Sporting KC launches fan voting for 2016 Sporting Legends inductee

Sporting Kansas City announced on Wednesday the four nominees for this year’s Sporting Legends inductee: Mo Johnston, Ron Newman, Josh Wolff and Kerry Zavagnin. Online voting begins today and will continue through next Monday, June 27, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Sporting Legends is a hall of honor that pays tribute to club icons and provides a platform for those inducted to reconnect with the Kansas City soccer community. An initiative that began in 2013, seven individuals have been named Sporting Legends for their vital roles within the organization and the growth of soccer throughout the region:

All seven members were recognized during on-field ceremonies and have their names adorned outside The Victory Suite in the northwest corner of Children’s Mercy Park. Each Sporting Legend is invited to participate in local activities surrounding their induction date as an opportunity to engage with supporters, grow the sport and leave a philanthropic impact on the community.

The 2016 inductee will be selected via the fan vote and will be unveiled as the newest Sporting Legend on Aug. 20 at Sporting Kansas City’s home match vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Below are bios for each of the 2016 Sporting Legends nominees, detailing their career achievements and contributions to the club.


Mo Johnston

Johnston was an integral contributor to the Kansas City attack from 1996-2001, playing 170 games in all competitions with 32 goals and 31 assists. The Scottish forward, who earned 38 caps for his country, was a three-time MLS All-Star (1996-1998) and helped Kansas City win the MLS Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield double in 2000.

Johnston remained in MLS after his playing career ended, coaching the New York Red Bulls from 2005-2006. He became Toronto FC’s first manager in 2007 and was the club’s Director of Football from 2008-2010.

Ron Newman

Newman was hired as the first head coach in MLS history on Oct. 11, 1995. A 30-year head coach throughout the United States, Newman guided Kansas City during the club’s first 100 regular season games, posting a 50-50-0 record from 1996-1999. Known for his attacking style of play during Major League Soccer’s shootout era, he led Kansas City to two playoff appearances and a first-place finish with a club-record 21 wins in 1997.

A native of England, Newman arrived in Kansas City with more than four decades of professional soccer experience. He began his career as an accomplished player in his native country before continuing his career in the U.S. and then as a coach with an all-time record of 701-442-27. He won 12 championships as a manager with three different teams and was the only coach in NASL history to win two Coach of the Year awards. Newman was inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992.

Josh Wolff

Wolff spent seven seasons in Kansas City between 2003-2010 and finished with 43 regular season goals, tied for second most in club history. He is one of just two Kansas City players to reach double-digit goals in three different regular seasons and played a leading role in Kansas City’s run to the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title and a run to the MLS Cup Final later that year.

Currently an assistant coach for Columbus Crew SC, Wolff scored nine goals in 52 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team. He was named to the U.S. squad for the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups during an international career that spanned from 1999-2008.

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 and earned 2004 MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI honors, leading the club to the finals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup. Zavagnin is Kansas City’s all-time leader in games played (291), games played (281) and minutes played (25,278) across all competitions. He also made 21 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team from 2000-2006.

An assistant coach since 2009, Zavagnin has helped transform Sporting Kansas City into one of the League’s most successful franchises. The team has won three major trophies over the last four years – the 2012 and 2015 U.S. Open Cups and the 2013 MLS Cup – while making five straight appearances in the MLS Cup playoffs since 2011.

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