Sporting inch closer to first place, Sallói finds net again in 3-1 road win over Seattle

Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi, left, celebrates with Remi Walter (54) and Johnny Russell (7) after Salloi scored a goal against the Seattle Sounders during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE — Sporting Kansas City traveled to Lumen Field in Seattle to take on the Western Conference leading Sounders and dominated their way to a 3-1 win to inch closer to taking the top spot in the conference.

SKC handed the Sounders their second loss in seven days and their first loss at home this season.

Forward Johnny Russell struck first for the visitors with a beauty of a free kick in the 31st minute.

The Scotsman curled a left-footed shot to the far post and beat Stefan Cleveland for his third goal of the season.

The red-hot Dániel Sallói found the net 11 minutes later on a fast break bringing his tally to 9 on the season, two behind league leader Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle) and one behind Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (LA).

Khiry Shelton was off to the races and found Gadi Kinda whose pass found the trailing Sallói who buried it from the top of the penalty box.

Sounders forward Fredy Montero pulled one back for the home team in the 51st minute on a loose ball inside the box.

Second half substitute Cameron Duke opened his MLS account on a low-volley off a pass from Graham Zusi.

“Obviously, I’m very excited to get my first goal but most importantly to get the three points away against a very good team,” Duke said. “We’ve just got to focus on the next game against FC Dallas at home.”

The 20-year-old is another one of Sporting’s academy products that has shown promise and a string of impressive performances.

“These last two games, the way that he has approached these games has been tremendous for the team,” Vermes said. “I hope that he continues to grow in confidence and maybe even a little bit of arrogance because he’s a shy kid. He needs to stick his chest out a little bit, especially because he’s done well.”

The win puts Sporting two points behind Seattle for the lead in the west with a game in hand.

Seattle has a long injury list which has contributed to their struggles during their 3-games-in-8-days stretch, as well as having playmaker Cristian Roldan away on international duty with the United States.

Although not as extensive, Kansas City has their fair share players and even head coach Peter Vermes away from the sidelines.

Gianluca Busio (USA) and Alan Pulido (Mexico) are also away on international duty, while Felipe Hernandez is away for personal reasons.

Vermes and two other players have also been in Major League Soccer’s health and safety protocol and are separating from the rest of the team.

Sporting return to Children’s Mercy Park to host FC Dallas on Saturday, July 31, and build on a 5-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1).

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