Kansas City soccer suffered a mild hangover in 2014. Coming down from the high that was the 2013 MLS Cup title, Sporting KC navigated through a disjointed season due to their two USMNT stars, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, missing significant time because of that minor thing called the World Cup. Throw in a few injuries, a breakout year from Dom Dwyer, a late season slide, and you have a mixed season of ups and downs.
This season Sporting is back with a few new signings and fewer international distractions. Honduran Roger Espinoza returns to SKC after his short stay overseas with Wigan, even as star defender Aurelien Collin leaves for new club Orlando City. Still, the main pieces remain in place as coach Peter Vermes tries to prep his side for another deep postseason run.
Yesterday, Sporting KC launched their new home jersey at an event they called Sporting Evolution. We stopped by to gauge the fan excitement for the 2015 campaign.
Replacing the home shirt that was introduced two years ago, this baby blue, North Carolina-ish top makes for an excellent contrast from the horizontally-striped navy and light blue away jersey. With a “window pane” look, it separates itself from other plain solid-colored home tops. The front shows off a Henley collar, the Ivy Funds sponsor logo, and the Sporting KC crest with their two championship stars resting above (2000 and 2013).
Wednesday’s Sporting Evolution event functioned as a kind of season kickoff, in addition to the new primary jersey launch. Fans were treated to an introduction of the players in the shirt, as well as an interview with hometown hero Matt Besler. Later, Peter Vermes and SKC CEO Robb Heineman were also welcomed onstage to speak about the promising season ahead.
Sporting is heading to the Western Conference this year, hoping to take out juggernauts like Seattle and the LA Galaxy come playoff time. However, the season opener is against the Eastern Conference team that knocked them out of last year’s playoffs, the New York Red Bulls. Tune in Sunday to see Sporting get revenge in their new jersey.
Check out The Center Circle’s MLS Season Preview content right here