Sporting Kansas City drew 2-2 with Toronto FC after a late goal ensured that the 10-man visitors would leave with at least a point. All the goals were scored by English players, here are our key takeaways from the game:
1. English presence in MLS takes over.
All four goals were scored by Englishmen, with the red card also being awarded to a British man in the form of Scottish defender Steven Caldwell. The Toronto captain was issued a straight-red after a dangerous tackle, in which he left his studs in on the thigh of Toni Dovale.
Dom Dwyer scored twice for Sporting, taking his tally for the season to ten, making him the top-scorer in MLS and the striker is in sensational form. Luke Moore scored in his second consecutive appearance from the bench for the Reds, with on-loan Blackburn man Bradley Orr netting a late equaliser to ensure that both teams went home with a point.
2. Defoe doesn’t have to score for Toronto to get something.
It’s surprising to see four goals from Englishmen without Jermain Defoe netting one, but he still proved dangerous on the break for Toronto all night. The former-Spurs man did still manage to get an assist, after he prodded the ball through to Luke Moore, who swept the ball in to the bottom corner. Defoe will want to be back on the scoresheet when the Reds host Columbus Crew next week.
(Photo: Defoe will be disappointed not to have got on the scoresheet but he is still crucial for the Reds)
3. Kansas City have run out of centre-backs.
Sporting were down to their ninth and tenth choice centre-backs for the game, as the entire back four consisted of full-backs. Kevin Ellis and Chance Myers started in the heart of the defence, but their lack of aerial dominance showed as Bradley Orr powered in a free header in the dying minutes. Kansas City are struggling in the position with players suspended, injured or out on International duty.
4. Luke Moore is pushing Gilberto out the door.
Moore scored from the bench for the second game in a row, coming on for designated player Gilberto once again to make an impact. Gilberto is still yet to score for Toronto and is lacking confidence now. With Moore coming in and making an instant impact, Ryan Nelsen will surely drop the Brazilian forward for next week’s game against the Crew.
(Photo: Luke Moore deserves to start after two goals in two MLS games for Toronto FC)
5. Dom Dwyer is keeping Kansas alive.
The in-form striker is now leading the MLS with ten goals, after his brace last night and he is looking better and better with each game. The same can’t be said about his team, who are without a win in three now, but Dwyer is keeping them ticking during this bad run. His first goal last night was an excellent first time strike from the edge of the box after Sal Zizzo teed him up, with his second coming from the penalty spot, after Doneil Henry had fouled Juliao in the box. Dwyer became just the third player in the club’s history to score in four straight games with his goals last night, a sign of just how well he is playing, and will want to keep it going when Sporting host New York Red Bulls next.
The result leaves Sporting in second place in the Eastern Conference, but their chances of finishing top of the pile took a blow with that late strike. They could be five points behind New England Revolution by the end of the weekend. Toronto are just five points behind Sporting and sit in sixth place, but they have played three games less and are in a good position.
Highlights via MLS on YouTube: