Basement dwellers as late as June, Sporting locked up first place in the East on Saturday night, knocking off D.C. United 1-0 at RFK Stadium to seal home field advantage throughout the postseason and complete their worst-to-first narrative. So champions? Maybe not. But the de facto team to beat in the Eastern Conference? No doubt.
When Sporting Kansas City wrapped up its record road trip to start the MLS campaign in June, the team's 1-6-3 mark was the league's worst. But thanks to a four-month surge driven by the club's raucous new venue and capped by a 1-0 win at D.C. United on Saturday, Kansas City will enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The 2012 SuperDraft is set for Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Kansas City Convention Center and will be held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention for the eighth straight year. For the 2012 version, the SuperDraft will be reduced from three rounds to two, making for 38 overall selections. The first round will be broadcast live on ESPN2 starting at noon ET.
Major League Soccer will hold its re-entry draft Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 for unsigned players. Teams will draft in the reverse order of their 2011 season finish, with the expansion Montreal Impact selecting last in 19th position.
With 22 SB Nation Soccer editors casting ballots, 11 different players received at least some consideration. This table shows how many 1st and 2nd place votes, how many total points (3 for 1st, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd) and how many ballots each player received. Click the player's name to go to their MVP profile:
For seven seasons at Kansas City – and then another in Colorado – he would constantly venture up the flank from his left back spot, load up on his left foot, and just let it fly. "He can crush a ball," said former Kansas City teammate Jimmy Conrad, who retired earlier this year. "He can crush it, and even if it skips a few times, you know it’s going in."
Sapong’s journey as a Major League Soccer rookie was more than adjusting to the rigors of playing soccer for a living. It was about becoming more mature in dealing with the next phase of his life. In soccer, that meant remaining confident, yet flexible with the demands of starting one day and coming off the bench the other and getting all sorts of instruction from different sources. It also meant on a personal level taking care of himself rather than expecting others to do it for him.
The undulating line measuring Chance Myers’ heart rate during training was far too static. Vermes and his staff weren’t seeing the peaks and valleys indicating heavy exertion followed by a quick recovery and the ability to do it all again in rapid succession typical of Sporting Kansas City’s other players. In short, Myers was having an unusual amount of difficulty getting enough oxygen.
The Houston Dynamo (6-4-0) earned a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City (3-4-2) in MLS Reserve League action at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park on Tuesday. Houston capitalized on their only two shots of the match, as Alex Dixon and Colin Clark each scored their second Reserve League goals of the season for the visitors.