Sporting Kansas City are one of the most entertaining teams in MLS, as well as being one of the most successful in recent years, with MLS Cup victories in 2000 & 2013. Sporting KC, as they are often referred to, have also won the Supporters Shield (2000) and three Open Cups, in 2004, 2012 and just last season in 2015. Can they go all the way and claim their third MLS Cup in 2016? Previously known as Kansas Sporting Wizards, they changed their name in 2010 after they moved to their current stadium, Children’s Mercy Park.
They entered the MLS as a franchise in the 1996 season, and performed beyond expectations, finishing fifth in the Western Conference with a 17-15 record. ‘The Wiz’, as they were known at the time, beat FC Dallas (then Dallas Burn) in their maiden MLS playoffs, but lost the Western Conference final to perennial achievers, L.A. Galaxy.
The first season was a false dawn, with rock bottom years in 1998 and 1999 leading to then-manager Ron Newman being fired halfway through the 1999 season. Bob Gansler’s Wizards cast a spell over crowds home and away in his first full season in 2000, as The Wiz won both the Supporters’ Shield and their first-ever MLS Cup, triumphing after beating Chicago Fire 1-0 thanks to an 11th-minute goal from Miklos Molnar. Gansler’s tightening of the leaky 1998-99 defense saw the Wiz champions, and many people expected Kansas’ finest to push on.
It was another brief triumph that precipitated a decline. Barely scraping the MLS playoffs in 2001, they lost to Miami Fusion. In 2002, they once again trudged into the playoffs, qualifying with a 9-10-9 record that painted an average picture.
L.A. Galaxy duly defeated The Wiz in the first round. However, just as those two years were disappointing, 2003 saw a return to form, as The Wizards made it to the playoffs in a little better form, taking care of Colorado 3-1 in the first round. They should have seen off the San Jose Earthquakes, but after leading 3-1, managed to lose to a goal from Landon Donovan in the 117th minute of overtime to crash out.
In 2005, after the MLS expansion, The Wizards moved to the Eastern Conference. Four years of lean times followed, without the club qualifying for the playoffs once. But in 2008, they made the first knockout round and were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Columbus Crew, but the seeds of success were sown.
In 2012, the rebranded team started the season with seven consecutive wins, and although this form eventually dipped, a run to the Conference semi-finals where they lost to Houston was augmented by winning the 2012 U.S. Open Cup, beating the then-mighty Seattle Sounders in the finals. And in 2013, they triumphed to win their second MLS Cup, defeating Real Salt Lake 7-6 in a thrilling penalty shoot-out!
In 2015, Sporting KC came back to the Western Conference, and scraped a playoff position, finishing 6th to make the 12-team playoffs thanks to the change in system. Alas, the MLS Cup was not to be, as they were knocked out by the eventual winners, Portland Timbers. Can they become champions again in 2016?
Sporting KC Betting Lines Today
What are the odds on Sporting KC in their next game? Check back here to see the latest moneyline on another victory for Sporting Kansas City or whether you should be backing their opponents.
Sporting KC Scores & Schedule
The latest Sporting Kansas City results can be found right here, as well as their forthcoming schedule. They’ll be a tough game for any opponent, no matter where it’s being played.
Sporting KC Standings Right Now
Having been in the Western Conference for all but five years of their history, Sporting are finally back where they belong. Now, can they win the Western Conference?
How To Win At Sporting KC Betting
Sporting Kansas City were second favourites to win the MLS Cup in 2016 on April 7th, 2016 when they were tipped at +900. So does that represent great value, or should you be swerving that bet like a Brad Davis shimmy?
The reality about Sporting KC is that they are not one of the most thrilling sides to watch in the early part of the 2016 season. Conceding few but scoring only marginally more has seen them climb to mid-table but no higher yet, and a record of 4-4-2 says more about their unpredictability rather than consistency.
Against free-scoring teams, they are going to come unstuck, but we like backing them away from home against basement sides. Odds of +900 are only going to drift until they can solidify their attacks and convert far more chances than they were doing at the start of the season. Wait for value on that front.