From 0 wins in 10 games to the Conference Semis
Tonight at Childern’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS, Sporting Kansas City completed the second leg of an amazing climb back up to the top of Major League Soccer when they beat top-seeded St Louis City Soccer Club 2-1 to win the best of 3 second round series in the Western Conference Playoffs.
While coming into the season this would have been the expected outcome the season played out quite different with expansion St Louis running out to top the table in the Western Conference while former two-time MLS Cup Champion Sporting crashed out of the gate with no wins and 7 losses in the first 10 games. At the time long-time Manager Peter Vermes consistently said that Sporting would be good once they got their players back and to the surprise of many early season critics he was right.
Sporting started the season without dynamic Team Capatain Johnny Russell, key distributor Gadi Kinda and Striker Alan Pulido, leaving them without 3 of their top 4 offensive threats with only Daniel Salloi starting the season with regular playing time.
In this series the depth the was built in the season showed as Defender Logan Ndenbe played a huge role in the attack as well scoring in both legs of the series and fellow Defender Jake Davis helping spark multiple opportunities to an aggressive Russell when given the chance today.
The end is only the beginning of a great rivalry for the cross-state teams as the Kansas City vs St Louis battle is now home on the Pitch as well.
Sporting will advance to take on the winner of the Houston Dynamo vs Real Salt Lake series as the MLS Playoffs continue.