Sporting Kansas City Defeats Vancouver Whitecaps In Home Opener

The house was rocking at Children’s Mercy Park for Sporting KC’s opener.

After an intense away win to start off their MLS season with a bang against the Seattle Sounders, KC took care of business at home, winning 2-1 over the Vancouver Whitecaps to make it two-for-two on the year.

Sporting overwhelmed Vancouver possession-wise in the first half. After a mediocre performance against Seattle in Week 1, Kansas City needed to have a strong midfield performance, and they did just that from the opening whistle.

The Whitecaps' midfield, however, did not have a great opening few minutes. After a bad giveaway, Dom Dwyer fired a hard strike into the top corner, off the woodwork and into the back of the net for a magical opening goal to Kansas City.

Vancouver did not create many chances in the first half; with only five shots and two on target, Tim Melia was not bothered much in goal.

Dwyer made sure KC’s dominance was felt on the scoreboard once again; after a rolling cross through the box, Dwyer cooly finished with a shot under goalkeeper David Ousted for Sporting’s second goal of the night. Kansas City coach Peter Vermes commented on first half performance, after the game saying the difference between this week's performance and last week's was like “Night and Day”.

Deja Vu For KC; Disaster For Vancouver

In the only minute of stoppage time, Jordan Smith went through the back of Graham Zusi violently. He was given a straight red card for the reckless challenge. This was a familiar situation for Sporting, as they saw the same thing happen against the Sounders last week when Seattle fullback Oniel Fisher was sent off for a challenge on Connor Hallisey.

(Photo Credit: Pregame festivities at Children's Mercy Park. Credit: Kyle Rivas / Getty Images)
Pregame festivities at Children's Mercy Park (Photo: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images).

A Tale Of Two Halves

KC did not have the same reaction to being a man up in the second half this week, in part to already holding a two-goal advantage. Although Sporting did mostly control the game, Vancouver still had plenty of chances in the final half.

The Whitecaps pulled one back in the 70th minute, when they were rewarded a penalty. Tim Melia came off his line to snatch the ball, but Octavio Rivero tipped the ball over his arm and was caught by the goalkeeper.

Pedro Morales calmly dispatched the penalty into the bottom right corner when Melia dove the other way. The game settled down after that pivotal moment and the pace of both teams slowed. KC and Vancouver would both have a few chances each to grab a goal but ultimately neither one could take advantage and the game would end 2-1.

Vancouver has failed to win in their first two matches of the season and will travel to Seattle next Saturday in search of their first points of the season. Sporting KC has kicked off their campaign with two great wins against tough opponents. Vermes said the team will immediately focus on next week, as they will host last season’s MVP Sebastian Giovinco and Toronto FC next Sunday night.