Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber continued his stellar form of 2015 on Friday night, bagging a second-half brace to help his side record a 3-1 home win over Western Conference rivals FC Dallas.
Despite dominating proceedings, the hosts had to wait until the 65th-minute to open the scoring due to the shot-stopping prowess of Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, but the homegrown custodian could do little about Feilhaber’s spectacular free-kick.
After being fouled by Ezequiel Cirigliano on the edge of the box, the 30-year-old playmaker stepped up to deliver a low blast into the bottom right corner of the net to set the tone for a frantic final 25 minutes at Sporting Park.
11 minutes later, striker Dom Dwyer was brought down by Gonzalez just inside the penalty area, allowing SKC’s talisman to double their advantage from the spot with his second goal of the game.
Dallas managed to pull one back through Victor Ulloa 10 minutes from time but their hopes of a comeback lasted only three minutes before the clinical Dwyer produced a well-taken finish to ice the result and halt a five-match losing streak in the process.
Feilhaber was undoubtedly the star of the match, though, as the former Derby County man now has a career-high 10 goals and joint league-leading 14 assists in 27 MLS appearances so far this season.
With six regular-season games left, the 41-times capped American is one of the favourites for the MVP award along with Columbus Crew SC’s Kei Kamara and Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco, and his latest two-goal run-out will have done his chances of taking him the accolade no harm whatsoever.
Whether it will be enough to earn an international recall remains to be seen, however, as USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has continued to ignore his stellar performances in recent months, much to the confusion of fans and the media alike.
He will not be playing in next month’s Confederations Cup play-off match against Mexico either after being left off the 35-man provisional roster this week and, should the States go on to lose to their arch rivals, then the frustration over his ongoing absence is sure to come to a boil.