Sporting Geared up for Championship rematch with Real Salt Lake

Brandon Wolak (@Baron_von_KC), KC SportsNation The confetti has barely settled from December 7, 2013 when Sporting Kansas City hoisted the MLS Cup after defeating Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks. Real Salt Lake’s Lovel Palmer sent his try into the crossbar and history was made. The two teams will meet at Sporting Park at 7:30 tonight for the first time since that frigid December night. The rematch from last year’s championship game should not lack in drama. A lot has happened in the few months since the clubs last met. Heck, a lot has happened in the last few weeks and days. Let’s start with Sporting (2-1-1) The team enters on a bit of a roll. Dom Dwyer’s emphatic game-winning stoppage time golazo against the Colorado Rapids was a real thing of beauty. If you haven’t seen the goal, please do. I’m pretty sure Dwyer needed to register his left foot as a lethal weapon after the match. Sporting showed real moxie coming from behind after conceding two penalty kicks to Colorado, and the [Read more...]

Sporting Kansas City Reaction: Sporting fall 5-1 to Cruz Azul

Brandon Wolak, KC SportsNation Losing 5-1 (5-2 on aggregate goals) to Cruz Azul during CONCACAF Champion’s League play feels like a watershed moment for Sporting Kansas City. Moments like these have been few and far between for the club in recent memory, but they aren’t without precedent. In 2011 — “the year of the Sporting rebrand”— I remember driving home from work in early June. I was listening to 810 WHB, and Kevin Kietzman and company were taking a good hard look at how miserable Sporting were playing. The team’s first 10 games were on the road as Livestrong was being completed, and they had compiled a 1-6-3 record, and they terrible and they were playing a boring and unappealing brand of soccer.  The synergy around the club could not have been worse. Somewhere around 20 minutes into the thrashing, Robb Heineman called into the program. In my 25 years as a sports fan, I had never heard a team owner call into a sports talk show. I thought, “Well, this will be interesting. The [Read more...]

Another late goal costs Sporting in 1-1 draw to FC Dallas

Brandon Wolak, KC SportsNation A stoppage time goal thwarted an otherwise beautiful effort by Sporting Kansas City (0-1-1) in the club’s MLS home opener against FC Dallas (1-0-1) as the two sides played to a 1-1 draw. After controlling much of the possessions during the duration of the match, Sporting took a 1-0 lead on their first goal against an MLS team this season – an Aurelien Collin header (on a corner kick from Benny Feilhaber) in the 81st minute. That glory would be short lived as FC Dallas’s Matt Hedges answered with a goal of his own nine minutes later after replacement referee Abbey Okulaja awarded a controversial foul in favor of David Texeria just outside the box after Texeria went to the ground after minimal contact from Uri Rosell. On the ensuing set piece, Michel directed a perfect ball towards the far post where Hedges found space streaking towards the six yard box. Hedges emphatically headed the ball past SKC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg to tie the game at 1-1. The [Read more...]

Sporting lose a 1-0 heartbreaker in Emerald City

Brandon Wolak, KC SportsNation Frustrating. Disappointing. Heart breaking. The Seattle Sounders defeated Sporting Kansas City yet again in stoppage time. This same scenario has played out no fewer than five times in less than four years. In the 94th minute of the match, Chad Barrett found the back of the net, and Sporting is now left to pick up the pieces going into the home leg of CONCACAF Champions League play against Cruz Azul on Wednesday. As expected, head coach Peter Vermes went with a starting lineup that allowed several key starters to heal up and rest. Defenders Josh Gardner and Kevin Ellis started in place of Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers respectively, and Lawrence Olum started in the midfield in place of Uri Rosell.  Jacob Peterson also got a starting nod at forward in place of Claudio Bieler. It was clear from the start of the match that Sporting would be content to play for a decision. This would have become a reality if not for the comedy of errors that took place in [Read more...]

With preseason now behind Sporting Kansas City, the club sets its sights on defending the MLS Cup and adding additional hardware

Brandon Wolak, KC SportsNation The 2013 MLS season came with great success for Sporting Kansas City. With an overall league record 17-10-7 – good enough for second place in the race for the Supporters Shield – the team rallied to MLS Cup glory in front of the home supporters at a frozen Sporting Park. Now, the 2014 edition of Sporting is tasked with defending the title while subsequently juggling a full slate of MLS, U.S. Open Cup, and Champion’s League games. Sporting Kansas City returns 10 out of 11 starters, with longtime goalkeeper and captain Jimmy Nielsen being the only starter absent. Nielsen retired following the 2013 season, and he is now the coach for Sporting affiliate Oklahoma City Energy FC. Eric Kronberg looks to replace Nielsen in goal, and Kansas City native Matt Besler was recently announced as captain. Leading goal scorer Claudio Bieler (10 goals) is back for his sophomore season in MLS, as is assist leader Graham Zusi (8 assists). The league’s most dominant back [Read more...]

