Sporting KC wins 1-0 over Portland with Peterson’s goal

Vermes marks 100th career coaching win

Jacob Peterson’s 50th minute header gave Sporting Kansas City an invaluable 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at sold-out Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Manager Peter Vermes claimed his 100th career coaching win in the MLS regular season as fourth-place Sporting Kansas City (10-10-4, 34 points) moved five points clear of seventh-place Portland (7-8-8, 29 points) in the Western Conference playoff race.

Facing the defending MLS Cup champions for the first time in 2016, Sporting Kansas City won their fifth consecutive match at Children’s Mercy Park and extended their regular season shutout streak against Portland to five games (482 minutes) dating back to 2014. Peterson’s third goal of the season, following a delightful free-kick delivery from Benny Feilhaber, was the difference maker in a rainy game played before a national television audience.

Vermes, who became the eighth coach in MLS history to reach 100 regular season wins, was forced to make two changes to the Sporting Kansas City lineup from last weekend’s 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC. Goalkeeper Tim Melia sustained a minor back injury in training on Saturday and was replaced by Alec Kann, who earned his first MLS appearance since April 27.

In attack, Connor Hallisey manned the left wing as Graham Zusi was sidelined with a pulled hamstring. Midfield mainstay Roger Espinoza started his 150th match for Sporting Kansas City in all competitions, while Feilhaber logged his 100th regular season start for the club.

Kann notched the first shutout and win of his MLS career on Sunday, making his lone save of the match in spectacular style. Lucas Melano picked out U.S. international Darlington Nagbe atop the box in the 11th minute, but the midfielder’s low drive was touched wide of the post by an outstretched Kann.

The hosts responded with their first clear opportunity in the 20th minute. Peterson powered down the left side and delivered a cross into the six-yard area that was cleared only as far as Feilhaber. The Sporting KC midfielder settled the ball and sent a left-footed blast squarely onto the crossbar, allowing Portland to survive their biggest scare of the first half.

Nagbe asked further questions of the Sporting KC defense three minutes after Feilhaber’s near-miss, rifling a deflected effort a yard beyond Kann’s righthand post. The Timbers would threaten once more before halftime, but Kann did wonderfully to race off his line and win the ball off Melano’s feet and extinguish a breakaway threat.

Sporting Kansas City grabbed the lead – and ultimately the win – five minutes into the second period. Feilhaber’s in-swinging free kick from the left flank was glanced into the far right corner of the net by Peterson, who has now scored in consecutive games for the first time in Sporting KC colors and the second time of his 11-year MLS career. Feilhaber tallied his fifth league assist on the play, entering a tie for the team lead with Saad Abdul-Salaam.

Having seized momentum, Sporting Kansas City kept its foot on the pedal and would nearly find a second goal on multiple occasions before the hour-mark. Dom Dwyer caught a half volley sweetly with his left foot in the 52nd minute, but Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson sprung to his left to turn the thunderous attempt wide.

Gleeson did phenomenally well to deny Lawrence Olum’s close-range header a minute later, sticking out a hand to keep his side within striking distance. He would produce another stunning save in the 60th minute, parrying Hallisey’s near-post belter over the bar.

After soaking up pressure in the early stages of the second half, Portland punched back with a golden chance in the 61st minute. Fanendo Adi received a through ball behind the Sporting Kansas City defense, but the Timbers’ target forward lashed his shot well over the bar from the right side of the penalty area. Caleb Porter’s men rued their luck again in the 69th minute when Diego Valeri’s free kick was headed inches wide of the far post by Melano.

A delicately poised final 10 minutes included clear-cut chances from both teams. Dwyer fed Hallisey on the breakaway in the 82nd minute, but his low strike was smothered by Gleeson. At the other end, second-half substitute Jack McInerney rattled the crossbar with a curling effort in the 91st minute, allowing Children’s Mercy Park to breathe a collective sigh of relief. The full whistle gave Sporting Kansas City back-to-back shutout wins for the first time since July 2015.

Sporting Kansas City and Portland meet again next Sunday to round out a pivotal home-and-away set. The rematch at Providence Park will kick off at 3 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes as Vermes’ men visit the site of the epic 2015 Western Conference Knockout Round game, a gripping 2-2 draw that ended with Portland winning an 11-round penalty kick shootout. Sporting KC has earne d three straight regular season shutouts at Providence Park and owns a 3-1-1 regular season record at the heralded venue.

– Story from Sporting KC

T-Bones drop last two to Goldeyes

Kansas City had the Goldeyes set up perfectly after home runs from its eight and nine hitters in the late innings, but closer Mark Haynes was unable to shut the door as Winnipeg beat the T-Bones, 5-4, on a walk-off hit in the ninth Saturday night at Shaw Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Sunday afternoon also was a loss for the T-Bones, who dropped a 2-0 game to the Goldeyes in Winnipeg.

On Saturday, trailing 2-0 after a first inning two-run home run by Reggie Abercrombie, the T-Bones got on the board for the first time in the fourth. With two outs in the inning and Anthony Gallas on first, Dalton Wheat singled, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Tyler Moore then reached on a fielder’s choice, but a bad throw by shortstop Maikol Gonzalez allowed Gallas to score, cutting Winnipeg’s lead to 2-1.

The T-Bones took the lead in the seventh. Wheat led off the inning with another base hit before Moore launched a home run over the left field wall that gave Kansas City a 3-2 lead. It was Moore’s first professional homer and second hit of the night.

After Kansas City starter Jordan Cooper retired the Goldeyes in order in the seventh and eighth innings, the T-Bones added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when the number nine hitter, Sergio Leon, who had been hitless in the series with three strikeouts, hit a home run off a flag pole beyond the left-field wall.

A 4-2 lead would seemingly be enough for Kansas City’s All-Star and one of the league’s best closers, Haynes. However, Haynes (1-1) was shaky from the get-go. He walked the first two batters in the ninth — Adam Heisler and Willie Cabrera — and then gave up an RBI single to Abercrombie. Two batters later, Haynes intentionally walked Casio Grider to load the bases. He got the second out of the inning by striking out Jacob Rogers. But then Haynes walked Ridge Hoopii-Haslam, which tied the game at 4-4, before giving up a base hit to Carlton Tanabe that scored Abercrombie. It was the second-consecutive walk-off hit for Winnipeg in this series, after they won Friday night, 16-15, on a base hit in the 11th.

Cooper left the game after the eighth inning, having thrown 99 pitches and giving up five hits and two runs.

On Sunday, in a game that didn’t feature the drama of the first two nights of the series, the Winnipeg Goldeyes completed a three-game sweep of the Kansas City T-Bones with a 2-0 win at Shaw Park.

After back-to-back nights of walk-off wins for the Goldeyes — 16-15 in 11 innings Friday and 5-4 in nine innings Saturday — Winnipeg got behind a strong pitching performance by starter Edwin Carl and handed Kansas City its season-high fifth consecutive loss.

The T-Bones, after getting 24 hits in the first two games of the series, struggled to get their offense going against Carl (6-5), who allowed only two hits, a first-inning single to Tyler Massey and a seventh-inning single to Dalton Wheat, which extended Wheat’s hitting streak to eight games.

The only time Kansas City really threatened offensively was in the fourth inning. The T-Bones loaded the bases with one out, thanks to an error by Winnipeg third baseman Wes Darvill that put Starlin Rodriguez on base, and then walks to Massey and Anthony Gallas. But Vladimir Frias grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed first baseman David Rohm to force out Rodriguez at home, and then Wheat ended the inning with a strikeout.

In the bottom of that inning, the Goldeyes took a 1-0 lead. Josh Romanski reached on a one-out single and stole second, before Darvill knocked him in with a base hit off Kansas City starter Josh Hodges.

Winnipeg extended its lead in the sixth inning after Frias extended the inning with an error. Frias bobbled a two-out grounder by Rohm with Reggie Abercrombie at second. The next batter, Darvill, got his second RBI of the game as he roped a base hit to right center that scored Abercrombie and gave the Goldeyes a 2-0 lead.

Hodges (3-6) scattered seven hits and one walk, and allowed two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings. Hodges also struck out seven. For Winnipeg, Carl struck out six, walked four and allowed the two hits in 6 innings. Eric Eadington pitched the final three innings and got his fourth save of the season.

Kansas City (29-39) is off until Thursday for the All-Star break. They’ll resume play with a four-game series at Sioux City. All of the action can be heard online at

– Story from Matt Fulks, T-Bones

Crash reported on I-635 near State Avenue

A crash was reported on I-635 southbound, just south of State Avenue, at 10:40 a.m. Saturday, July 30, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper’s report.

A Honda Accord was southbound on I-635, lost control and struck the inside barrier wall, the trooper’s report stated.

The driver, a 25-year-old man from Olathe, Kan., had a possible injury and was taken to a hospital, the report stated.

A 7-year-old Olathe girl in the vehicle also was taken to the hospital with a possible injury, the report stated.