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Archive for Friday, June 10, 2011

Electrifying draw: Sporting KC plays to 0-0 tie in stadium opener

The Kansas City Cauldron cheer on Sporting KC in its stadium opener against the Chicago Fire. The two teams played to a 0-0 tie on Thursday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

The Kansas City Cauldron cheer on Sporting KC in its stadium opener against the Chicago Fire. The two teams played to a 0-0 tie on Thursday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

June 10, 2011

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Sporting KC Forward Teal Bunbury, front, takes the ball downfield in the first half. Sporting KC and Chicago tied, 0-0, on Thursday in Kansas City, Kan.

Sporting KC Forward Teal Bunbury, front, takes the ball downfield in the first half. Sporting KC and Chicago tied, 0-0, on Thursday in Kansas City, Kan.

— Sporting Kansas City waited a long time for its own soccer-specific stadium. The club will have to wait a little longer for the first goal in its new home.

Sporting KC, sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, played to a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire on Thursday night’s much-anticipated opener in the first game played at Livestrong Sporting Park.

Sporting (1-6-4) earned a point, but gained no ground on Chicago, the team just ahead of Sporting in the standings. It was also Sporting’s second consecutive 0-0 draw.

The environment certainly lived up to the hype. Captain Davy Arnaud said he had never seen a soccer environment like it in Kansas City.

“Everything that we’ve been waiting for was bigger and better than I even thought it would be and could be,” Arnaud said.

Sporting’s best chance for a goal came when forward Omar Bravo was tackled hard from behind in the box in the final minutes. The referee didn’t give Bravo the penalty.

Coach Peter Vermes said he thought Bravo “100 percent” earned a penalty kick.

“For the referee to miss the moment in an environment like this tonight, there’s not a place in the world where it would’ve been missed like he did tonight,” Vermes said.

Sporting fought to earn a result after being reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute. Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was sent off for making a save outside of the goalie box.

Sporting mostly controlled play in the first half, but was unable to convert on a couple of nice scoring opportunities.

Fifteen minutes in, forward Kei Kamara slid a cross into the box from the right wing. The ball bounced through traffic to Graham Zusi, who coolly finished into the back of the net.

The home crowd ignited into a frenzy, but the near linesmen held his flag up for offsides, negating the goal.

In the 45th minute, Bravo found himself open in the six-yard box, but he could only lightly graze the ball with his head. It rolled harmlessly to Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

Before the opening kickoff, the organization put on quite a show.

Team CEO Robb Heineman thanked the crowd and then turned and faced the Members’ Club, the most dedicated Sporting fans.

“Welcome home,” Heineman said.

Lance Armstrong, representing Livestrong, also greeted the crowd with words of welcome.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who trained with Sporting in March during the NFL lockout, mingled with Sporting players while they warmed up.

Sporting KC is back on the road this weekend for a match at FC Dallas on Sunday. Next Friday, the club returns to Livestrong Sporting Park for a match against San Jose.

Comments

Shelley Bock 3 years, 3 months ago

No vuvuzela horns, autie. Please go dig your worms. I'll have my fun at the soccer stadium.

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Lindsey Buscher 3 years, 3 months ago

While a 0-0 draw appears to be an underwhelming outcome, I can't help but feel optimistic about Sporting KC and that stadium, I mean look at that atmosphere, it will probably be filled to the brim like that for every bigtime game, it can only be a boon for the KCK economy.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

A hundred years ago, "Sporting KC" would have meant something entirely different.

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50YearResident 3 years, 3 months ago

I like sporting. I like Sporting in KC. I don't like scoccer. I hear KC has a new scoccer team. Anybody know what the team name is?

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HighScore 3 years, 3 months ago

Sporting KC owner Robb Heineman and his staff have down a great job since taking over the club. The rebranding of the team, the development of the new stadium were both done with amazing speed and quality. Even navigating the new stadium (Livestrong Sporting Park) naming rights was impressive. My hats off to him and the entire organization. The only thing left to do is sign a jersey sponsor.

Livestrong Sporing Park is the greatest venue is the MLS. We will be landing some great international soccer matches (starting next week with the Gold Cup double-header) and will even start bringing some great concerts (Farm Aid) to the KC area that have never been here before.

This is the most excited I have ever been about a KC athletic franchise! Let's go Sporting KC!

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Tony Bushard 3 years, 3 months ago

+1 HighScore. I wish I was still in the area to get some tickets. Incidentally, I've known Robb since we were in 4th grade so I suppose I'll have to play the "it's who you know" card.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

How many euros do those natty little scarves cost?

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eastcoasthawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Guess you'll have to go to Europe to find out.

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eastcoasthawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Glad to see this stadium up and running. Should give KC Sporting a chance to be profitable plus successful on the field. Hope to make it to a game there one day.

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deec 3 years, 3 months ago

Your tax dollars at work.

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Shelley Bock 3 years, 3 months ago

For decades I never had the desire to ever spend any time or money in Wyandotte County. With Village West and Sporting Park, I now prefer going there than Johnson County. Seems like a good investment of tax dollars with plenty of return.

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