Sporting KC Fans Want One Thing: Silverware

With a city determined to attain more silverware, Sporting KC could be the last ones standing
by Katherine Rupp   |   Thursday, October 02, 2014

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

With Sporting Kansas City currently in third place in the Eastern conference on the way to just four more regular season matches, the team is looking for the positives in the negatives (i.e. losing a heart-wrenching 3-2 match at Sporting Park against the New England Revolution), but also to look ahead with confidence in each individual player and the collective team.

Additionally to the goings-on of this year’s team and the playoff implications to each game, there are a few other Kansas City-based sports events that could spur Sporting to excel in the last regular season games and subsequently in the post-season.

As this year’s team heads to the nation’s capital for the next MLS match, the team will also be honored at the White House for the 2013 MLS Cup winning season. There’s also another team in the Kansas City area that won a championship in August, and that team could be a catalyst for Sporting Kansas City to get their cleats in gear to go for another championship to then get the White House invite again.

FC Kansas City, the women’s team that plays in the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) took home the 2014 Final win against the Seattle Reign. With a parallel narrative, the Seattle Sounders in the Western conference of MLS, look to be a heavy contender for making their way through the playoffs in a good run. That said, it’d be uncanny if SKC and FCKC beat their respective rivals in the Sounders and Reign to hoist their league cup. Although the FCKC team didn’t have nearly as much fanfare, nationally, surrounding the final, there’s surely a different pep in the step of the women players and that’s just what the men with Sporting Kansas City would have if their confidence continues to grow and they have faith in the team to forge through the MLS playoffs.

Additionally, because of the disappointment in Kansas City sports for quite some time, and the explosion of Sporting Kansas City’s successes, the juxtaposition between winning and losing squads has put a heavier expectation upon Sporting Kansas City than other teams. And that expectation, although it is grounded in truth that Sporting Kansas City has been the best major league in the Kansas City area as of late (counting the KC Chiefs for NFL and the Royals in MLB – although they are in the playoffs for the first time in 28 years), has been embraced by the team in recent years; and it is no different this year as the men in blue head toward the MLS playoffs while still having to play the rest of the regular season playing the top team in the East as of now (DC United), a playoff contender with a possible MLS MVP candidate in Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls), a just-below-the-playoff-line-but-very-determined team with Maurice Edu at the helm (Philadelphia Union), and a Mike Magee-less that’s second-to-last in the Eastern conference (Chicago Fire).

With recent games having been turned around by Kansas City stalwarts, look to them as the players who are the solid rocks for the team to rally around. And if the team doesn’t rally around the encouragement from each other, there’s almost no doubt that the team will rally around city that it calls its home – Kansas City – that has been parched for championships but has certainly found a bright spot in Sporting Kansas City.

NEXT UP: October 3 – Sporting Kansas City v. DC United, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. 8 p.m. EST, NBCSN

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
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.
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