USA TODAY Sports
Sporting KC won a meaningless preseason soccer game on Friday night. The Portland Timbers were no match for this bruised and battered Sporting squad.
Sporting Kansas City's 1-0 win on Friday night over Portland Timbers (which is absolutely meaningless, by the way) didn't come without a fairly significant price. The goal, scored in the 65th minute Haiti international trialist Mechack Jerome, was as much a metaphor for a whacky game as the two injuries suffered by one key starter and another regular off the bench.
The big news of the night is undoubtedly the injury to backup forward Soony Saad, who went down on the edge of the 18-yard box in the 60th minute. Saad appeared to take a knee from behind from Portland defender Futty Danso. Play was halted for roughly 25 minutes while Saad was tended to by the Sporting KC training staff before being driven away in an ambulance. For all the details on Saad's injury, click here.
The other injury, one that seemed much less severe but will ultimately have a greater effect on Sporting's first team, came in the 30th minute when starting rightback Chance Myers pulled up following a chance on goal. For all the details on Myers' injury, click here.
As for the goal that won the game, it was as unspectacular as two players falling victim to injuries in a preseason game with more than a month to go before the regular season. Rookie midfielder Mikey Lopez won a free kick 35 yards from goal, and Mechack stepped up to take. What started out as a low, fairly weakly hit bouncer into the box ended up crossing goalkeeper Milos Kocic a half-dozen different ways following a suspected deflection before the ball nestled into the far corner of the goal. Really, had the game ended any other way, it wouldn't have been fitting.
Scratch that; the game ending with a sending off to midfielder Peterson Joseph for an off-the-ball kick of a Timbers player, with the referee choosing to not actually show Joseph a red card, but the "Haitian Xavi," as he's called, left anyway. Got all that? Good.
Forward Claudio Bieler made his preseason debut for the club, starting the game and playing 30 minutes in the first half. It was the Argentine-born Ecuadorian's first minutes of live, game action since signing as a Designated Player in December. Bieler had few-to-no chances towards goal, but looked lively and came through his shift unscathed - something a pair of other Sporting players couldn't say for themselves - and that's the utmost important takeaway. For a deeper summary of everything Bieler did on this night, click here.
Sporting KC will return to Kansas City over the weekend and will remain in town for part of the next week where they will rest, rehab and train before flying to Orlando, Fla., for the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, which begins for them on February 9 with their next preseason game against Montreal Impact.