Sporting KC notes: Midfielder Alex Martinez gets the start

05/24/2014 10:05 AM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Midfielder Alex Martinez made his first MLS start for Sporting KC.

Martinez, a third-round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, had played 92 minutes in five previous appearances, all as a sub.

Forward and former MLS rookie of the year, C.J. Sapong, returned from an eight-game absence. He subbed on for midfielder Toni Dovale in the 86th minute.

Sapong had been sidelined with a neck injury since March 22.

Former Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper and captain Jimmy Nielsen was presented with his MLS Cup championship ring during an ceremony on the field before Friday’s match against Toronto FC at Sporting Park.

Nielsen retired after last season and now coaches Sporting KC’s USL Pro affiliate, Oklahoma City Energy FC. He was unavailable when the team was presented its rings before the May 4 game against Columbus.

It was 14 years ago Tuesday — May 27, 2000 — that goalkeeper Tony Meola established the MLS and Sporting KC record for consecutive shutout minutes (681). The streak started April 19 after Alex Comas’ 25th-minute goal in a 2-1 win against the MetroStars at Giants Stadium.

Meola and the then-Wizards rattled off six straight shutouts before Tampa Bay’s Mamadou Diallo beat Meola in the 66th minute of a 2-1 Mutiny loss at Raymond James Stadium. It capped a franchise-record 10-0-2 start.

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