A few years ago the Kansas City Wizards were treating the U.S. Open Cup as a time for reserve players to gain experience. With the new name, logo, stadium, fans, and management came new expectations: win trophies. Sporting Kansas City has not won a major tournament since 2004 when they beat the Chicago Fire in extra time to win the U.S. Open Cup. After last seasons disappointing end, losing to the Houston Dynamo is the MLS Cup Semifinals, Sporting is determined to give the fans something to cheer about.
Tonight Sporting matches up against the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals at 6:30 CT. The game will be a tremendous test for Sporting as they are looking to revenge their 4-0 loss to the Union in late June. The game will be streamed live on the official YouTube channel of Sporting Kansas City and will be broadcasted live on Sports Radio 810 WHB.
Sporting Kansas City faces a must win game. After starting the season 7-0-0 the team’s energy and effectiveness has dwindled in recent games. Fans have been supporting the boys in baby blue well this season and deserve some compensation for their efforts. A win tonight and U.S. Open Cup final at LIVESTRONG Park on August 7th or 8th could revitalize the team and fans as Sporting heads in to post season play.
The lineup for Sporting is uncertain right now as this will be their 3rd game this week, and they face a tough conference opponent in the Columbus Crew on the road in just 3 days. Which ever players Coach Peter Vermis decides to start today better come to play. The Union are hot right now with 4 wins in their last 5 games, largely because of a potent offensive attack from Gabriel Gomez, Lionard Pajoy, and Freddy Adu. The three have combined for 11 goals this season and are thirsty for more tonight. With that being said, the Union’s defense, which has allowed 27 goals this season, should open up holes tonight for Sporting’s athletic forwards to exploit.
Prediction: Peter Vermis starts a practical lineup of Jimmy Nielsen©; Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi; Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong, and Jacob Peterson. The team keeps their shape well, exploits Phildelphia Union’s defense with Kamara and Sapong, and wins 2-1.
Here are some fast facts about Sporting Kansas City and the U.S. Open Cup
- Sporting Kansas City is currently in first place of the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-5-3 (33 points)
- Sporting Kansas City has reached the semifinal stage of the tournament with victories over Orlando City SC (USL PRO), Colorado Rapids (MLS) and Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)
- Tonight is Sporting’s first U.S. Open Cup game on the road this tournament
- Sporting Kansas City makes their third all-time appearance in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup and first since 2004
- The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest annual team tournament in American sports
- This years Open Cup is the 99th edition of the tournament
- The U.S. Open Cup is named after the club’s original founder Lamar Hunt
- After five rounds of single-elimination competition, Sporting Kansas City is one of four MLS teams remaining from the field of 64.
- Should Sporting KC advance to the Lamar Hunt. U.S. Open Cup Final, the club will host the semifinal winner between Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders FC on August 7 or 8 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.