On Saturday night, despite a 4-1 win at home for Sporting Kansas City against Minnesota United, the remarkably thin playoff hopes came crumbling down. KC needed to win (they did), needed Real Salt Lake to lose (they did) and needed the LA Galaxy to lose (they most certainly didn’t).
The Galaxy officially put KC out of the playoffs with an absolute demolishing of the Colorado Rapids. They were up 3-0 early, added a fourth and then went down a man to make it interesting but the Rapids forgot to show up. Colorado took until stoppage time to take advantage of being a man up before time ran out on the Rapids and ultimately KC’s playoff hopes.
This is the earliest playoff exist for Sporting in well over a decade. In 2019 they lasted until one game to go before it was officially over. There are two games remaining in 2022.
There are lots of things to look back on and fans will no doubt look at recent dropped points (two draws and a blown lead and ultimate loss to Austin FC seven games back). But the real focus should be on the slow start. Before the summer arrivals of new stars Erik Thommy and Willy Agada, the team was terrible. Since they’ve arrived, it’s been a remarkable turnaround.
MLS teams at the top of the table no doubt are breathing a sigh of relief that a surging SKC team won’t be there to upset them in a single-elimination playoff game.
Instead of being sad, Sporting KC sold out the game against Minnesota and the crowd was wild. This incredibly long preseason 2023 is underway (not really, but we’re calling it that) and there are plenty of things to be excited about. It’s hard to imagine where Sporting even fit a lot of these guys into the attack. The depth up front is such a luxury.
There is still work to be done in the offseason, but even with limited changes this team seems like it will be a contender.
Stick with The Blue Testament throughout the offseason (and the rest of this season) as there will be plenty of things to talk about, rumors to discuss and grand plans to lay out for Sporting Kansas City (not to mention all the other KC soccer teams, like the first place KC Current).