With the 2020 MLS season on temporary hold, SportingKC.com is taking daily strolls down memory lane with an "On This Day" web series that celebrates memorable moments in team history. As one of Major League Soccer's proud charter members, Sporting has a decorated past full of thrilling victories, amazing goals, momentous off-the-field developments and more. "On This Day" pays tribute to these specific instances, turning back the clocks while treating fans to nostalgia and club history lessons. To catch up on the series as it unfolds, visit SportingKC.com/OnThisDay.
Still riding a tidal wave of momentum after finishing atop the Eastern Conference standings in 2011, Sporting Kansas City began the 2012 campaign imperiously.
Manager Peter Vermes' men became the first side in Major League Soccer's non-shootout era (since 2000) to kick off a season with seven consecutive victories. The fifth of which came under memorable circumstances, as the reigning (and eventual) MLS Cup champions were put to the sword at Children's Mercy Park.
Eight years ago today, on April 7, 2012, a national television audience on ESPN saw Sporting stymy the Galaxy en route to a 1-0 triumph highlighted by Kei Kamara's first-half goal. Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and a vaunted backline anchored by center back Matt Besler were well on their way to a historically stingy year—Sporting allowed a record-low 27 goals in 34 regular season fixtures—and this particular defensive performance was among the best in 2012.
The Galaxy, boasting the likes of MLS legends Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, mustered just four shot attempts all game. None of which were on target. Incredibly enough, this marked the first time since May 2003 that LA had failed to record a single shot on goal. The Galaxy would go another three years before suffering the same fruitless fate in June 2015.
In hindsight, it's safe to say both Sporting and LA will remember 2012 fondly. Nielsen was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Besler was tabbed MLS Defender of the Year, Sporting won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title on home soil and finished with a club-record 63 points in the regular season. The Galaxy, meanwhile, won their second straight MLS Cup over the Houston Dynamo.