Sporting Kansas City lost 2-1 for the second time in less than a week as Chicago Fire picked up their second win of the season, building on last week’s 5-4 win at the New York Red Bulls. Kansas City played with ten-men for most of the second-half and couldn’t recover from an early two-goal setback at Toyota Park on Sunday. Here is what we learnt:
1. Mike Magee likes penalties.
The Chicago striker scored two early penalties, slotting the ball into the bottom-left corner both times with relative ease. Magee’s two goals from the spot ultimately earned the Fire all three points and they look in good shape all of a sudden. Magee and Quincy Amarikwa have formed a good partnership and it was Amrikwa who earned the first penalty, after it appeared Sporting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg brought him down.
2. Erik Palmer-Brown had an abysmal debut.
Well, the positives to take from Palmer-Brown’s debut are that it is unlikely he’ll ever have a worse game in his MLS career. The 17-year-old defender started in the heart of a five-man Kansas City’s defence and struggled to keep up with the game throughout. He gave the second penalty away after he inexplicably shoved Benji Joya to the ground inside the box, and was sent off later in the game, following two yellow cards for two very poorly timed tackles. A day to forget for the young American defender.
3. Dom Dwyer can’t stop scoring.
Although Kansas City slumped to their fourth defeat of the season, and second in a matter of days, Dwyer has showed no sign of slowing up. The English striker is looking dangerous every time Sporting attack, and grabbed his eighth goal of the season with his second-half header yesterday. He was unlucky not to have scored earlier in the game, as his shot beat Sean Johnson, but not the post. He now has four in his last three and is one goal off the leading goalscorer spot.
4. The referee liked his whistle.
Referee Jose Carlos Rivero was showing off how good his lung capacity is, as he blew the whistle time and time again in Sunday’s match. There were a staggering 48 fouls in the game, with five yellow cards and one red issued. It was a physical encounter but the game struggled to flow as a result of the whistle being blown so often.
5. Chicago are in business.
It took the Fire nine weeks to win their first game, but they followed up last weekend’s victory with another against the current champions. They have only lost twice this season, but the six consecutive draws were not doing their playoff hopes any good. They have picked up and look well organised now, and should continue to pick up points as they travel to the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.
Sporting host Toronto FC on Friday night as they look to avoid losing three straight-games, and will aim to return to the top of the Eastern Conference with a win. Chicago now sit in sixth-place but have only played ten games and can move into a playoff spot of results go their way this weekend.
Highlights via MLS’ YouTube channel: