The 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title is the newest glistening addition to Sporting Kansas City's trophy case — the club's fourth championship since the turn of the decade. And as the MLS regular season draws to a close on Sunday, Manager Peter Vermes' men have already secured a club-record seventh straight playoff berth.
Yet the winning culture at Sporting Kansas City extends well beyond the senior team. It engulfs all levels of the organization, including USL affiliate Swope Park Rangers and a competitive Academy that fields teams from U-19 all the way down to U-12.
In fact, a snapshot of the last two seasons would suggest that no other club has experienced top-to-bottom success quite like Sporting Kansas City.
The Swope Park Rangers, who advanced to the USL Cup Final in their inaugural 2016 campaign as Western Conference champions, embark on another playoff run Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. CT when they host Didier Drogba and Phoenix Rising FC. Fans can visit SeatGeek.com for tickets to the Wester Conference quarterfinal showdown.
Along Sporting KC's professional pathway, the Rangers are the proverbial bridge between the first team and an Academy whose U-18 and U-16 teams have also made a habit of reaching the playoffs. The U-18s advanced to the Development Academy quarterfinals for the first time in July 2016 before the U-16s replicated the exact same feat 12 months later.
All in all, the future appears to be as bright as ever for Sporting KC. Bolstered by an ambitious Sporting Club ownership group and a cadre of world-class facilities — Children's Mercy Park, Swope Soccer Village and the new National Training and Coaching Development Center — the club is well positioned to continue its trophy haul for years to come.