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Sporks Skewer Sloppy Loons

by on 4 June 2018

It was another night at Children’s Mercy Park to forget for The Loons as they lost 4-1 to Sporting Kansas City. Goals from Daniel Salloi, Wan Kuzain, Cristian Lobato, and Diego Rubio sent Sporting back to the top of the Western Conference. A stunner from Tyrone Mears would only serve as consolation for Minnesota.


Minnesota made one change to the starting XI that won at home against Montreal. Brent Kallman made his second start of the season, replacing the World Cup-bound Francisco Calvo. Joining Kallman on the backline were Eric Miller, Tyrone Mears, and newly minted captain Michael Boxall.  Rasmus Schüller and Ibson continued their tenure in the midfield behind Darwin Quintero, Alexi Gomez, and Miguel Ibarra. Chrisitan Ramirez and Bobby Shuttleworth took their usual places at each end of the pitch.

First half

Sporting Kansas City were immediately on the front foot. Shuttleworth was able to delay the inevitable for a few minutes with a couple of saves, however, in the eighth minute, SKC broke through.

Yohan Croizet cut off a pass from Mears to Ibarra in the Minnesota defensive third. The ball found its way to Daniel Salloi at the top of the box. Salloi curled his shot past Shuttleworth and into the net.

Conceding early once again seemed to be a wake-up call for Minnesota, as the Loons found their way back into the match right after the restart.

Ramirez had the first chance of the match for Minnesota as his curler rattled the crossbar. Gomez gathered the rebound and started to cycle the ball around the box by passing to Schüller. The Finn found Mears in acres of space. After taking a couple touches, Mears tore the cover off the ball, which knuckled past a wobbly-legged Tim Melia and into the net. Just two minutes after conceding the opener, Minnesota was back level.

In the 19th minute, Yohan Croizet had to be taken off due to injury. Wan Kuzian, a 19-year-old academy player, came on in his place.

Minnesota was not taking its foot off the pedal. The next big chance came on a counter-attack started by Kallman. A long ball by the Woodbury-native found a streaking Ramirez. Ike Opara then fouled Superman just outside the box. The resulting free kick was taken by Quintero, who aimed for the near post with a low curler. The ball deflected off an SKC leg and into the outstretched arms of Melia.

SKC regained the lead in the 35th minute. Graham Zusi took a touch past a sliding Gomez and crossed the ball into the box. Zusi’s cross found Kuzain, who then scored his first MLS goal. Cristian Lobato increased the lead for SKC three minutes later as a through ball by Roger Espinoza caught the Minnesota defense standing still. Lobato finished easily under Shuttleworth.

Second half

Minnesota made a change at halftime bringing on Maximiano for Alexi Gomez. With the personnel change, the Loons also made a tactical change switching from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3. Maximiano christened the game in his usual fashion by earning a yellow card three minutes into his shift.

Just fifteen minutes later, in the 63rd minute, Maximiano earned a second yellow after lunging late into Ilie Sanchez. It was the sixth time this year an SKC opponent had been sent off. Minnesota would have to play the remaining half hour with ten men.

Even with a man advantage and a two-goal lead, SKC did not let up. In the 80th minute Sporting completed its rout with Diego Rubio scoring the final nail in Minnesota’s coffin.

Three Stars

Scoring Summary

9′ SKC – GOAL: Daniel Salloi (Assisted by: Yohan Croziet)

11′ MNU – GOAL: Tyrone Mears (Assisted by: Rasmus Schuller)

35′ SKC – GOAL: Wan Kuzain

38′ SKC – GOAL: Cristian Lobato (Assisted by: Roger Espinoza)

48′ MNU – YC: Maximiano (Unsporting Behavior)

63′ MNU – RC: Maximiano (Unsporting Behavior)

77; MNU – YC: Miguel Ibarra ( Unsporting Behavior)

81′ SKC – GOAL: Diego Rubio (Assisted by: Gerso Fernandes)

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