Recapping a Historic Week in Kansas City

Kansas City received a great deal of national attention as well as earning 3 points at home
by Skylar Rolstad   |   Monday, April 08, 2013

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

A rare Friday night matchup with DC United capped off a busy, and historic week for Sporting Kansas City. The match almost takes a back seat to the other huge news released a day before and a few hours prior to kickoff on Friday night.

SKC ousts DC United at Sporting Park

The odd Friday night matchup that pitted Sporting Kansas City and DC United was a rather ugly one, but Kansas City fought through 89 grating minutes and found a winning goal from Claudio Bieler.

Neither team could finish chances, nor was there much conciseness in the midfield. Errant crosses and ill-advised passes flooded the middle of the field and resulted in 2 shots on goal for Sporting and only 1 for United.

Kansas City's defense remained sound, earning its 4th straight shutout. Lionard Pajoy was by far the most dangerous player on a DC team missing Nick DeLeon and veteran midfielder Dwayne De Rosario. The Colombian repeatedly beat Aurelien Collin around the corner and into the box. Collin made many last-ditch tackles and executed them to perfection, but was not quite as effective marking Pajoy. Had De Rosario not been injured, United might have grabbed a point on the road.

Yet another record is ready to be set by goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and his outstanding backline. So far this season, Sporting has gone 429 minutes without giving up a goal. Nielsen is on pace to break Tony Meola's shutout streak of 15 this year. Last year, Jimmy Nielsen was just one shutout shy of Meola's record.

NEXT UP: Sporting KC vs New York Red Bull, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J. 7:30 p.m. EST, MLS Live.

Vermes inducted into Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, it was announced that SKC manager Peter Vermes had been voted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame along with US National Team legend Joe-Max Moore.

Vermes was capped 67 times for the national team, and played on the 1997 MLS Cup runner-up Colorado Rapids and the 2000 MLS Cup Champions Kansas City Wizards. Many thought Vermes had a rather weak case for a Hall of Fame election; it would seem that his success as a coach and technical director in Kansas City had an influence on those who elected Vermes into the Hall of Fame.

KC considered for development center

The biggest news of this week came a matter of hours before Sporting would kickoff at Sporting Park. Around 4 p.m. on Friday it was revealed that Sporting Club and US Soccer would evaluate Kansas City as a potential site for a national coaching and training development center.

Needless to say, the implementation of such a facility would make Kansas City more than the hub of soccer in the midwest, but of the entire country.

The projected center is estimated to cost $50 million and would host US National Team camps as well as coach and referee development.

KC Athletics win in US Open Cup Qualifying

On Saturday, Kansas City's amateur KC Athletics triumphed in the first round of US Open Cup qualifying.

The Athletics played FC Indiana from Indianapolis and defeated it handily 3-1 at Olathe Northwest High School. This amateur team, made up of players that pay to participate in the Open Cup and renting places to play at, qualified for the US Open Cup last year and won 1 game, beating Real Colorado, 3-1.

The next game for the Athletics is Saturday, April 20, in the US Open Cup qualification semifinal. The winners in the semis earn berths in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Their opponent will be Dearborn Stars SC from Dearborn, Mich., which you may recognize as the hometown of Sporting Kansas City forward Soony Saad. Saad's brother Hamoody plays for Dearborn.

Skylar ROLSTAD

Nationality:
USA
College:
Univ. of Kansas
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
AC Milan
A student at the University of Kansas. He writes for the Sporting Kansas City club column for Soccer Newsday and is a regular at Sporting Park. His passion for soccer can best be described as unhealthy.
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