KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- It's unlikely any Earthquakes players will be voting for Kansas City as one of Major League Soccer's friendliest places to visit anytime soon.
Not only did the Quakes endure chilly temperatures and brisk north breezes that sent wind chills into the 20s, but they saw their losing streak here stretched to eight games in a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City in front of an announced crowd of 19,368 at Sporting Park.
The Earthquakes (0-1-1) haven't won in Kansas City since 2004, when they beat the then-Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium.
"It's definitely tough to win on the road," said Earthquakes coach Mark Watson. "Teams come at you with a lot of aggression and intensity. You have to match it, and I think we did that tonight. In the end, it just wasn't quite good enough."
A penalty kick from Sporting's Dom Dwyer in the 57th minute was the only goal of the game.
The decisive play occurred during a full-on scrum in the Quakes' box, the ball ricocheting several times among a pack of players from both sides before Steven Lenhart was whistled for a hand ball by referee Ricardo Salazar. On the ensuing penalty kick, Dwyer rolled a shot past goalkeeper Jon Busch, who guessed wrong in diving to his left.
"It was quite a sloppy game," said Quakes defender Clarence Goodson, who received a yellow card for dissent following the Lenhart hand ball. "I think the field (conditions) was a carryover from the final (last December). It was difficult circumstances for both teams. But, it was definitely a hand ball."
The Earthquakes failed to mount much of an attack throughout the game, finishing with just one shot on goal, but stayed close most of the way with a series of excellent defensive plays.
In the 18th minute, a header from Sporting K.C.'s Ike Opara was headed into the San Jose goal, but Quakes midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi sprinted in and cleared the ball off the goal line.
Eight minutes later, Busch got a hand on a hard strike from Graham Zusi from 10 yards out, deflecting the shot over the goal line. Busch made his best save in the 55th minute when Zusi floated a ball to Opara inside the Quakes' six-yard box. His header was sharp, but Busch was able to get a hand on the ball and tipped it over the crossbar.
The Earthquakes' best scoring opportunity came in the 71st minute when midfielder Shea Salinas ran onto a loose ball in the K.C. area, about 10 yards out, but his hard strike missed wide left.
After a stretch where they've played four games in 12 days, the Earthquakes now have some time off before hosting the New England Revolution next Saturday.
"It's going to be great to have a full week of training," Goodson said. "That makes a world of difference."
New England (0-2-1)
at Earthquakes (0-1-1), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA