Former JMU Men's Soccer Player CJ Sapong Scores Twice in U.S. Open Cup Win
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 25, 2011 - Chance Myers and former JMU soccer player CJ Sapong (2007-10) each scored two goals and Sporting Kansas City routed the Major League Soccer rival New England Revolution 5-0 in rainy conditions Wednesday night to advance to the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
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Amidst a steady downpour of rain, more than 1,200 fans turned out to see Sporting Kansas City's first home match of the year after the club played its first nine games on the road while LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is prepared for its grand opening on June 9 on ESPN2.
Myers opened the scoring on Wednesday with the game's first two goals. In the 9th minute, Designated Player Omar Bravo cut the ball back across the penalty area for Myers, whose sliding first-time shot beat New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Ten minutes later, Bravo created the scoring chance on the left side of the field, beating his defender and firing far post. Shuttleworth did well to make the initial save, but the rebound fell to Myers for the simple finish.
Sporting Kansas City continued to attack, finding a third goal within five minutes courtesy of Sapong. Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic, making his first appearance for Sporting Kansas City since signing last month, played a cross into the penalty area for Sapong to re-direct low past Shuttleworth.
With a comfortable 3-0 lead for much of the second half, Sporting Kansas City added two goals late for the final 5-0 scoreline. Defender Aurelien Collin headed in a corner kick from playmaker Ryan Smith in the 81st minute and Sapong capped the convincing victory with the best goal of the evening, shooting from a wide angle to put the attempt past New England's second-half substitute in goal, Tim Murray.
Kronberg made three saves in the shutout, including a solid stop in the 69th minute, and matched former KC goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi for the most shutouts U.S. Open Cup competition amongst Sporting Kansas City players with three.
Sporting Kansas City now advances to the third round of the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with matches amongst the final 16 teams scheduled to start on June 28. Sporting Kansas City will be one of eight MLS teams represented in the third round and will face a non-MLS team.
Sporting Kansas City will continue MLS play on Saturday with its third game in an eight-day span as the team returns to the road to face the Colorado Rapids at 8:00 p.m. CT at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Post-Game Comments from Sapong
On emotions after huge win...
"I first and foremost just wanted to run to the fans and thank them for showing up despite the weather conditions and everything that we've been through and getting behind us all game. I'm so happy to get this win, I love it when my teammates are happy. It's definitely a great feeling."
On needing this win....
"Obviously we would have wanted a win earlier but this comes at a great time. Now hopefully we can get some good wins on the road. The quicker we start a run the better."
After playing the team's first nine games of the season on the road, Sporting Kansas City hosted their first home match of the 2011 season on Wednesday at Blue Valley District Activities Complex in Overland Park, Kansas.
* Sapong scored in his second straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open qualifier. Sapong also garnered the game-winning goal in Sporting Kansas City's previous Open Cup match against the Houston Dynamo in College Station, Texas.
* Sapong's three goals in U.S. Open Cup competition rank him fourth all-time on Sporting Kansas City's U.S. Open Cup goal-scoring chart, putting him in a tie with Ivan Trujillo, who also scored three goals in two games.
SKC - Chance Myers 1 (Omar Bravo 1) 9
SKC - Chance Myers 2 (unassisted) 19
SKC - CJ Sapong 2 (Seth Sinovic 1) 24
SKC - Aurelien Collin 1 (Ryan Smith 1) 81
SKC - CJ Sapong 2 (unassisted) 88