Sporting Kansas City midfielder Sal Zizzo was seen as perhaps the prized offseason acquisition for a team that otherwise stayed relatively quiet over the past two months.
A prize indeed.
Zizzo scored Wednesday for the third time this preseason — the game-winner in a 3-2 Sporting KC victory against the Montreal Impact. The victory sends the club into the championship match of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. Sporting KC will face Columbus at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“He fits our style of play,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “We have a long road ahead of us, but the good thing is there's a lot of things he has adapted already in the way we play. That's good to see. He's a very coachable guy. He's able to implement things pretty quickly.”
Zizzo's 74th-minute finish gave Sporting KC its first lead of the match. Seth Sinovic provided the assist.
Montreal held a pair of leads in a rain-filled first half at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex — Impact midfielder Sanna Nyassi scored only 30 seconds into the game — but Sporting KC strike Dom Dwyer answered each time.
Dwyer notched his first goal on a penalty kick in the ninth minute after he was taken down in the box. After Montreal regained the lead on its own penalty kick, Dwyer supplied a preseason highlight when he leaped for a goal-scoring header off a pass from Graham Zusi.
“That goal was exactly what we've been looking to do with our play,” Vermes said.
Jon Kempin started for the second time in goal for Sporting KC and endured a lively first half.
Earlier Wednesday, the Sporting KC reserves defeated Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League 4-2. Claudio Bieler notched a hat trick and assisted on a goal by Mikey Lopez.
Sporting KC is 8-0-1 in the preseason, including scrimmages, with seven straight wins.