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Sporting’s New Rival

Move over Salt Lake and Houston, Kansas City is creating a new rivalry.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Sporting KC Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason can be a quiet and dark place for many fans as there’s not a lot of news going on until preseason starts. There’s the occasional rumor and the signings made official, but for the most part the offseason can become a long, slow time. Sporting Kansas City supporters’ group, the KC Cauldron has taken it upon themselves to liven up the offseason by creating a new rivalry for Sporting.

The whole thing started with the Cauldron posting a tweet on the 26th that quoted Five Thirty Eight’s global club ratings where Kansas City was ranked 335th ahead of the likes of Sion in Switzerland, Bari in the Italian second division, and Twente in Holland. Sporting was ranked one spot behind Swedish side IFK Goteborg. What followed was a string of tweets by the Cauldron making jokes about the Goteborg logo (a high lion cosplaying as a king) as well as promotional photos of some of the players. Over the next few days the jokes and jabs have followed from the Twitter account of the club’s largest supporters’ group.

The Cauldron’s followers on Twitter jumped in on the joke and started campaigning the club, its CEO Robb Heineman, and club president Jake Reid about deciding this ranking “on the field” in a friendly.

The posts by the Cauldron has earned some responses from Goteborg fans in Sweden, both on Twitter and in other online forums, and has also earned some coverage in the local paper, the Goteborgs-Posten, which apparently has a quote from Goteborg player Emil Salomonsson asking why they couldn’t do a training camp in the states and meet the team.

This type of social media engagement is something that has been the bread and butter of Sporting KC in the past to latch onto and use to generate some buzz around the team. Sure, in this instance, it’s not as big a deal as the Chad Ochocinco trial years ago, but it’s an organic development that the team has jumped on in the past.

If nothing else, it gives the fans something to have fun with killing time until some team related news actually comes out.