Sporting KC Playing Major Role in MLS, Elsewhere

With CCL matches starting up and MLS winding down, Sporting KC find a happy medium
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, August 20, 2014

State of SKC - column on Sporting KC (SKC) & the Kansas City soccer scene.

It’s that time of year again: kids are back in school, the summer is winding down, Premier League matches are back, Major League Soccer is ramping up to an oft-exciting finish in its regular season and those teams who have qualified are just starting up their CONCACAF Champions League campaigns.

And Sporting Kansas City is certainly no stranger to this crazy time of year when games become more important in MLS and other games – like in the CCL – commence.

Sporting Kansas City has often put stock in other campaigns and this year is no different. In the CCL – which kicked off on Tuesday, August 18, for Sporting KC against Real Esteli of Nicaragua – SKC coach Peter Vermes deployed a strong squad consisting of the usual suspects who would feature in a starting XI lineup in an MLS game.

With the owners of Sporting Kansas City – namely Robb Heineman – expressing the desire for more championship rings, be it for MLS or other competitions, whoever is put out on the pitch is looking to bring that devotion to ambition to fruition. Subsequently, the further Sporting Kansas City advances in league play and in competitions, the better known the club becomes to then entice players to play for the boys in blue.

Oftentimes in ‘off years’ when Sporting KC has done well in MLS league play, the team has not qualified for the CCL – or did not do as well as what could be expected in US Open Cup play. The outliers, however, include 2012 – when Sporting KC took home the US Open Cup against the Seattle Sounders, in addition to taking first place in the Eastern conference – as well as 2013, which ended with Sporting KC taking second place in the Eastern conference, winning the MLS Cup, making it to the Round of 16 in the US Open Cup and reaching the Quarterfinals of the CCL.

Additionally, MLS being in its final months of play for regular season, of which, Sporting Kansas City is currently in first place leading DC United and Toronto FC, caps off the busyness of this summer season. But with more significance to games, that means Sporting KC won’t take any games lightly.

The saying goes that the more power, the more responsibility – that statement lends truth to Sporting Kansas City as the stronger Sporting KC get in MLS, in depth, quality, and as challenging opponents, the greater responsibility the team has to perform well on a larger stage such as the Concacaf Champions League. As Sporting Kansas City continue on a path of greatness for this year and in the future in Major League Soccer, the US Open Cup, and the Concacaf Champions League – and as seen, Sporting KC is willing to bet the house when the stakes don’t change, and when the house always wins, that’s a good thing – so keep the expectations high for the men from Kansas City.

NEXT UP: August 23 – Sporting Kansas City v. DC United, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas. 8:30 p.m. EST, MLS Live.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.