Sporting KC’s Unbeaten Run Halted With 4-1 Road Loss at San Jose Earthquakes

Courtesy of Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City’s five-game unbeaten run in MLS play was snapped on Saturday with a 4-1 loss at the San Jose Earthquakes. Felipe Gutierrez provided Sporting’s lone goal from the penalty spot as San Jose turned the tables from Sporting’s 5-1 victory at Avaya Stadium in 2018.

The Earthquakes, who scored three first half goals in a 3-0 win over Portland in the team’s last home match, once again started strong with a brace from Danny Hoesen in the first dozen minutes.

The former Ajax striker opened the scoring in the sixth minute, settling a ball played over Sporting’s backline from Anibal Godoy and then holding off both Kansas City center backs before finishing past Tim Melia. Hoesen doubled the lead six minutes later on a goal initially ruled offside but overturned through video review after he raced onto the service from Jackson Yueill, cut inside his defender and slipped a shot underneath Melia.

San Jose wasted little time stretching their advantage in the second half with Shea Salinas striking just 10 seconds after halftime on a well-placed chip into the top corner. The Earthquakes fourth and final tally would come in the 61st minute courtesy of Magnus Eriksson on a shot aided by a deflection en route to finding the back of the net.

On the opposite end of the field, San Jose goalkeeper Daniel Vega produced a season-high six saves and faced two penalties on fouls committed by Florian Jungwirth. Sixteen-year-old Sporting midfielder Gianluca Busio earned the first in the 24th minute, however Krisztian Nemeth’s attempt carried over the crossbar. The Hungarian international later won a second penalty for Sporting in the 66th minute and this time Gutierrez buried the shot from the spot for his second goal of the season.

Sporting played without seven players due to injury on Saturday and captain Matt Besler exited early in the 15th minute, making way for Abdul Rwatubyaye to make his MLS and Sporting KC debut.

The Earthquakes, on the other hand, brought 15-year MLS veteran Chris Wondolowski off the bench with 10 minutes remaining for a chance to tie Landon Donovan atop Major League Soccer’s all-time goal scoring chart. That opportunity came in the 93rd minute, moments after Johnny Russell’s free kick struck the crossbar, as Wondolowski was poised to put a historic exclamation point on the performance with a one-on-one breakaway only to be denied by Melia.

Sporting will now return home to host the New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 27 to celebrate Kansas City Night at Children’s Mercy Park featuring a special South Stand ticket package that includes a limited edition Kansas City Clothing Company t-shirt for only $31. In addition, the first 5,000 fans inside the stadium will receive a free grocery tote bag courtesy of match sponsor Price Chopper.