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Listen to Shades of Blue episode 2 - Besler and Zusi, The American DPs edition
Mike, Ben and Thad get together to talk about Sporting Kansas City's win over the Galaxy. SKC now having two American DP's and what that means for Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Kansas City and MLS. Should Dom Dwyer be an ALL Star and does Mike regret trying to get fans to not vote for Kansas City players? Also a quick look at the Sporting KC vs Manchester City friendly and an update on FC Kansas City's matches.

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In which we look back on Sportings 2 - 1 win over LA and wish we scored more run of play goals.
 So Benny with another big game, huh? Confidence kicking in? Just a good two games? I'm not sure, but I'm loving what I've seen, I feel like he's having his best year yet, and this is the Benny we all wanted to see when SKC signed him.
Generally speaking I was pretty happy with how SKC played, but I hate to sound like a broken harp... where are the run of play goals? Dom seems to be the only one who scores them, and honestl I think that's a little worrying. I'll have to sit down some day and figure out where we rank in regards to that stat, but I feel like we do real well on set pieces but struggle to really score anything off the (often abundant) chances we have in fluid play.
All that said, a goal is a goal, and 9 points from 8 days? I'll take it.
And is Robbie Keane the angriest man around? All the offside calls looked legit to me, and maybe even his goal had a hint of him being in the wrong place once more... but who am I to judge.
So let's go to some numbers. In addition to just a numerical ranking, I tried to pull out some key stats to help put a players rating into a bit of perspective. One thing I think Kansas City did well was keeping Donovan pinned back and taking on a bigger defensive role. Honestly, Donovan was a bit of a non-factor this game...
Anyway, here's the table. 

LA Galaxy
Key Stat

Jaime Penedo
4 Saves

9 CBIs

Tommy Meyer
7 CBIs

AJ DeLaGarza
6 Recoveries

Kofi Opare
94% pass success

Gyasi Zardes
2 aerial dules won

Stefan Ishizaki
2 crosses

Baggio Husidic
3 key passes

96% pass success

Kenney Walker
1 accurate long ball

Landon Donovan
7 recoveries

Marcelo Sarvas
8 recoveries

Robbie Keane
1 goal

Bradford Jamieson
1 assist

Team Average


Sporting Kansas City
Key Stat

Andy Gruenebaum
1 big save

Lawrence Olum
1 goal

Matt Besler
10 CBIs

Seth Sinovic
88% pass success

Igor Juliao
89% pass success

Kevin Ellis

Benny Feilhaber
1 goal

Graham Zusi
6 key passes

Jacob Peterson
3 shots

2 crosses

CJ Sapong
3 recoveries

Soony Saad
6 recoveries

Dom Dwyer
3 shots

Team Average

So there's that. Although I think Kansas City had the better of much of the match, LA definitely hung around and had their chances. I was getting pretty nervey towards the ending, but all's well that ends well (see last week for a prime example).
Really excited for the Toronto match, I think we line up against them well so it should be an entertaining one.

Goals from Benny Feilhaber and Lawrence Olum were enough to defeat the Galaxy 2-1.
Sporting Kansas City outplayed the Galaxy in the first half, which was enough to pull out a win as they tallied a 2-1 victory.
It was their fifth win in the last six games as they retrained their spot at the top of the Eastern Conference.
After opening up several opportunities in the first ten minutes, Sporting KC were finally rewarded in the 11th minute when Soony Saad was knocked down just outside the box. Benny Feilhaber stepped up and knocked in a beauty of a free kick to give Sporting KC the early advantage. It was his third goal of the year and the first time he had scored in consecutive games in his career.
Sporting would continue to pressure the Galaxy but the Galaxy were starting to win possession as the half wore on. They weren't able to score, but they were playing much better as the teams went into the locker room, Sporting KC leading 1-0.
The Galaxy almost equalized to start the second half when Baggio Husidic took a shot from range that bounced off of the right post and out of bounds for the goal kick. It would be the first instance of the Galaxy showing a better attack in the second half.
After a Sporting KC corner kick in the 53rd minute, the Galaxy had a two-on-one breakaway with Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane following a Feilhaber giveaway in the midfield. Gruenebaum was able to force Keane to shoot over the bar when he came out to stop the breakaway and ended up with a knee to the side. After a couple of minutes on the ground, Gruenebaum was able to get back up and play resumed, Sporting KC still leading 1-0.
Sporting KC would jump right back into the offensive fray in the 61st minute. A corner kick resulted in the ball being pinged around the box in the air before it was deflected by a Galaxy defender towards the middle of the box. Lawrence Olum rose above everyone else to head the ball near post for the goal. It was his second of the year as Sporting KC took a 2-0 lead.
The Galaxy were still pressuring, however. Robbie Keane found some space near the top of the box in the 65th minute where he rifled a shot off the crossbar. This was after Gruenebaum had to make a one-handed save on Zardes the previous play.
Los Angeles finally pulled one back in the 79th minute. Sporting KC failed to clear the ball of a corner and Bradford Jamieson IV headed the ball into the box. Robbie Keane was all alone, but kept onside, to finish the shot. The Galaxy now trailed 2-1 on Keane's tenth goal of the year.
Los Angeles would try and spark up a couple more opportunities but Sporting KC held on for the rest of the match, defeating Los Angeles 2-1. They are back in action Wednesday night against Manchester City in a friendly.
Matt Besler and Graham Zusi have become designated players after re-signing with Sporting Kansas City.
After holding their collective breath for the past month or so, the Sporting Kansas City fanbase can breath a sigh of relief.
Graham Zusi and Matt Besler have signed Designated Player contracts to extend their current contracts, making themselves the second and third DPs signed with the club.
There were many transfer rumors surrounding Matt Besler this week, linking him to teams such as Sunderland, Fulham and Aston Villa. This deal ensures he will be in Kansas City for the long-term and may end up becoming the longest-tenured captain, as well as earning the most starts in Sporting KC history eventually. These were goals he outlined with his agent in this article.
While the rumors surrounding Besler were not as strong as Zusi, Zusi's performances with Sporting Kansas City the past few years earned him this designated player contract and ensures he will be in Kansas City for at least the next few years.
After losing Kei Kamara, Roger Espinoza and Uri Rosell to transfers abroad, it's nice to finally retain two of the most impactful players on the roster. They are both in the starting lineup tonight and will be for the foreseeable future.

