“Experts” Weren’t Exactly Sold On KC’s Selection of Rookie of the Year Sapong in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation As most of you probably already know, Sporting Kansas City forward CJ Sapong was named the 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year today. And while it was obviously an award well deserved for the 22 year old, former James Madison University star, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at what many of the media were saying about Sporting KC's selection of Sapong with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. The general consensus? Sapong was a reach for KC. Now, after a season in which Sapong dominated much of the MLS Rookie of the Year talk, it's safe to say Sporting KC probably selected the steal of the first round. A look back at the 10 players selected at the top of this year's SuperDraft: 1. Vancouver Whitecaps- Omar Salgado, F 2. Portland Timbers- Darlington Nagbe, M 3. D.C. United- Perry Kitchen, D 4. Chivas USA- Zarek Valentin, D 5. Philadelphia Union- Zac MacMath, GK 6. New England Revolution- AJ Soares, D 7. Houston [Read more...]

Ruben Luna Continues His Torrid Form, Nets Four Goals as FC Dallas Defeat Sporting KC Reserves 5-3

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation FC Dallas forward Ruben Luna put on a show against the Swope Park Rangers, netting four goals and leading Dallas to a 5-3 win over Sporting KC's reserve league squad. Luna opened the scoring in the 28th minute of action, when he was able to work his way past the Sporting KC defense, and slot the ball past goalkeeper Eric Kronberg. It was the 19 year old's Reserve League leading 7th goal of the year. However, It wouldn't take long for the Rangers to equalize, when Birahim Diop was fouled in the FC Dallas penalty area. The much maligned Jeferson took the following penatly kick, and converted, tying the match at 1-1 in the 37th minute. If I'm not mistaken, that would be Jeferson's first (and probably final) score for Sporting KC. The Swope Park Rangers were then able to take the lead right before halftime, when "The Trialist 1"* was able to score off of a Jeferson shot that was initially saved by Seitz. *I'm calling him The Trialist for now, [Read more...]

Houston Dynamo End Sporting Kansas City’s Storybook Season

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation Numb... that's really the only word I could find to explain just how I was feeling after Sunday night's match. I apologize for not writing this review earlier, but I felt like I needed to take a few hours to let everything sink in. It took me a while to realize just what had happened. That Sporting Kansas City won't be playing in the MLS Cup Final. After this amazing season, the amazing turnaround, and how well the team was playing towards the end of the year and into the playoffs. In 90 minutes or so, it was all over. That's the hardest part about these kinds of things. The sudden ending to such a great season, but with an ending I don't think any of us were expecting. It just doesn't seem like this was how the story was supposed to end for Sporting Kansas City. But, here we are, now one of the other sixteen teams on the outside looking in. Tonight was a perfect demonstration of what the playoffs are all about. That everything a team had [Read more...]

Sporting KC Dominates Rapids 2-0, Advance to Eastern Conference Finals

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation It a night where the rain came down in waves for most of the match, Sporting Kansas City were still able to dominate the Colorado Rapids 2-0, and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, to be held at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park this Sunday (November 6). Both Aurelien Collin, and CJ Sapong scored their goals via headers from Graham Zusi free kicks to give Sporting KC a 4-0 aggregate win over the course of the two match series. It was a dominating defensive performance for Sporting KC, as the Rapids were virtually shut down the entire match, from a Kansas City back line that was playing like their backs were to the wall. As expected, the second game of the two leg series was another chippy affair, with head referee Kevin Stott blowing his whistle 38 times throughout the course of the match. Stott handed out 7 total yellow cards.Towards the end of the game, Colorado appeared to lose their composure a bit, with Sanna Nyassi making a very hard [Read more...]

Bunbury, Sporting KC Look to Continue Hot Streak

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation In theory, Sunday night's match against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park should have been the hard part out of the two leg series between Sporting Kansas City and the defending MLS Cup champions. Sporting KC passed that test handily 2-0, behind a dominating performance from forward Teal Bunbury, and by taking advantage of a Rapids team depleted by injuries, and a suspension to defender Tyrone Marshall. Marshall is not the only player the Rapids will be without when the two teams face off at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park later tonight. Colorado's injury report also includes impact players Drew Moor,Kosuke Kimura, and Caleb Folan. All three players had to leave Sunday night's match with various injuries. Include those three players to an injury list that already includes team captain Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, and Conor Casey, and it's easy to see why Colorado may fail to repeat as champions in 2011. All signs point to Sporting [Read more...]

Bunbury Scores a Brace: Sporting KC Win First Leg 2-0 Over the Colorado Rapids

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation   Sporting Kansas City's performance in their 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids might be best described as a tale of two halves. After coming out somewhat flat for much of the first forty five minutes, Sporting KC were able to find their groove in the second, with a pair of goals from forward Teal Bunbury. Bunbury's brace, combined with the loss of a number of key Colorado players due to injury (Drew Moor, Caleb Folan, and Kosuke Kimura) and a Tyrone Marshall red card paved the way for a two goal aggregate lead for Sporting KC heading into the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal to be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park this Wednesday.

Sporting KC Season Review

Justin Mayhugh, KC SportsNation After taking a 4-1 beating from the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 14, many people -- fans and experts alike -- had written off Sporting Kansas City as an Eastern Conference bottom dweller. Their opinions were well founded, at least at the time. Sporting KC were in the middle of a brutal stretch of games; 10 matches on the road to start the season, in which the club was only able to collect six points. Hopes were fading fast for Sporting KC. In fact, the only hope that remained at that point seemed to be the opening of Sporting KC's new stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park. The team, after having spent years playing in make-shift  soccer venues (Arrowhead Stadium and Community America Ball Park), would finally see the completion of their permanent home in the beginning of June. Fans and players were no doubt excited about having one of the nicest soccer-specific stadiums in North America to call home, but still, no one could have anticipated what was to [Read more...]