Guest Blog: MCFC Midwest on Sporting Kansas clash
- 22 July 2014 08:22
- Posted by @MCFC_Midwest
Local City supporter Phil Antilla of MCFC Midwest gives us the lowdown on City's next pre-season opponents...
This Wednesday Manchester City, the Champions of England, will face off against Sporting Kansas City, the Champions of Major League Soccer in the United States.
Sporting Kansas City have become a staple of American soccer culture. The team was originally founded as the Kansas City Wiz (short for Wizards), however in 2010 they experienced a significant rebranding. The club was renamed “Sporting Kansas City”, the crest and kit were redesigned, and a new stadium was built specifically for the team - Sporting Park.
Since their rebirth the club has also discovered professional success. Sporting KC have become one of the most popular and successful teams in Major League Soccer, winning the U.S. Open Cup (similar to the English F.A. Cup) in 2012, and winning the league in 2013, making them the reigning champions of American soccer.
Although Manchester City are a world-class team, this fixture may be more complicated than one would expect. Unlike the rest of global football, the Major League Soccer season starts in March and ends in October. So while this may be a pre-season workout for Manchester City, their opponents are going to be in fine form. Sporting Kansas City are currently on a six match winning streak and sit in first place in their league.
"Additionally, with the return of their two World Cup stars, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, Sporting will look to finish their season even better than they started."
While City supporters living in England might overlook a pre-season friendly, this will be match that many in the United States are excited to see. “Soccer” culture in the U.S. has also grown significantly in the last 10 years.
The MLS has been able to lure players such as Thierry Henry, Jermaine Defoe, Tim Cahill, and Alessandro Nesta, as well as the recent additions of Kaka, who will play in Miami, and David Villa, who is the new star of Manchester City affiliate, New York City FC. City supporters might also be surprised to learn that the current top-scorer in the MLS is a certain Bradley Wright-Phillips, who is a product of the Manchester City academy, as well as brother to City legend Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Kansas City has also become one of the hubs of soccer culture in the United States. In fact, a local newspaper recently dubbed Kansas City as “the soccer capital of America”. Although Sporting Kansas City are well known for their fan support (including a rousing chant about BBQ), Manchester City players can expect to hear their own fans cheering them on this Wednesday.
Kansas City is home to MCFC Midwest (@MCFC_midwest on Twitter), a supporters club for City fans living in the Kansas area. Around 40 supporters will be meeting before the match on Wednesday to march to the stadium together and they will be prepared to belt out several renditions of “Blue Moon”, even if it does have to come from the away end.