in a huge Eastern Conference match up against the New York Red Bulls next Sunday night with a little bit more confidence in their back pockets.
A few post-match thoughts after the jump...
- The battle between Toronto forward Eric Hassli, and Aurelien Collin was epic. Hassli caused trouble for Kansas City's back line numerous times throughout the match. At one point early in the first half, Collin was yellow carded for fouling Hassli, who was on his way past Sporting's defense and probably on his way to a putting Toronto FC ahead. It turned out to be a good foul (Collin was only yellow carded, and he stopped the scoring opportunity). But for as many problems that Hassli caused the back line, Collin dished it right back with a gritty performance. It's performances like today's the remind you just why Collin went to his first MLS All-Star game this year.
- In regards to Kansas City's ability to finish their scoring opportunities, I'll leave you with this video. Steven Tyler can explain it better than I ever could.
- This was clearly a game that Kansas City had to come away with all three points if they want to have a legitimate chance to claim the Supporters' Shield. If Sporting was playing away at Red Bull arena and it ended in a draw, I'd be more than happy with that result. But going to BMO and coming out with a draw or a loss against a team in last place in the Eastern Conference would have come back to bite us at some point. It was this close to happening today, but such is life in Major League Soccer, and Sporting KC were able to find a way to get the game-winning goal. That's what good teams do. Find a way to win.
- Sporting KC's midfield were able to dominate much of the possession. I really like what I'm seeing from the Roger Espinoza, Julio Cesar, and Paulo Nagamura trio. Aggressive, and smart group of players.
- I think Chance Myers has had a solid season for Kansas City, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I think he's regressed slightly from the level he was playing at in 2011. Don't get me wrong; I'd still rather have Myers than just about any other right back in MLS, but its like he's just slightly off this year. The Kei Kamara/ Chance Myers connection last year was unreal at times.
- I loathe Simon Borg. I know this has nothing to do with this match, but I thought I'd just throw that out there anyways.
- Okay.. okay.. Teal Bunbury should have definitely scored at least one goal today. He should have done better with his break away in the first half where he basically just tapped it to Kocic. Still, I like the Teal Bunbury we've been getting the past few weeks. He's working hard, and he's showing himself to be a consistent threat up top for Kansas City. I can't argue with Peter Vermes starting him over CJ Sapong. At least not right now.
- I haven't exactly made up my mind on what I think about Graham Zusi playing on the wing for Sporting, though we're currently undefeated when he does so. I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
- Toronto FC manager Paul Mariner looks like some weird mish-mash of Andy Dick and Dustin Hoffman. I also did a double take when I realized he was wearing the same shorts I was wearing when I was watching the game. The sunglasses were classy (okay, they were borderline cheese ball). The Adidas shorts? Eh, not so much.
- Sporting Kansas City now trail San Jose by only one point in the race for the Supporters' Shield. It's going to be one heck of an end to the regular season.