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28 December 11:21 am

From Dec. 22-Dec. 31, we'll be counting down our 10 favorite images of a memorable 2013. These images are not strictly limited to on-field Sporting KC play. They encompass our representatives with the U.S. Men's National Team, the MLS All-Star Game and a variety of moments that made Sporting KC fans smile this past year.

On December 31, we'll also be releasing our favorite fan images from the 2013 season. You can participate in that discussion by posting your best fan photos on Twitter or Instagram using #SKC13.


No. 4: Dwyer's backflip after playoff game-winner

15 goals in 13 games. That's how many Dom Dwyer scored in league play for Orlando City SC before Sporting KC recalled the second-year striker from loan in June.

And while Dwyer could not maintain his torrid scoring pace upon his return to Sporting Park, the British striker provided a spark to the Sporting KC attack and scored big goals when the team needed. None were bigger than his game-winner in the Eastern Conference Championship that ended Sporting KC's drought vs. the Houston Dynamo and gave his team its first berth in MLS Cup in nine years.

The goal was the epitome of class, as Benny Feilhaber split a pair of defenders to find Dwyer, who cut once around a sliding Kofi Sarkodie and placed it past Tally Hall.

But while the goal was an unforgettable one, it's the image of Dwyer suspended in mid-air during his backflip celebration that comes in at No. 4 on our countdown of our favorite images from 2013.

27 December 10:47 am

From Dec. 22-Dec. 31, we'll be counting down our 10 favorite images of a memorable 2013. These images are not strictly limited to on-field Sporting KC play. They encompass our representatives with the U.S. Men's National Team, the MLS All-Star Game and a variety of moments that made Sporting KC fans smile this past year.

On December 31, we'll also be releasing our favorite fan images from the 2013 season. You can participate in that discussion by posting your best fan photos on Twitter or Instagram using #SKC13.


No. 5: Zusi lifts USMNT to victory at Sporting Park

Graham Zusi and Matt Besler were both drafted by Kansas City in 2009. They roomed together for three years and adopted dogs together. They have been cornerstones of a Sporting KC franchise that won the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2013 MLS Cup. And they both made names for themselves with the U.S. Men's National Team in 2013.

So it's no surprise that when Zusi scored the game winning goal in the USMNT's 2-0 win over Jamaica at Sporting Park in October, that it was his good friend Besler, who was the first to congratulate him.

“It was one of my harder sprints of the game,” a smiling Besler told reporters after the match.

As the Sporting Park crowd filled the stadium with a chant of "Zuuuuus", Besler lifted his friend and teammate into the air, marking another milestone in the players' careers that they could celebrate together.

The celebration comes in at No. 5 on our countdown of our favorite images from 2013.

26 December 8:05 am

From Dec. 22-Dec. 31, we'll be counting down our 10 favorite images of a memorable 2013. These images are not strictly limited to on-field Sporting KC play. They encompass our representatives with the U.S. Men's National Team, the MLS All-Star Game and a variety of moments that made Sporting KC fans smile this past year.

On December 31, we'll also be releasing our favorite fan images from the 2013 season. You can participate in that discussion by posting your best fan photos on Twitter or Instagram using #SKC13.


No. 6: Ike Opara stuns RSL

Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake played twice in 2013 and both were unforgettable matches.

The first came on a July 20 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah. Sporting KC and RSL traded goals and Chris Wingert picked up a second yellow card in the game's first 67 minutes, setting up a memorable ending.

After issuing five minutes of stoppage time in the second half, referee Matthew Foerster allowed play to continue into the 97th minute, due to additional stoppages. It was than that Sporting KC center back Ike Opara did what he does best.

As Graham Zusi curled a corner kick into the RSL penalty box, Opara out-jumped a defender and headed the ball past a helpless Jeff Attinella. Opara sprinted away from the goal (with Oriol Rosell in tow) and the Sporting KC bench erupted in joy.

The match set up the eventual MLS Cup showdown between the two clubs at Sporting Park, and was a major reason Sporting KC was able to host the League's championship match.

Opara's goal celebration following the game-winner comes in at No. 6 on our countdown of our favorite images of 2013.

