KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City’s newest signing has earned league-wide praise after his first game at Children’s Mercy Park.
Midfielder Jose Mauri made the crowd explode in the fourth minute when his outside-the-box strike was mishandled by Chicago Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
In his second appearance for SKC, Mauri handled the game as the team’s holding midfielder and helped get Sporting back to winning ways after a winning-less stretch that included a 4-0 thwarting by LAFC last week.
Mauri joined the club following the departure of Gianluca Busio to Venezia FC in Italy.
“If you don’t shoot, you don’t score. He got the first one for us and that was a big part of today’s theme: getting the first goal and getting the first goal early,” manager Peter Vermes said. “Him doing that for us was good and good for him. For the majority of the game, he played very, very well. He helped us in a lot of little situations. He’s got good instincts to close guys down when they’re turning. All good steps in the right direction”
“Obviously he’s not had a lot of training time, not a lot of time to get him integrated,” team captain Johnny Russell said. “He’s fit straight into the system, I think everyone can see the tenacity that he’s got, the quality that he’s got when he’s on the ball as well. I’m sure the fitter we get him then he’s going to be a key part of our team moving forward.”
MLS Team of the Week – Week 24
Goalkeeper: Nick Marsman (Inter Miami FC)
Defenders: Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC), Daniel Steres (LA Galaxy), Justin Che (FC Dallas)
Midfielders: Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati), Joao Paulo (Seattle Sounders), Carles Gil (New England Revolution), Sebastian Blanco (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Fafa Picault (Houston Dynamo), Cristian Arango (LAFC), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United)
Bench: Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders), George Campbell (Atlanta United), Gregore (Inter Miami FC), Jose Mauri (Sporting Kansas City), Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution), Michael Barrios (Colorado Rapids), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)
Head coach: Gonzalo Pineda (Atlanta United)