The only goal came early, but Sporting Kansas City’s 1,000th match across all competitions was still plenty entertaining the rest of the way.
Daniel Salloi recorded his sixth goal of the season for Sporting KC (8-15-5) during a fast-moving sequence in front of the San Jose Earthquakes’ goal at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday.
And that goal by Salloi in the 10th minute of the game proved to be enough to lift the hosts to a 1-0 victory. John Pulskamp got his first clean sheet of the Major League Soccer season in goal for Sporting and KC’s backline stood tall the rest of the way.
Salloi scored Saturday evening’s game-winner after picking up Roger Espinoza’s blocked cross in the middle of the penalty area. Salloi coolly tapped the ball into the corner of the net.
Sporting and just about everyone in the stadium believed the home side had doubled its lead in the second half, when Nicolas Isimat-Mirin tapped home a wonderful cross from Graham Zusi. But VAR asked referee Guido Gonzalez to examine the sequence for a possible offside infraction, and after review the goal was in fact overturned — replays showed Isimat-Mirin had been just a step offside.
Pulskamp had to make a couple of saves Saturday night, including one big one in the first half. Zusi misplayed a pass out of the back, sending the ball straight to Earthquakes star Christian Espinoza. But Pulskamp parried away Espinoza’s poweful shot.
Salloi’s goal pulled him even in the Sporting KC record books with Preki and Dom Dwyer for the most game-winners in franchise history.
“This is huge,” Salloi said in his postgame TV interview. “I love this club and I love breaking records.”
Indeed it was. Sporting KC is now 12th in MLS’ Western Conference, just seven points out of a playoff spot with six games to go. With three wins in its last four games, Sporting returns to action a week from Sunday (on Sept. 4) at the L.A. Galaxy.
This story was originally published August 27, 2022 9:30 PM.