Kerry Zavagnin to be inducted into Sporting Legends hall of honor on Saturday
Sporting Kansas City will induct assistant coach and former midfielder Kerry Zavagnin into the club’s Sporting Legends hall of honor on Saturday in an on-field ceremony at halftime of the team’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Children’s Mercy Park.
Zavagnin becomes the eighth member of the Sporting Legends, an initiative launched in 2013 that pays tribute to club icons and provides a platform for inductees to reconnect with the Kansas City soccer community. Zavagnin was selected through an online vote that featured three other finalists — Mo Johnston, Ron Newman and Josh Wolff.
SPORTING LEGENDS INDUCTEES:
- Class of 2013: Bob Gansler, Tony Meola, Preki
- Class of 2014: Jimmy Conrad, Lamar Hunt, Peter Vermes
- Class of 2015: Chris Klein
- Class of 2016: Kerry Zavagnin
Zavagnin has been a part of Sporting Kansas City since 2000, when he began a nine-year stint as a regular starter in midfield. He helped Kansas City win the MLS Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield in his first season, starting all but one match throughout the year. He would make at least 27 regular season starts over the next three seasons before earning 2004 MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI honors, leading the club to its first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title and another MLS Cup appearance.
Zavagnin helped the side to seven postseason appearances in nine years, recording eight goals and 25 assists as an ever-present fixture in the lineup. One of four players to spend at least nine seasons with the club, he is Kansas City’s all-time leader in games played (291), games started (281) and minutes played (25,278) across all competitions. He also made 21 appearances for the United States Men’s National Team from 2000-2006, including six World Cup qualifiers ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
An assistant coach since 2009, Zavagnin has helped transform Sporting Kansas City into one of Major League Soccer’s most successful franchises. The team has won three major trophies over the last four years — the 2012 and 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and the 2013 MLS Cup — while making five straight trips to the MLS Cup playoffs since 2011.
Zavagnin’s current 17-year run as a player and coach with Sporting Kansas City is the second longest with a single team in MLS history behind Ben Olsen, who has been with D.C. United in a playing or coaching capacity since 1998.
In addition to being recognized at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, Zavagnin will participate in local activities this week to engage with supporters, grow the sport and leave a philanthropic impact on the community.
Zavagnin will make a special appearance at Children’s Mercy Hospital (2401 Gilliam Rd., Kansas City, MO) from 2-3 p.m. CT on Thursday to visit with patients in conjunction with The Victory Project. On Friday, he will attend the Sporting KC Academy Affiliate All-Star Experience from 6:30-7 p.m. CT to meet with elite players from youth soccer clubs across the region. Prior to Saturday’s match, Zavagnin will hold a KC Cauldron Meet and Greet from 6-6:30 p.m. CT in the Lot F parking space outside the stadium.
A limited number of tickets for Saturday's match between Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps FC are still available via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. Supporters are encouraged to arrive early for pregame festivities ahead of the 9 p.m. CT kickoff.