Kansas City, KS, United States (4E Sports) – Dom Dwyer scored twice from the penalty spot in the first half to carry Sporting Kansas City to a 4-1 triumph over Toronto FC Saturday at Sporting Park.
Soony Saad and C.J. Sapong added a goal each in the second half as Sporting Kansas City strengthened its grip on the Eastern Conference lead with a 16-6-6 mark, winning five of its last seven outings.
Dwyer now has 16 goals on the season, two behind New York’s Bradley Wright-Phillips and two off of Preki’s club single-season mark from 1996.
The win came after manager Peter Vermes criticized the team for its sub-par performance in a 2-0 loss to Vancouver last Sunday.
Gilberto delivered the lone goal for Toronto FC, which dropped to 9-8-5 after the loss ended its two-game winning streak.
Far from its disappointing performance against Vancouver, Sporting Kansas City pressed high from the opening whistle and looked for gaps in Toronto’s defense, which was missing Steven Caldwell and Mark Bloom due to injury.
Benny Feilhaber was driving toward the end line when he was brought him down with a bad tackle. Referee Drew Fischer pointed to the spot, and Dwyer broke a five-match scoring drought with a drive into the roof of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.
Dwyer doubled it in the 32nd after he was brought down by Doneil Henry just outside the 6-yard box.
The Reds pulled one back early in first-half stoppage time, though, on a pretty finish from Gilberto for his fifth goal of the year.
Sporting iced the win the 64th on Saad’s right-footed strike from distance for a 3-1 lead before Sapong ended scoring with a goal from close range in the 77th minute.
Sporting opens CONCACAF Champions League group play Tuesday at Nicaragua’s Real Esteli. Sporting and Toronto FC return to MLS action Aug. 23 with Sporting playing D.C. United at home and Toronto hosting Chicago.