More from The Blue Testament

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Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Galaxy Match Thread
Hagen goal gives FC Kansas City a 1-1 draw at Western NY
Match Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Matchday 20: Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Podcast: Shades of Blue episode 1
Live updates from the Sporting KC match with Los Angeles.
The Teams

Sporting Kansas City
9-5-5, 3-5-1 at home
32 Points

1st in the East

Manager: Peter Vermes (6th season)

Los Angeles Galaxy
7-3-6, 2-2-4 on the road
27 Points
4th in the West
Manager: Bruce Arena (7th season)
Other Info

#SportingKC XI vs. @LAGalaxy: Gruenebaum; Juliao, Collin, Besler (C), Sinovic; Olum, Feilhaber, Zusi; Dovale, Dwyer, Saad #SKCvLA
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) July 19, 2014

#SportingKC available subs vs. @LAGalaxy: Kempin, Ellis, Lopez, Peterson, Sapong, Zizzo, Bieler #SKCvLA
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) July 19, 2014

#LAGalaxy starting XI: Penedo; Meyer, Opare, Leonardo, DLG; Juninho, Sarvas, Husidic, Donovan; Keane, Zardes #SKCvLA
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 19, 2014

#LAGalaxy subs vs. @SportingKC: Rowe, Friend, Ishizaki, Hoffman, Walker, Sorto, Jamieson IV #SKCvLA match center:
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 19, 2014

Date: July 19th, 2014

Gametime: 5:00 pm central


Location: Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas

FC Kansas City out shot the Flash but are coming home with a 1-1 draw
FC Kansas finished their three game road trip with a 1-1 draw at Western New York. Sarah Hagen scored for the Blues in the 17th minute and the Flash's Samantha Kerr answered in the 22nd minute.
The Blues were looking for a positive result after last week's loss in Portland. "I think we played a good game," FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the match. "Everything is better, no matter how we played it was going to be better than last week in Portland."
The Blues goal came when Erika Tymrak slid the ball to Lauren Holiday who found Sarah Hagen on the right side. Hagen lobbed the ball over the keeper who was caught too far out to give the lead to FC Kansas City.
"I think we played well , we played well enough to get three points but were a little unlucky with our finals shots, with our finishing," Andonovski continued.
FC Kansas City outshot the Flash 20-9 and had several good chances including a late breakaway by Amy Rodriguez that came up short.
"I think we created more chances than almost any game before this, legit chances," Andonovski agreed. "But that is the game, sometimes you score some of those sometimes you won't."
The health of Lauren Holiday was a concern after missing last game and spending some time in the hospital after the game before that but she was able to go the full 90 minutes. "It is obvious the effect she has on the team," Andonovski observed. "She played a good game and I am glad she was good to go for 90 minutes."
The Blues get a full week off before starting a five game in thirteen day streak next Sunday against Sky Blue FC.  Andonovski is looking forward to getting some rest after the road trip. "We are excited. It was an east coast, west coast, east coast trip. We are ready to get back home."