Kansas City is arguably one of the best sports cities in America and there is no doubt this is a great time be a KC sports fan.
In the past three months, Sporting Kansas City and FC Kansas City both won championships in less than 24 hours of each other and the Kansas City Royals won both the American League Division Series and the American League Champion Series.
To start this championship winning streak, last month two local professional soccer teams put the meaning back into KC’s nickname “The Soccer Capital of America.”
On Sept. 30, Sporting Kansas City appeared in their third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in Philadelphia to face the Philadelphia Union – the team was looking for a win after losing last year to the Seattle Sounders FC.
Through on-and-off raining conditions, both teams performed well during both halves, even though the Union’s forward Sebastien Le Toux scored the first goal in the 31st minute. Later Sporting KC’s Benny Feilhaber scored the equalizer in the 75th minute forcing the game into extra overtime. Despite endless scoring opportunities, Sporting KC soon found themselves in the penalty shootout.
This shootout proved to be a real nail-biter, with players from each team taking turns attempting penalty kicks. With the score tied, Forward Jacob Peterson was next to kick. However, Jordi Quintilla – who joined the squad last month – said to Peterson, “Jake, I go.”
Quintilla walked up to the line, faced Philadelphia’s goalie, then he struck. In one quick motion, the ball beautifully found its way to the back of the net, sending Sporting Kansas City home with their third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title. Philadelphia was the first team since 1976 to lose back-to-back finals.
However, the celebration did not end there. In less than 24 hours, FC Kansas City would face long-time rival Seattle Reign FC for the second-time in the National Women Soccer League Final in Portland.
With the lone goal by FC Kansas City’s Amy Rodriguez in the 87th minute, the defending champions successfully kept USWNT star Megan Rapinoe and Seattle Reign from scoring an equalizer. This win made FC Kansas City the first team in the NWSL to win back-to-back championships.
Following the postseason win and celebration, the defending champions returned to their home-states respectively and USWNT stars Heather O’Reilly, Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Holiday, and Becky Sauerbrunn rejoined their USWNT teammates for the remainder of the Victory Tour.
Although, Sporting KC was eliminated from a historic MLS Cup playoff Thursday night in Portland, they did not end the season without breaking a few records – the longest penalty shootout in playoffs history, Kriztian Nemeth scoring his 11th goal of the season and Kevin Ellis’s fifth recorded goal, the most for any MLS defender.
Alongside being called “The BBQ Capital” and “The Soccer Capital of America,” Kansas City has recently been named the “Best Baseball Town in America” due to the Royals’ recent success in the World Series.
This is the first time the Royals and the New York Mets are meeting for the fall classic. The last the time the Royals won the series was in 1985, with the New York Mets winning just one year later.
Leading 3-1, the Royals will continue their run in the World Series. The team will remain in New York until Monday morning, bringing the series back to Kauffman Stadium, if the Mets are able to force extra games.