25 December 11:19 am

From Dec. 22-Dec. 31, we'll be counting down our 10 favorite images of a memorable 2013. These images are not strictly limited to on-field Sporting KC play. They encompass our representatives with the U.S. Men's National Team, the MLS All-Star Game and a variety of moments that made Sporting KC fans smile this past year.

On December 31, we'll also be releasing our favorite fan images from the 2013 season. You can participate in that discussion by posting your best fan photos on Twitter or Instagram using #SKC13.


No. 7: Soony and Dom's bromance

What is left to say about Soony Saad and Dom Dwyer? Their bromance has been well-chronicled. Close friends, on and off the field, both players took huge steps forward with Sporting KC in 2013.

Saad set career highs in games played (23), games started (15), goals (4) and assists (4). He also tallied twice in a 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League win at CD Olimpia.

Dwyer broke the USL PRO scoring record in only 13 games before Sporting KC recalled the young striker for the second half of the season. Dwyer went on to feature in 25 games in all competitions for Sporting KC and tallied four goals including the game-winner against the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Championship.

So it was no surprise that after Saad completed his two-goal performance against Toronto FC on July 13 that the first person he looked for to celebrate was Dwyer.

As the above photo shows, Sporting KC players let the two friends enjoy their moment before joining in the celebration. And it's for the look on the other players' faces, as well as Saad leaping into Dwyer's arms, that this photo is No. 7 on our favorite images of 2013 countdown.

24 December 10:20 am

From Dec. 22-Dec. 31, we'll be counting down our 10 favorite images of a memorable 2013. These images are not strictly limited to on-field Sporting KC play. They encompass our representatives with the U.S. Men's National Team, the MLS All-Star Game and a variety of moments that made Sporting KC fans smile this past year.

On December 31, we'll also be releasing our favorite fan images from the 2013 season. You can participate in that discussion by posting your best fan photos on Twitter or Instagram using #SKC13.


No. 8: Benny Feilhaber's goal celebration

There is a reason it won Sporting KC Goal of the Year, presented by Power Partners.

Benny Feilhaber's long-range strike against the Colorado Rapids on August 31 was a thing of beauty and a master class on a how to strike a ball from distance.

So how do you celebrate such a goal? With a leap and fist-pump of course! And if there was a Sporting KC goal celebration of the year, Feilhaber would have to be in the discussion for disproving the myth that white men can't jump.

Sporting KC photographer Mike Gunnoe captured the moment of Feilhaber suspended in air, which has come in at No. 8 on the countdown of our 10 favorite images from 2013.

23 December 11:47 am

As part of MLSsoccer.com's Best of 2013, the nominees for for the Moment of the Year have been announced. There are numerous moments nominated which include New York winning the Supporters' Shield, two expansion franchises announced for 2015, D.C. United winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and Sporting Kansas City being crowned 2013 MLS Cup Champions.

You can cast your vote for Sporting KC's MLS Cup victory using the poll below or at MLSsoccer.com. Voting is open through Friday, December 27 evening with the winner to be announced on Monday, December 30.

23 December 11:29 am

From Dec. 22-Dec. 31, we'll be counting down our 10 favorite images of a memorable 2013. These images are not strictly limited to on-field Sporting KC play. They encompass our representatives with the U.S. Men's National Team, the MLS All-Star Game and a variety of moments that made Sporting KC fans smile this past year.

On December 31, we'll also be releasing our favorite fan images from the 2013 season. You can participate in that discussion by posting your best fan photos on Twitter or Instagram using #SKC13.


No. 9: Uri Rosell eases a young girls fireworks fears

Peter Vermes knew what he was getting when he acquired Uri Rosell. A smart, crafty mifielder, bred from the famed Barcelona Academy, Rosell has quickly become one of the best young players in Major League Soccer.

But while Rosell has endeared himself to SKC Nation with his play on the field, it's his character off the pitch that has made him a fan favorite among the Sporting KC faithful.

That character was never more evident than during the national anthem prior to Sporting KC's August 10 home match vs. the New England Revolution.

