Sporting KC carrying momentum into the US Open Cup

Sporting KC forward Soony Saad. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Sporting KC forward Soony Saad. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Sporting KC is enjoying a solid season right now as they stand atop the Western Conference. They will hope to keep up that momentum in the US Open Cup.

After something of a slow start to their 2017 MLS campaign, Sporting KC has come alive and now sits on top of the Western Conference. SKC has emerged as one of the better teams in the league this year after a mediocre showing in 2016. Now Sporting turns their sights to an honor they’ve won several times, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

For those of you who are only passingly familiar with soccer, it’s all about the tournaments. Unlike other team sports that are popular in the US, soccer has a tournament for everything. In MLS, apart from winning the league trophy (the MLS Cup), teams also compete for the US Open Cup, along with almost every other soccer club in the country.

The US Open Cup is just that…open. All three of the recognized professional leagues (MLS, North American Soccer League, and United Soccer League), as well as many minor league clubs, are able to compete for this honor. The competition has actually been underway for some time as the first three rounds consist of just the minor league teams.

Related Story: Sporting KC: New Additions Paying Off On Offense

Things Will Get Interesting

More from Sporting Kansas City

However, this week marks the start of US Open Cup play for the professional teams. For Sporting KC, that means a rematch against Minnesota United FC. This should be good news for SKC as they wiped the floor with Minnesota the other weekend. Sporting will also have home field advantage.

The tournament is single-elimination, so Sporting can’t afford to take a day off here. SKC is a team looking to regain their title as one of the toughest in all MLS. Winning the US Open Cup goes a long way towards making that statement. Losing in their first match is really not an option.

Sporting KC should be an easy favorite in their upcoming match, but there are some complications. Most notably is that both Matt Besler and Graham Zusi just played a game for the USMNT last night. Whether the two are ready to go for Wednesday will be something to watch.

Sporting KC has already had a fairly impressive 2017 season so far. There is a long ways to go yet, and plenty of accomplishments still to earn. However, this is a team with the talent to make a lot of noise this year. That starts this week with the beginning of US Open Cup play. The boys in blue need to come out guns blazing this week.