Courtesy of Sporting Kansas City
Forwards Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi struck on both sides of halftime and goalkeeper Tim Melia claimed his second straight shutout as first-place Sporting Kansas City (11-4-4, 37 points) handed FC Dallas (5-8-6, 21 points) their first home loss in 12 months with a 2-0 victory on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium.
Dallas entered the evening with an 18-game home undefeated streak and a six-game unbeaten run against Sporting, but Manager Peter Vermes’ men delivered a spirited performance to keep their two-point lead atop the Western Conference table and improve to 4-0-1 in their last five road matches since the start of July.
Sporting will continue their daunting stretch of seven competitive matches in 22 days when they return to Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday for a compelling showdown against the sixth-place Portland Timbers (7-8-2, 23 points). Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT with tickets available on SeatGeek.com and live coverage on Bally Sports Midwest Plus, Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app.
Vermes fielded a formidable Sporting Kansas City lineup on Saturday as seven players who were rested in a Leagues Cup quarterfinal loss to Club Leon at midweek—namely Pulido, goalkeeper Tim Melia, midfielder Roger Espinoza, captain Johnny Russell and defenders Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins and Graham Zusi—earned starts in Frisco, Texas.
The hosts threatened inside two minutes, pressing high to create a turnover in Sporting’s defensive third, but a lunging effort from Hungarian winger Szabolcs Schon off Jesus Ferreira’s diagonal pass was smothered impressively by Melia. Sporting responded with an agonizingly close scoring chance of their own in the seventh minute, as Pulido’s sweetly struck free kick near the left edge of the penalty area curled past Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and skimmed the post before fizzing out of play.