Prior to every match, 22 children have the opportunity to walk out on the field with the players as part of the Walk of Champions. As the fireworks began, the young girl who accompanied Rosell out on the pitch began to cry. Ever the gentleman, Rosell, along with teammate Chance Myers began to console the girl. Rosell went so far as to cover her ears with his hands to lessen the sound of the fireworks.

Sporting KC photographer Nick Smith captured this beautiful moment with the photo above.

It was a moment that offered a wide range of emotions, but it was a moment from 2013 that we will not soon forget.

22 December 10:46 am

Over the next 10 days, we'll be counting down our 10 favorite images of a memorable 2013. These images are not strictly limited to on-field Sporting KC play. They encompass our representatives with the U.S. Men's National Team, the MLS All-Star Game and a variety of moments that made Sporting KC fans smile this past year.

On December 31, we'll also be releasing our favorite fan images from the 2013 season. You can participate in that discussion by posting your best fan photos on Twitter or Instagram using #SKC13.


No. 10: Peter Vermes' Hall of Fame Induction

2013 was a special year for Peter Vermes. He became the second person to win MLS Cup as a player and a coach (joining Peter Nowak) and became the first to do that honor with the same team. Vermes led Sporting KC to a playoff spot for the third consecutive year, and despite losing Roger Espinoza and Kei Kamara to English clubs, he had his club within striking distance of the Supporters' Shield into the final weekend of the season.

But in addition to all his Sporting KC success, Vermes was also inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Vermes made 67 appearances for the USMNT and tallied 11 goals. He represented his country at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the 1990 World Cup in Italy and in the 1991 and 1993 Gold Cups.

Vermes was inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 11, in front of family and friends, in a ceremony at Sporting Park prior to the FIFA World Cup qualifier between the USMNT and Jamaica.

It was a memorable moment for Vermes and all associated with soccer in Kansas City.

21 December 10:15 am

There have been lots of great videos chronicling Sporting Kansas City's MLS Cup win, but we've got one more to share with you. Canal+, one of the largest TV channels in France, sent a film crew to Kansas City to give a behind-the-scenes look at Sporting KC as they prepare for the biggest match of the year.

The crew looked at the team's preparation for MLS Cup, how the club has morphed since the days at CommunityAmerica Ballpark and where the club looks to go in the future. The narration is in French, but all interviews (minus a few with Aurelien Collin) are in English.

Follow along with Canal Plus' Interior Sport as they take a journey through Soccer City USA:

Veuillez installer Flash Player pour lire la vidéo
20 December 6:52 pm

On Monday, Sporting Kansas City announced the club had acquired goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum from Columbus in exchange for a 2016 SuperDraft pick. 

Gruenebaum is a Kansas City native who went to high school at Blue Valley North. After finishing an impressive career with the Mustangs, Gruenebaum played at the University of Kentucky earning All-Conference honors (Conference USA) and a career goals against average of 0.91. Following his time at Kentucky, Gruenebaum was drafted by Columbus where he's posted a career goals against average of 1.29 and 18 shutouts in 79 starts.

His breakout season was in 2012 in which he was named Columbus' starting goalkeeper and and finished fifth in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting. In the 2013 season, he continuned his good form early in the season but was sidelined for a majority of the second half due to injuries. 

Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: GREEN-uh-BOHM
  • Has a pet bunny named "Roo" which he regular posts about on twitter
  • Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
  • Played soccer at Blue Valley North where he helped lead the team to a 6A State Title in 2000
  • Earned the nickname "The Hebrew Hammer" while playing collegiately at Kentucky
  • Was named MVP of the 2005 PDL Championship match while playing for the Des Moines Menace

Highlights

MLS Career Stats

Year Games GAA Saves Shutouts
2006 (CLB) 3 0.97 12 0
2007 (CLB) 10 1.50 35 3
2008 (CLB) 1 3.00 2 0
2009 (CLB) 10 1.20 21 1
2010 (CLB) 0 0.00 0 0
2011 (CLB) 2 0.00 5 2
2012 (CLB) 33 1.26 124 8
2013 (CLB) 21 1.33 71 4