Philadelphia Union have had a heavy dose of players face off against their former clubs in recent weeks. Three weeks ago, Union leading goal-scorer Chris Pontius made his return to D.C. where he spent the first seven seasons of his career. Newly acquired Charlie Davies made an appearance against New England, a club he logged minutes for just a month ago. Saturday, striker C.J. Sapong will also face off against his former club.
Sapong was selected by Sporting Kansas City with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. His first goal with the club was a memorable one, recording the game-winner against San Jose Earthquakes. Sapong would go on to win Rookie of the Year in 2011, earning five goals and five assists.
Sapong had a nice run in Kansas City finishing in the top four in goals three consecutive years including a second place finish with nine goals in 2012. Despite the success, Sporting Kansas City decided to select striker Dom Dwyer in the 2012 draft.
Dwyer’s impact on the field came to fruition in during the 2014 campaign. He was second in MLS with 22 goals that season and recorded a goal in the playoffs before falling to Red Bulls 2-1. While Dwyer was scoring goals left and right, Sapong recorded a career low two goals and 811 minutes played. He was ultimately traded to Philadelphia in the offseason for the Union’s highest pick in the 2015 SuperDraft.
The comparisons between Sapong and Dwyer are inevitable. Both players are crucial to their respective club’s success and are the main source of goals for their clubs. Last season both Sapong and Dwyer were the team-leaders in goals scored and goals scored at home for their team. His nine goals tied a career high which was set in his 2012 campaign. Sapong was also tied for the team lead in game-winning goals.
This season Dwyer has a slight edge on Sapong in statistical categories, partly because Sapong missed three and a half weeks due to an ankle injury. Over the course of their careers, Dwyer has the edge on the attacking numbers, whereas Sapong has shared the wealth. Below is how the two have fared in their careers.
|C.J. Sapong||Career Totals||Dom Dwyer|
Sapong is expected to be in the starting lineup for the first time against his former club on Saturday. He came in as a sub last season logging 18 minutes, while recording one shot. One thing is certain, Sapong and Dwyer will do everything in their power to make an impact on the outcome of the match.