KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Sporting Kansas City missed out on several decent scoring chances, including two in a span of a couple minutes of the second half, and played Premier League club Newcastle United to a 0-0 draw on a brutally hot Wednesday night.
Sporting didn't record a shot on goal until the 65th minute, when substitute Soony Saad took control in front of the net, spun around and lined an attempt that Tim Krul saved with relative ease. Milos Stojcev had another decent chance moments later when his header on a well-played cross was just wide.
Danny Simpson put the only shot on goal for Newcastle in the 84th minute, and Krul preserved the draw when he made a leaping save of C.J. Sapong's hard shot in the final minute of regulation.
The fact that the match was an exhibition, combined with a heat index hovering around the triple digits, led to liberal substitutions at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Sporting Kansas City, which owns an 11-match unbeaten streak in Major League Soccer, pushed the tempo from the start against its European opponent, perhaps trying to use the heat to its advantage.
The weather in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Wednesday was overcast and about 60 degrees.
That tactic seemed to work early on. Graham Zusi got loose in the first couple minutes but was tackled before he could corral a pass, and Brazilian newcomer Jeferson showed off some nifty ball control in the eighth minute and scorched a shot just wide in the 15th minute.
Sylvain Marveaux nearly put Newcastle United ahead in the 21st minute when his shot from a tight angle skipped under the arms of goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, but it went just wide of the net.
Tempers flared a bit in the first half when Roger Espinoza was given a yellow card for a reckless tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa in the 31st minute. The Newcastle midfielder was taken off the field and straight into the locker room, and Shola Ameobi came on as a substitute.
Newcastle's Chiek Tiote was given a yellow card a few minutes later for unsporting behavior, and Sporting's Peterson Joseph was shown a yellow card in the 79th minute.
The game was among five Wednesday night involving MLS teams against Premier League clubs preparing for the start of their seasons. Philadelphia played Everton, Houston faced Bolton, Portland hosted West Brom and Philadelphia played Manchester United, which lost to Sporting in a friendly last year.
Summer signings Marveaux and Demba Ba made their first starts for Newcastle, which finished 12th in the standings last season. The club opens its regular season Aug. 13.