He was a whiz in the Wiz's midfield. For two years, Frank Klopas featured for the Kansas City Wiz (and Wizards) playing 49 games with seven goals and 11 assists.
The U.S. Men's national team veteran helped to usher in a new era of professional soccer in the city of Kansas City before finishing his professional career with the Chicago Fire in 1998 and 1999.
On Saturday, Klopas will return to Kansas City again, but this time as the new head coach of the Montreal Impact.
As manager of the Chicago Fire - where he led the charge from 2011-2013 - Klopas managed against Kansas City seven times and had a 3-2-2 record.
So for today's Throwback Thursday, we're throwing it wayyy back to when Klopas patrolled the midfield at Arrowhead Stadium as a member of the Kansas City Wizards.
Sunday marks the 18-year anniversary of the first game in club history, a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
The hero of that game? None other than Vitalis "Digital" Takawira, a Zimbabwean striker who burst on to the scene with two goals vs. Colorado.
But while Takawira left his mark on the club with his 29 goals in 100+ games, many fans will remember him favorably for his goal celebration: The Digital Crawl.
The Digital Crawl, circa 1996, with Mark Chung, Vitalis Takawira and Diego Gutierrez
This Sunday marks the 18th anniversary of Sporting Kansas City's inaugural match, a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Arrowhead Stadium on April 13, 1996 and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with a Throwback Thursday of the Digital Crawl celebration. We'll let the Kansas City Star match recap, written by Bob Luder, set the scene...
Kansas City soccer fans - 21,141 of them - got to see the "Digital Crawl." Vitalis "Digital" Takawira scored the first goal in Kansas City Wiz history in the 71st minute Saturday night, and the Wiz went on to a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in the Major League Soccer debut for both teams.
Takawira, the leading goal scorer in Africa in 1994, broke a scoreless tie when he caught a rebound of a shot by Mark Chung directly in front of the Colorado goal and shot the ball by Rapids goalkeeper Dusty Huddock. Tommy Reasoner started the sequence with a centering pass from the left corner to Chung.
Upon scoring, Takawira went into his famous crawl. He sprinted to the near corner flag, his teammates right behind, and they all got down on all fours and crawled along the sideline.
Takawira scored twice on the night en route to 14 goals in his first MLS season while Frank Klopas -- who returns to KC next Saturday as head coach of the Montreal Impact -- added another. Visit the SportingKC.com archives for a full box score and return to the site on Sunday for a look back at the game that kicked off the Major League Soccer era in Kansas City.
A year ago yesterday, the U.S. Men's National Team earned one of its more impressive results in recent memory.
Four days after the Snow Clasico in Colorado, Jurgen Klinsmann's side, with Sporting KC's Matt Besler and Graham Zusi in the starting XI, earned a historic 0-0 draw in Mexico, the second time the USMNT earned a point in Mexico in a World Cup qualifying match.
One year later, the USMNT - with Besler and Zusi - are back in action against Mexico, in their final tuneup before the World Cup camp begins. Wednesday's match will kick off at 10 p.m. CT on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas.