As Sporting Kansas City’s 2022 MLS regular season home opener looms, SportingKC.com is rolling out a 15-day countdown until MLS is back at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting begins its 2022 campaign with a visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Feb. 27 for a matchup with Atlanta United FC at 2 p.m. CT. Sporting will then host longtime rival Houston Dynamo FC at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 5 at Children's Mercy Park.
The 2022 Preseason Countdown will provide fans with key storylines to keep an eye on as we approach Sporting’s home opener. From player highlights and coaching spotlights to new features at Children’s Mercy Park, the 2022 Preseason Countdown will highlight the many reasons to be excited for what’s ahead.
As Sporting enters its 27th season in MLS there are some major milestones on the horizon. 2022 promises to be a memorable year for the club, and a handful of Sporting players as well. Today, we will look at some of the major milestones you can expect to see surpassed this season.
Sporting Kansas City Club Milestones
Sporting is approaching 1000 matches played in all competition. Currently sitting at 967 matches played in all competition, and with a 34 match MLS regular season coming up, Sporting will surpass the millennium mark of matches played somewhere down the road in 2022, depending on the club’s success in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Sporting has not just played a large number of matches but has also found plenty of success. The club ranks second in MLS history with 339 matches won and will look to join the LA Galaxy (363 wins) as the only two clubs to eclipse 350 MLS regular season wins.
Sporting is also six goals shy of 400 goals scored at Children’s Mercy Park in all competitions and just five wins away from 100 MLS regular season wins at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting will have the chance to move closer to these Children’s Mercy Park milestones on March 5 after the shortest offseason (91 days between MLS matches) in club history.
Sporting director and head coach Peter Vermes is ready for his 14th season in charge of the first team. The Sporting KC gaffer enters this season as the longest-tenured active head coach in MLS and is on the verge of some impressive milestones.
He played 92 matches for the club in the early 2000’s and has coached in 478 since taking charge in 2009. Vermes is 30 matches away from 600 combined matches played or coached for one club. He remains the only person in league history to win MLS Cup as a player and coach.
The Sporting KC backstop, Tim Melia has been a model of consistency since joining the club in 2015. He has won 10 or more regular season matches the past seven seasons and if he is involved in double-digit wins again this season, he will be the first goalkeeper to win 10 plus matches in eight straight seasons.
After re-signing with Sporting this offseason, Graham Zusi is in line to break a handful of club records. His 276-career regular season starts are nine shy of tying Matt Besler for the club record, and his 25,204 regular season minutes played are 298 away from tying Besler's club record.
Zusi is also just 27 appearances shy of 400 appearances for Sporting in all competitions, and 20 minutes away from 30,000 minutes played for Sporting in all competitions. Be on the lookout as Zusi sets out to set club records in 2022.
Sporting KC’s 2021 MVP and a 2021 Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidate, Daniel Salloi has his eyes on some milestones of his own. His 11-career regular season, game-winning goals are just two shy for the most in club history. The Sporting golden boot winner netted 16 goals last season and enters 2022 11 away from 50 career Sporting goals in all competitions.