Sporting Kansas City’s ever-changing defense got another new look on Saturday.
Captain Matt Besler, who played every minute of the club’s first four matches of the season, didn’t start Saturday’s match against San Jose. Kevin Ellis got the nod in Besler’s place.
Midfielder Graham Zusi wore the captain’s armband for the first time in his tenure with Sporting Kansas City.
• Spanish midfielder Antonio Dovale made his debut on Sporting KC’s team sheet. Dovale, 23, was acquired in March. Dovale signed his first professional contract at 16 with Spanish Club Celta de Vigo and scored two goals in 30 appearances in the 2011-12 season.
• It’s been two years since San Jose and goalkeeper Jon Busch have visited Kansas City, but Busch is well remembered.
He was suspended by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for one match after the 2012 visit for “aggressively retrieving a ball.” He was also fined an undisclosed amount.
The Cauldron, Sporting KC’s supporters group, showered Busch with a chant referring to the incident every time he touched the ball on Saturday.
• Sporting KC’s secondary jersey made its on-field debut on Saturday. The jersey, which features alternating stripes of “Sporting” blue and dark blue, with matching socks, was unveiled by the club on March 4. The jersey will be in the club’s rotation for the next two seasons.
• The home team has dominated the series between San Jose and Sporting KC in recent years. The last win by a road team in the series came in 2004, when San Jose beat the then-Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium. Sporting KC’s last win in San Jose came in 2000.
San Jose played host to Sporting KC last season on Aug. 18 and won 1-0. Saturday was the only time San Jose and Sporting KC will play in the regular season.
• Saturday marked the end of a five-match, 15-day stretch for Sporting KC. San Jose, meanwhile, capped off a run of four matches in 12 days. Both clubs were eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday. Sporting KC was ousted via a 5-1 defeat at Cruz Azul.
San Jose took Mexican club Toluca to extra time and penalty kicks. Toluca prevailed 5-4 after an additional round of penalty kicks.
• Sporting KC defender Ike Opara played for San Jose from 2010-12.
• The club has sold out 37 consecutive MLS matches heading into Saturday’s match.
• Sporting KC entered the night with 117 ties, the most among all MLS clubs.