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The Leftovers: Sporting KC's opening day winning streak continues

03/04/2013 8:36 AM

05/16/2014 9:21 PM

It's the Monday after a Sporting Kansas City match, which means it's time to warm up some leftovers -- a collection of the best stats, notes and quotes we (and the Sporting KC public relations staff) can muster. Dig in.

• Saturday's 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union raises Kansas City's franchise record to 12-4-2 in season openers.

• The franchise has lost just once on opening day over the last 12 years -- to Toronto in 2009.

• Graham Zusi scored the team's first of the season (the 12th in his career) and had a hand in assisting on KC's other two goals.

• He led MLS with 15 assists last campaign and pitched in five goals himself. He's currently on pace for 34 goals and 68 assists. Both would be MLS records.

• Kansas City managed to score three goals on just seven shots.

• Last season, KC averaged 1.24 goals (per game) on 15.9 shots (per game).

• Judging an offensive performance based on scoring efficiency isn't the greatest metric of quality, but it's hard to argue with KC scoring on 43 percent of its shots Saturday.

• In addition to leading the league in shots taken in 2012, KC also lead MLS in corner kicks taken with 199. On Saturday, Sporting KC had just two.

• Possession was in Kansas City's favor over Philadelphia, 52% to 48%.

• Aurelien Collin -- the team leader in yellow cards in 2012 with 6 -- picked up the first yellow card of the season for KC.

• Jimmy Nielsen played and started his 100th MLS match (including playoffs).

• He also set the record as the oldest goalkeeper (35 years, 6 months and 12 days) in club history to make an appearance, start a match, record a win and play a complete game.

• It was his 62nd straight MLS match.

• Peter Vermes was impressed with his 'keeper: "Jimmy is such a solid goal keeper the guy makes world-class save after world-class save, that's why he was Goalkeeper of the Year last year, just comes up big at the right moments."

• Oriol Rosell picked up his second MLS goal in the 66th minute. Both have been game winners.

• He now has as many goals with Kansas City as departed midfielder Roger Espinoza did.

• The 20-year-old Spaniard has more goals in a Kansas City jersey than Herculez Gomez and Carlos Marinelli. So there's that.

• What's more, Rosell became the youngest player in team history to start on opening day for KC. (Back in November, he also became the youngest player in team history to start a playoff game.)

• Claudio Bieler picked up his goal late in the second half, putting away a clean and clinical finish in the box.

• What does Bieler have in common with former DP's Claudio Lopez and Omar Bravo? All three scored on their debuts.

• Kansas City are 20-1-8 when Chance Myers, Collin, Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic start together on the backline.

• Nielsen and Besler made their fourth consecutive opening-day start for KC.

• On his 30th birthday, Paulo Nagamura made his 185th regular-season MLS appearance. He is one of 38 active players to reach that mark.

• After the game, he needed four stitches to close a gash on his left leg.

• Bieler and fullback Mechack Jerome (a late substitute) made their MLS debuts. Benny Feilhaber made his debut with Kansas City.

Lightning Round!

• Peter Vermes is now 46-35-30 in charge of KC.

• KC's current unbeaten streak is league play is now 13 matches dating back to last season.
• With the new two-tone primary kits, Kansas City is 1-0.
• Sporting is 213-206-109 all-time in the regular season and 72-131-62 on the road in the regular season.
• KC is 9-6-1 in the month of March.

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