Earthquakes fall 1-0 at Sporting K.C.'s new home

Earthquakes fall 1-0 at Sporting K.C.'s new home
June 18, 2011, 7:07 am
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June 17, 2011
BOX SCORE EARTHQUAKES PAGE
Nicholas RosanoCSNCalifornia.com
The Earthquakes unbeaten streak is finally over, and by allaccounts, it was just not their day. The team went down 1-0 to Sporting KansasCity, which got its first win in its recently opened stadium. Rookie forwardC.J. Sapong netted the games lone goal, redirecting a free kick pastEarthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch midway through the first half. It was a good free kick. They are dangerous on free kicksand it was just one of those where who can get position, Earthquakesgoalkeeper Jon Busch said. Unfortunately for us, they got a little betterposition, and re-directed it. Throughout the night, the Earthquakes were continuallyfrustrated by Kansas Citys hard pressingmidfield, while Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart found himself frustrated ina tenacious battle with Kansas Citycentral defender Aurelien Collin. I think (Aurelien) Collin was an absolute beast," Kansas City coach PeterVermes said. "He matched up with Lenhart most of the time. He did anexcellent job. Kansas Citysstout defending meant that the Earthquakes had very few opportunities to testopposing goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. The best chance for the Earthquakes came inthe 21st minute when a skipping free kick from Khari Stephensonnearly caught Nielsen off guard, but the veteran reacted quick enough to turnthe chance around the post. The first half, it started out slowly and they were able tocapitalize on their chance, Stephenson said. It was a back and forth game,especially in the second half, but now its back to the drawing board and lookforward to the next one. To their credit, the Earthquakes picked up their game in thesecond half after a fairly tepid first half from both sides. The spark waslargely down to the insertion of Dawkins and Ellis McLoughlin, both of whomhave had a strong impact off the bench in their short time with the team.The second half, I wouldnt say we bossed the game but wedefinitely had some chances to score, Yallop said. I thought Simon Dawkinscame in and did really well, and I thought we deserved at least a pointtonight. Dawkins did manage to test Nielsen with a long range blastafter a set play in the second half, but found himself frustrated by anothersmart save from the Dane. Despite the frustrating result, however, the Earthquakeshave remained positive in their outlook for the season. With the Los AngelesGalaxy and New York Red Bulls visiting the Bay Area in consecutive weeks, theteam knows it cant afford to dwell on the loss as it prepares to face two ofthe leagues top teams. We go to training and find out what we did well, what wedidnt do well and you go from there, Stephenson said. Its only one game,theres other games to go. You cant get down when you lose a game, and youcant get too up when you win one. Busch agreed that the team needs to move past the close loss.It wasnt meant to be and we move on, show up on Monday, and prepare fornext weekend, Busch said. While Yallop sent out the same starting lineup for the pastthree games, including wins against Houston and D.C. United, the loss couldprompt him to rethink some lineup choices ahead of the Galaxys visit to BuckShaw Stadium on June 25. In the meantime, though, the Earthquakes will have tocontinue to do what they have done so well in the past: pick up and moveon.For more Earthquakes, MLS and soccer musings, youcan follow Nick Rosano on Twitter @nicholasrosano

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