Felipe Gutierrez scored his fifth goal of the season to continue an exceptional start to his MLS career, but departed with an apparent foot or leg injury in Sporting Kansas City’s 1-0 home victory over D.C. United on Saturday night.
Gutierrez left the field under his own power in the 53rd minute for Sporting, who are unbeaten in their last four matches after defeating D.C. for the first time in seven league meetings.
Tim Melia made three saves to preserve K.C.’s first shutout of the season. Sporting entered Week 5 tied with D.C. for most goals allowed, each having allowed nine prior to Saturday.
D.C. was shut out for the first time in its opening five matches as it continues a stretch of 12 out of 14 on the road to start the season
Following a home match in nearby Annapolis, Md., in two weeks, the United will play eight away games before opening their new stadium, Audi Field, in July.
Kansas City outshot D.C. 22-13 and held 63 percent of the possession.
Signed from the Dutch league in February as a central midfielder, Gutierrez has been an offensive surprise en route to leading the MLS goal scoring race.
He gave the hosts the lead after only three minutes. With space on the left, the Chilean international weaved between defenders and into the penalty area. Then he unleashed low shot that redirected off defender Frederic Brillant’s legs to wrong-foot goalkeeper David Ousted as the ball rolled into the net.
Kansas City dominated for the remainder of the first half, and was perhaps unfortunate not to hold a larger lead at halftime.
D.C. performed somewhat better after the break, with coach Ben Olsen bringing on offensive minded substitutions in midfielder Zoltan Stieber and forwards Patrick Mullins and Dane Kelly.
But Kansas City still looked more likely to score.
Ousted came off his line to deny Johnny Russell in a 1-on-1 on the right side of the penalty area in the 84th minute. Gerso Fernandes also missed a wide open goal from a tight angle after rounding Ousted in second-half stoppage time.
—Field Level Media