Poor Chance Myers.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Scoreless in 95 career games entering Saturday, Myers broke through not once but twice, staking Sporting Kansas City to leads in the first and 29th minutes against Portland Timbers FC at Sporting Park.
Unfortunately for Myers and his teammates, neither lead stood up in a 3-2 loss witnessed by 20,186 the clubs 20th consecutive sellout.
I got to enjoy it for about two minutes after each goal, but we didnt do enough to come away with the victory, so that (stinks), Myers said. Theres no excuses. Weve just got to be better. We got beat on a set-piece goal, which we usually dont do, and we got beat on a counter at home, which we usually dont do.
Ahead 1-0, Sporting KC, 4-3-2, coughed up the equalizer on a corner kick by Diego Valeri, who picked out Ryan Johnson in the middle of Sporting KCs penalty box.
Johnson shed defender Matt Besler and redirected Valeris low, out-swinging service into the upper left corner and over the head of a leaping Benny Feilhaber.
It was the first goal Sporting KC had allowed off a corner kick since May 21, 2011 a stretch of 75 games, which predates Sporting Park.
Leading 2-1 mere minutes later, Valeri triggered a 33rd-minute jailbreak when he played a ball into the left channel for Johnson, who sprinted past two Sporting KC defenders and into the box.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen charged off his line, but Johnson coolly slid the ball across the face of the goal for Darlington Nagbe, who had two steps on left back Seth Sinovic and tied the game at 2-2 with a tap-in for his second goal of the season.
The problem is we just gave the ball to the other team, Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. You cant give balls away to the other team, so they can counter.
Portland, 3-1-4, scored the game-winner off another turnover-fueled counter in the 58th minute when forward C.J. Sapong and midfielder Paulo Nagamura couldnt connect on a short pass near the sideline.
The misplay allowed midfielder Diego Chara to run at Sporting KCs goal with midfielder Uri Rosell trailing the play.
Charas diagonal ball found Rodney Wallace, who had squeezed between Myers and Sporting KCs goal. He then rolled a shot under Nielsen, who allowed only three goals in the first seven games but has allowed five in the last two.
It wasnt just wide guys, Vermes said. It was central midfield guys. We just gave away the ball way too easy, which put us under pressure too many times. Thats not the norm for us, but tonight we just gave the ball away.
The three goals allowed are the most since a 3-2 loss against FC Dallas on Aug. 27, 2011 a span of 27 games.
Still, Sporting KC believes that even with a few moments of sloppy play three-goal games shouldnt happen, especially not at home.
Obviously, were losing the ball in bad spots, but its also balance and spacing, left back Sinovic said. If were in the right spots when we lose the ball, we should be able to deal with it. Tonight, we werent and we got punished for it.
Myers put Sporting KC, 4-3-2, in front only 40 seconds into play, when he headed home a long-throw-in by Besler.
Myers put Sporting KC back in front in the 29th minute later when Feilhaber lofted a cross into the box, which found Collins feet for a square ball to the right post for an easy putaway.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.