The matchup fuels offense, for reasons its participants can’t even quite grasp, and the bedlam often arrives late.
Over the past few seasons, FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City have treated its fans to offensive firepower. In the 2015 season alone, four meetings produced 20 goals.
On Sunday, in the first meeting of 2016, the final strike was the beauty of FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Rosales’ 20-yard free kick.
Rosales scored in the 68th minute, the eventual game-winner in FC Dallas’ 2-1 victory against visiting Sporting Kansas City at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
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Brad Davis and Diego Rubio couldn’t convert late opportunities to level the match.
“We had more than enough chances to win the game,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a phone interview after the match. “We had some great looks with the keeper. We just didn’t finish those.”
Sporting KC, 4-3-0, lost for the first time in three road trips this season — despite scoring the game’s first goal.
Lawrence Olum opened his season scoring account in the first half, but FC Dallas countered with goals from Michael Barrios and Rosales to remain atop the Western Conference Standings.
It started well enough.
Davis, who owns the third most assists in MLS history, began to line up a corner kick in the 22nd minute, then waved for Benny Feilhaber to set it up instead. Olum got on the other end of Feilhaber’s ensuing pass for his first goal of the season.
But the one-goal lead lasted 13 minutes. A long pass slipped through two members of the Sporting KC defense — captain Matt Besler and Amadou Dia — and Barrios beat Tim Melia to even the score. It was the third straight goal allowed by Sporting KC that could be attributed to its own mistake.
The next, on the other hand, was a tip-your-cap strike. Rosales lofted a free kick over the Sporting KC wall and past a diving Melia in the 68th minute. Vermes expressed his disappointment with the foul that set up the free kick.
“Very poor on our part in regards to both goals — very poor,” Vermes said. “Just clear the ball. On both goals, the ball should’ve been cleared.”
Sporting KC dropped its second match in five days.
It played without Graham Zusi, a late scratch with strep throat. In his place, Jimmy Medranda earned his first start of the season.
“Jimmy played very well for us. He was good throughout the game,” Vermes said. “I thought he had very good energy. I thought he had some great runs off the ball. He was very good.”
After a three-game absence, Besler returned to the Sporting KC starting lineup, his first action since suffering a concussion with the U.S. national team in a March 24 training session.
Davis made his 400th career MLS appearance, becoming only the fifth player in league history to reach that milestone. He trails only Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman on the active list for games played.
Sporting Kansas City continues a three-game road stint with a trip to San Jose at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
FC DALLAS 2
SPORTING KANSAS CITY 1
FC DALLAS: Chris Seitz, Maynor Figueroa, Zach Loyd, Walker Zimmerman, Ryan Hollingshead (Atiba Harris, 46th), Kellyn Acosta, Michael Barrios, Victor Ulloa, Fabian Castillo (Juan Esteban Ortiz, 82nd), Tesho Akindele (Mauro Rosales, 63rd), Maximiliano Urruti.
KANSAS CITY: Tim Melia, Amadou Dia (Seth Sinovic, 70th), Saad Abdul-Salaam, Lawrence Olum (Ike Opara, 70th), Matt Besler, Nuno Coelho, Brad Davis, Roger Espinoza, Jimmy Medranda (Diego Rubio, 79th), Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer.
FC Dallas: 2, Barrios 4 (Urruti, Acosta), 35th minute. 3, Rosales 1, 68th. Kansas City: 1, Olum 1 (Feilhaber), 22nd.
Shots on goal
FC Dallas: Harris, 90th
Kansas City: none
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson.
Assistant Referees: James Conlee.
4th Official: Mark Geiger.