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Sporting Handed Another Team Their First Home Loss

A look at Kansas City’s history of handing team’s their first loss in a stadium.

MLS: Sporting KC at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday in Los Angeles, Sporting Kansas City became the first team to leave Banc of California Stadium with all three points with a 2-0 win after goals by Gerso Fernandes and Ilie Sanchez. The win combined with other results put Kansas City back into second place in the Western Conference. As Sporting mentioned after the game, this is the sixth current stadium that KC has handed a team its first league loss at. The six stadiums are some of the toughest places to play in the league. Here’s those six stadiums and the dates that Kansas City recorded the first win there.

4/28/2007 - Toronto FC - BMO Field

4/11/2009 - Seattle Sounders - CenturyLink Field

5/16/2009 - Real Salt Lake - Rio Tinto Stadium

5/12/2013 - Houston Dynamo - BBVA Compass Stadium

3/28/2015 - New York City FC - Yankee Stadium

8/11/2018 - Los Angeles Football Club - Banc of California Stadium

That’s an impressive list and the most in the league by far during that time frame (the most any other team has is two). Go all the way back to 1996 and KC actually has two more stadiums where they’ve handed team’s their first league loss.

To get there I looked at every team’s primary stadium over each season of the league so far. For this, I labeled primary as where they played the majority of their games, so Empire Field in Vancouver is on the list because in 2011, they played 13 of their 17 home games there, with just four being played at BC Place.

I also didn’t put returns on the list, so the Dallas Burn’s return to the Cotton Bowl after a year at Dragon Stadium doesn’t count. There are 44 locations that teams have had as their primary venue for MLS games in league history. KC’s eight wins is the most of any team, although this one is closer, with New England having six first wins at stadiums.

Here’s the full list for Kansas City:

4/21/1996 - San Jose - Spartan Stadium

4/8/2006 - Houston - Robertson Stadium

4/28/2007 - Toronto - BMO Field

4/11/2009 - Seattle - CenturyLink Field

5/16/2009 - Real Salt Lake - Rio Tinto Stadium

5/12/2013 - Houston - BBVA Compass Stadium

3/28/2015 - New York City FC - Yankee Stadium

8/11/2018 - Los Angeles FC - Banc of California Stadium

The first thing most KC fans will notice is that Houston appears on the list twice as KC gave them their first loss at both Robertson Stadium and at BBVA Compass Stadium. KC got a 2-1 win in the Dynamo’s inaugural season, capped off by a late winner by Jose Burciaga Jr from distance. In 2013 KC did it again after the Dynamo had gone undefeated for their first year at their soccer specific stadium, Aurelien Collin scored the winner off a long throw from Seth Sinovic to give KC a 1-0 win.

As for the other games, the 1996 win over the San Jose Clash at Spartan Stadium was actually via the shootout, after the 90 minutes ended in a 2-2 draw. The shootout went 16 rounds with Uche Okafor scoring the deciding goal for the Wiz.

After a long time between wins, KC got the win at Robertson and after that it started to become more of a regular occurrence for KC. In 2007, KC had the task of opening up BMO Field in Toronto for the expansion side’s first home game. Three days after a 3-0 win at Arrowhead Stadium, the Wizards went into Toronto and got a 1-0 win thanks to an Eddie Johnson goal.

In 2009 KC got a pair of wins in venues, becoming the first team to win, not just in Seattle, but defeat the expansion side period. After winning their first two games at home without allowing a goal and then going on the road to beat Toronto 2-0, Seattle hosted the Wizards for their fourth game. An early red card to Kasey Keller for a hand ball outside the box gave KC a man advantage for most of the game, but it wouldn’t be until the 80th minute when a shot from distance by Davy Arnaud would give KC the win. Later that year, in Salt Lake City, KC handed RSL their first league loss at home (RSL had lost to the New York Red Bulls in the playoffs at home the season before) thanks to a pair of goals from Josh Wolff to win 2-0.

In 2015 KC got the first win at Yankee Stadium, with Ike Opara continuing his good start to the season, scoring off a Matt Besler long throw to defeat the expansion side 1-0.

For those curious about KC’s first losses at home, the first loss at Arrowhead came to the Dallas Burn in a 3-2 loss on May 11th of their inaugural season. The first loss at Community America Ballpark came in a 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution. The first loss at Children’s Mercy Park was some payback by the Sounders as they handed KC their first loss at their soccer specific stadium in what was traditional KC vs Seattle format, scoring late to win the game as the Sounders scored in the 90th and 92nd to take all three points.

So KC leads the way among both the current venues used by all teams along with historical venues as well. Over the next couple years they may get a few more chances to with Cincinnati, Miami, and Nashville coming into the league, along with the potential relocation of the Columbus Crew. Plus there will be an opportunity when Minnesota United open their new stadium. The three expansion teams may be tough though as they all seem likely to be Eastern Conference teams.