Despite Recent Sucess, Sporting KC Determined To Improve

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation On Tuesday Sporting Kansas City introduced the club’s newest acquisition, Argentinean forward Claudio Bieler, at a press conference at Livestrong Sporting Park. Bieler, 28, will become the fourth designated player in the club’s history (the others being Claudio Lopez, Omar Bravo, and Jeferson). The signing of the former LDU Quito target-man probably caps off what has been a fast-paced and furious off season for Sporting KC, with the team adding a total of five players that should help keep the club  in contention for the MLS Cup, and also allow them the roster flexibility to compete in three different competitions (MLS, US Open Cup, Champions League) in 2013. With the loss of salary cap casualty Julio Cesar, as well as midfield-engine Roger Espinoza, it was clear at the end of a fine regular season, yet disappointing 2012 playoff campaign, that Sporting KC were going to have some major holes to fill if they were going to continue their [Read more...]

It Looks Like Sporting Kansas City Will Be Adding Another Player

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation Sporting Kansas City have been wheeling and dealing so far this off season. For those who haven't been able to follow the flurry of off season moves, here's a quick recap: 11/21/2011- Sporting Kansas City trade forward Ryan Smith to Chivas USA for first and third round picks in this year's supplemental draft. 11/23/2011- Sporting Kansas City waive Jeferson, Craig Rocastle, Milos Stojcev, and Scott Lorenz. 11/23/2011- Left back Seth Sinovic selected by the Montreal Impact in the MLS Expansion Draft. 11/28/2011- Sporting KC acquire MF Paulo Nagamura from Chivas USA. 11/28/2011- Montreal trade Seth Sinovic back to KC for Davy Arnaud and allocation money. 11/28/2011- Sporting KC 2011 MVP Jimmy Nielsen signs an extension with the club until 2013, with a option for 2014 as well. 11/29/2011- Sporting KC assistant coach Octavio Zambrano leaves KC to coach Deportivo Pereria. As you can see, there's been a lot going on with the club [Read more...]

Sporting KC Trade for MF Paulo Nagamura from Chivas USA

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation On November 21st, Sporting Kansas City traded forward Ryan Smith to Chivas USA for first and third round picks in the supplemental draft. A little over a week later, Sporting used that first round pick to trade for 28 year old Chivas midfielder Paulo Nagamura. Nagamura fits the profile for what many expected this particular signing to be: a veteran role player that will provide depth and versatility to a Kansas City midfield that has seen Davy Arnaud, Craig Rocastle, Jeferson, and Milos Stojcev leave the club in one fashion or the other (Arnaud was traded to Montreal- Rocastle, Jeferson, and Stojcev were released).

Sporting KC trades Arnaud to Montreal to get Sinovic back

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation In my post from a couple of days ago where I took a look at Sporting Kansas City's current roster and potential holes for the club to fill, I listed the left back position as one that needed to be looked into. Only a few days ago 2011 starting left back Seth Sinovic was selected by the Montreal Impact in this year's MLS Expansion Draft, presumably leaving Sporting Kansas City with no clear-cut choice to fill Sinovic's shoes. We also knew that Sporting KC were making a player signing announcement sometime early Monday afternoon, and a little after 1:30PM we found out just who would be filling Sinovic's left back spot. It will be none other than...Seth Sinovic. Sporting Kansas City announced yesterday that they had agreed on a trade with the Montreal Impact that would send Sporting midfield veteran Davy Arnaud to Montreal in exchange for Sinovic, and allocation money. Now, I had seen a few people on twitter a couple of days ago bring up the [Read more...]

Omar Bravo Questions His Future with Sporting Kansas City

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation According to a report from Andrew Wiebe of MLSsoccer.com, it appears Sporting Kansas City forward Omar Bravo is rather unhappy with his role in the club's 2-0 loss to Houston in the Eastern Conference Final, and the report goes on to quote Bravo essentially saying that he's not 100 percent sure about his future in Kansas City. Bravo via Wiebe's MLSsoccer.com article: "I am super happy [in Kansas City]," he told Univisión, "but I have to think about the professional aspect, and obviously situations like [Sunday] give a lot to think about and talk about with Peter, with Robb [Heineman, SKC owner] and everyone in Kansas City." It definitely sounds like Bravo was pretty upset with his playing time in the Final. A lot of that frustration, as the article eludes to, is that Omar felt as if he was 100 percent recovered from the quad strain that had previously kept him out of the Colorado Rapids series. Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes [Read more...]