The Western Conference team, who has returned to play in the west after 10 seasons in the Eastern Conference. Sporting KC began playing in the MLS in 1996, then known as Kansas City Wiz. In their long history in the MLS, Sporting Kansas City won the MLS Cup twice, won the Supporter’s Shield once and won the U.S. Open Cup 4 times. As for their last season, Sporting Kansas City finished 1st in the West and 3rd overall. Sadly, they lost the conference finals against Portland Timbers, who prevented them to achieve their 3rd MLS Cup. As for the U.S. Open Cup, Sporting KC only reached the quarterfinals.
Head Coach: Peter Vermes
Former Kansas City Wizards and US National team player, Peter Vermes has established himself as one of the best defenders in the U.S. With his performances as a player, Peter Vermes got elected to the U.S. Hall of Fame. As for his coaching career, he has been in charge of Sporting Kansas City since 2009, which was and is the only team he coached. This also makes him the longest-tenured manager/head coach in the whole MLS league. In 2012 he won his first piece of silverware as a head coach, leading the Sporting KC to the U.S. Open Cup. Following year, Sporting KC won the MLS Cup which they won after a penalty shoot-out. As an interesting fact, this also made him the only person to win the MLS Cup as both a player and a coach. His 3rd Cup came in 2015 when Sporting KC defeated Philadelphia Union in the finals of the U.S. Open Cup. Two years later another he won yet another U.S. Open Cup.
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|Date||Name||Moving from||Moving to||Mode of Transfer|
|December 18, 2018||Kelyn Rowe||Colorado Rapids||Sporting Kansas City||Trade|
|January 1, 2019||Botond Baráth||Budapest Honvéd||Sporting Kansas City||Free|
|December 14, 2018||Rodney Wallace||New York City||Sporting Kansas City||Free|
|February 5, 2019||Abdul Rwatubyaye||Rayon Sports||Sporting Kansas City||Transfer|
|December 14, 2018||Erik Hurtado||Vancouver Whitecaps||Sporting Kansas City||Trade|
|December 18, 2018||Diego Rubio||Sporting Kansas City||Colorado Rapids||Trade|
|January 5, 2019||Khiry Shelton||Sporting Kansas City||SC Paderborn 07||Free|
|January 28, 2019||Ike Opara||Sporting Kansas City||Minnesota United||Trade|
|December 13, 2018||Kharlton Belmar||Sporting Kansas City||Nashville SC||Free|
|December 18, 2018||Amer Đidić||Sporting Kansas City||San Antonio FC||Free|
Expectations for the 2019 season
After great season behind them, when they finished 1st in the West and 3rd overall in addition to reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, the expectations are high for this team. I believe they are among top 5 contenders to win the MLS in 2019 season, maybe get the 5th title of the U.S. Open Cup. I will gladly follow this team on their quest for yet another title.