HOW IT PLAYED OUT
The first 42 minutes of Wednesday night's fourth round U.S. Open Cup match was the type of performance your coworker or friend or Internet commenter casually brings up when wanting to give his or her very original and very hot take that MLS is not a good soccer league (all the while remaining adamant that he or she does not care about the argument to begin with). There were plenty of whiffs, slips and even more errant passes made to absolutely nobody — and it looked like fans were headed for a boring, even egregious, outcome.
Your coworker, friend or random Internet commenter would tell you watching paint dry was more exciting than those 42 minutes, and this time, he or she would've been right.
But as you know, blink once — or twice — and suddenly things happen out of nowhere in this league, and especially in this midseason tournament. Such was the case on Wednesday, as Sporting Kansas City got a jolt of energy in the form of two goals in three minutes before heading into the locker room for halftime.
That lead snowballed in the second half, as two more shots found the back of the net to help easily cement Sporting KC's place in the fifth round (or Round of 16 as U.S. Soccer has named it) of U.S. Open Cup play. The 4-0 win was decisive on the scoreboard and the stat sheet*, as the 15,000-plus in attendance went home forgetting what was such an ugly 42 minutes at the start.
*Sporting KC had 19 shots (8 on target) to Minnesota's 5 (0 on target) and 57 percent of the possession.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gerso has been a scoring machine for Sporting KC, relatively speaking. On Wednesday, he finally notched his first assist in Sporting blue, slicing a perfectly-weighted ball through traffic to Dom Dwyer, who made easy work of the finish. Not unnoticed, he also put another shot in the back of the net, and dazzled the home fans a handful of times with trickery on the ball, including a nutmeg early that gave him a chance to make it 1-0 long before Ike Opara's opening header in the 43 minute.
It was another solid performance from Sporting KC's dynamic winger, who was able to save his legs for a potential weekend start after exiting midway through the second half.
GIF OF THE MATCH
On the road against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at 8 p.m.