Sport

Sporting Kansas City wins fourth US Open Cup in six years

Sporting Kansas City wins fourth US Open Cup in six years”

Sporting Kansas City won a fourth U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, beating the New York Red Bulls 2-1 at Children's Mercy Park in a game that wasn't as close as the scoreline suggested.

While other recent league powers, like the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake have stumbled and struggled to maintain a consistently high level as title contenders, Sporting KC reminded us on Wednesday that it has everything you want in a team. "If I remember correctly, 99 teams started out in this tournament, so for us to hoist the trophy in the knockout stage is pretty impressive for this group".

The fast-paced match featured plenty of chances for both Major League Soccer clubs, but it was the pint-sized Blessing whose header in the 25th minute put Sporting KC ahead to stay.

The Red Bulls' Michael Murillo had just won a free kick, but Kansas City quickly cleared and went on the counter-attack. Graham Zusi got the ball on the wing, and the USA national team mainstay curled in a cross Blessing managed to connect with between four defenders.

It was Salloi who came on and, despite a hip injury that had him questionable to play, he managed to get loose in the 66th minute and put a pass from Benny Feilhaber in the back of the net. Even though it was 2-0 until the beginning of stoppage time, NY could have easily tied things up. "If you look at both teams and the way they play, I think there'll be a good pace to the game".

The same can be said for the Red Bulls has a team, and once they wake up from the nightmare of another failed trophy bid, they will be met with the reality of their current situation. I'm gutted for them.

"When I first came to the Red Bulls, I was aware that this organization and numerous managers that coached here had not always taken this tournament seriously".

Sporting KC lifted its third U.S. Open Cup trophy in six years, and fourth major trophy during that span, on Wednesday night, making the club a flawless four for four in finals during Peter Vermes' stint as coach. As a player, Marsch won two MLS Cup titles and four Open Cup crowns.

Sporting KC's midfield celebration was led by the defensive trio of Zusi, Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic.

Interestingly, Marsch entered Wednesday having been a part of four U.S. Open Cup winners as a player, the last of which came in 2003 when he played for the Chicago Fire, who beat the Red Bulls in the only final they'd reached before this year.

"We knew this would be a very hard match in that they would come and throw everything forward", Vermes said. "They may have lost that combative side of the ball, but they have guys who can still score goals". "So do we. But one of the things about young guys is they have no fear, so they were coming the whole game". Sporting KC has shown it can thrive under pressure, and if it can get to the MLS Cup final in December, it would be tough to bet against a team that has made winning finals a consistent habit like no other MLS team has been able to do in recent years. Melia is now 11-0-2 in Open Cup matches.

NY is the only original MLS club that has never captured the MLS Cup or Open Cup.

Because of that, Marsch immediately placed an added emphasis on this tournament when he was hired three years ago. It's a good thing too, as the Red Bulls tried to attempt a late comeback in the match.

Sporting KC is now 10-0-5 at home this season and has outscored its opponents 30-9. As a player, Marsch won six major trophies, but in his time as Red Bulls coach, his team has lacked a killer instinct needed in big games. "When I came here, this was going to be something that we emphasized".



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