• Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

    Sporting KC looks for third straight CCL win

    Action from the August 7, 2013, CONCACAF Champions League game between Real Esteli (left) and visiting Sporting Kansas City at the Estadio Independencia in Esteli, Nicaragua. (Photo: Pinolerosports)

    KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- After securing six points from two road victories, Sporting Kansas City will play the remainder of its CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) Group 2 matches in the friendly confines of Sporting Park, beginning with Tuesday’s encounter with Real Esteli.

    Sporting can move even closer to clinching the group title and a berth in the quarterfinals with a win over Real Esteli, which would be eliminated from contention with a loss or a tie.

    In their first meeting on August 7, Kansas City registered an impressive 2-0 win against Esteli thanks to goals from Ike Opara and Dom Dwyer.

    The Major League Soccer squad followed that triumph with a matching 2-0 victory over Olimpia in Tegucigalpa on the strength of a Soony Saad brace on August 27.

    With that result, Sporting became only the second team from the United States to win its first two CCL encounters.  FC Dallas went 4-0-0 in 2011, posting shutouts in each win, before tying Panama’s Tauro.

    Esteli, meanwhile, dropped a 1-0 decision against Olimpia at home on August 21.

    Sporting Kansas City heads into the match well rested, having played its last match September 7, a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Crew in league play.

    The team has made some changes since its last CCL match.  Forward Kei Kamara, who had not made any appearances in the competition, is now at Middlesbrough of the English League Championship following a transfer.

    Dwyer was briefly loaned to Orlando City and scored four goals in the USL Pro championship match, but is back with the squad. 

    The club also signed defender Federico Bessone on Friday. The 29-year-old has played for Swansea City, Leeds United, Charlton Athletic, Swindon Town and, most recently, Oldham Athletic.

    “I’ve been training here for two weeks and the quality of the team is magnificent,” Bessone said on the Sporting Kansas City web site.  “I’m very happy to be there.  The city is great, the people are so friendly and my teammates have been tremendous with me.”

    Real Esteli, which has never won a CCL match in 10 attempts, traveled to the United States on Sunday.  El Tren del Norte is anxious to prove it is a different team from the one that Kansas City faced last August.

    “We want to make a different game than we did at home against them,” Manuel Rosas told La Prensa.  “[The team] has improved a lot collectively.  It was a good game against Kansas City and Olimpia and we hope to play better than last time.”

    It won’t be easy for Esteli, which could be without Samuel Wilson, who has a sprained ligament in his right knee.  The forward, though, traveled to Kansas City, as did midfielder Elmer Mejia, who is doubtful for Tuesday’s match.

    Still, Esteli, which sits atop the Nicaraguan Apertura after nine rounds, will be looking to avenge a pair of losses at home to keep its Champions League hopes alive.

    “It is a collective revenge,” Rosas said.  “You have to try to erase the bad image.  We will seek to win, although we are not favorites.  We [hope to] make a difference, come and play a good game.”

  • Champions League

    Related News



RELATED NEWS YOU'LL LIKE

T&T int’l Boatswain joins Alajuelense

Alajuelense announced Tuesday the signing of Trinidad & Tobago international Jamille Boatswain on a reported two-year contract.

Palacios prepping Plaza Amador for Apertura, CONCACAF League

With its 2017 Panamanian Apertura opener slightly more than two weeks away, head coach Jair Palacios is preparing Plaza Amador for what could be busy domestic and international campaigns.

Toronto FC qualifies for Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League

Toronto FC earned a berth in the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League with a 2-1 win over 10-man Impact de Montreal Impact in the second leg of the 2017 Canadian Championship final (agg: 3-2) Tuesday night.

CONCACAF Announces Schedule of Round of 16 Matchups for 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) unveiled today dates and kickoff times for the Round of 16 schedule for the 2017 edition of the Scotiabank CONCACAF League.

Panama int’l Dixon joins Aguila

Panama international Richard Dixon has signed a two-year deal with Aguila, the Salvadoran club announced Monday.