Preview: USA – MLS Cup – Final
Here we are, tonight this MLS Season will be over, because MLS Cup Final will be played between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake, that won respectively Eastern Conference and Western Conference, in Kansas City, because Sporting ended Regular Season in a better position, and the match will be sold out.
Speaking about the match, it should be quite balanced, the temperature will be very low and that could affect the game. Both of the teams play with 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2, come from relatively small cities, have good average attendances, often play in sold out stadiums and have won so far 1 MLS Cup.
Sporting Kansas City is a team from Kansas City, a city of Kansas of 145.768 inhabitants, that borders with an homonymous city in Missouri, and both cities form a metropolitan area with more than 2 million inhabitants. SKC is one of the 10 clubs that played in MLS starting Season in 1996, and was owned by Lamar Hunt, one of the father of football/soccer in U.S.A., that owned two other MLS teams at that time.
In August 2006 Lamar Hunt, who would have passed away few months later, and whose name would have been given to U.S. Open Cup (a knockout tournament, the oldest football/soccer competition in U.S.A., where teams from almost all the American soccer Leagues are involved), sold the club to a Group of local enterpreneurs, currently named Sporting Club.
In 2011 the club switched its name from Kansas City Wizard to Sporting Kansas City and started playing in Sporting Park, its new soccer specific stadium with a natural grass pitch and a capacity of 18.467, almost all of them covered.
It’s a very modern, maybe too much, stadium, with a powerful broadband, so that every spectator can access to internet with his mobile phone and use the official apps, allowing the club
to track their data and actions, in order to send them customized ads and offers during the game.
Sporting Kansas City has won so far 1 MLS Cup (2000) and 2 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups (2004, 2012), and 2013 reported an average attendance of 19.000 spectator per game, more than the official capacity of the stadium, while the main supporter Group is ”The Cauldron” (“Il Calderone”), a kind of bowl where wizards prepare their potions, and you can easily imagine that the Group was formed when the Club was still named Kansas City Wizards.
The Coach is Peter Vermes, who usually plays with 4-3-3, and the best and/or most famous players are:
Jimmy Nielsen (former Aalborg BK and Leicester City GK)
Aurélien Collin (former Vitoria Setúbal defender)
Matt Besler (defender, USMNT member)
Graham Zusi (midfielder and offensive winger, USMNT member)
Benny Feilhaber (USMNT member, former Hamburg SV, Derby County and AGF Aarhus midfielder)
Peterson Joseph (Haitian International, former SC Braga winger)
Claudio Bieler (former CA Colon, Colo Colo, LDU Quito, Racing Club de Avallaneda and Newell’s Old Boys striker)
Real Salt Lake is a team from Salt Lake City, a city of Utah with a metropolitan area of about 1.100.000 inhabitants. It entered MLS in 2004 and started playing in 2005, under the ownership of businessman Dave Checketts, that sold the Club in 2013 to Dell Loy Hansen, a real estate investor and formerly the club’s minority owner. The team plays its home match at Rio Tinto Stadium, a soccer specific stadium with a capacity of 20.213, ultimated in 2008 and situated in the suburb of Sandy, where the Club is officially located. The first three Season were quite disappointing for RSL, but later proved to be one of the best MLS teams, considering both the results - RSL has always reached Play-offs since 2008 and has won so far 1 MLS Cup (2009) and has played a CONCACAF Champions League Final (2010/11) narrowly lost to Monterrey - and the support, averaging 19.000 spectators per game in 2013 (there are eight official supporters groups, almost all of them situated in the South Stands).
Jason Kreis is more than a manager for RSL, he was the first signing of the team, and scored the first MLS goal in the history of the team. He was appointed manager in 2008 and drastically improved team results and performances. He usually plays with 4-3-3 and formed a group of players very solid and united, that has played togheter for several years, anyway next year he could leave the team and maybe become the manager of New York City FC, the new team of the Big Apple that will start playing in 2015.
The best and/or most famous players in RSL are:
Nick Rimando (GK, USMNT member)
Abdoulie Mansally (defender, Gambian International)
Kyle Beckerman (midfielder, USMNT member)
Luis Gil (midfielder, U-20 USMNT member)
Robbie Findley (former USMNT member and Nottingham Forest striker)
Álvaro Saborío (Costarican International, former FC Sion striker
T-Shirt created by fans of Real Salt Lake.