Sporting Kansas City has announced former forward Mo Johnston as the newest member of the club’s Sporting Legends hall of honor.
Johnston, who starred for the Kansas City Wizards from 1996-2001, will be officially inducted as a Sporting Legend in an on-field pregame ceremony before Sporting Kansas City hosts Seattle Sounders FC next Wednesday, May 17, at Children’s Mercy Park.
“Being inducted as a Sporting Legend is a great honor and an absolute privilege, especially as a player coming from another country,” Johnston said. “This would not have happened without the coaches and teammates in Kansas City who helped me get here. My longest stay at any club was with the Wizards, and I loved my six years in MLS. Playing in America was a fantastic experience and one of the best times of my career.”
Johnston is the ninth club icon to join the Sporting Legends, an initiative launched in 2013 that pays tribute to all-time greats while providing a platform for inductees to reconnect with the Kansas City soccer community. Johnston was selected through an online fan vote that included three other finalists — Nick Garcia, Diego Gutierrez 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
- Class of 2017: Mo Johnston
Johnston was an integral contributor throughout Kansas City’s first six seasons in Major League Soccer, amassing 32 goals and 31 assists in 170 appearances for the club. During his six-year stay, Johnston was a three-time MLS All-Star from 1996-1998 and helped lead Kansas City to a historic MLS Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield double in 2000.
Before arriving in the United States for Major League Soccer’s inaugural season in 1996, Johnston competed in three elite leagues across Europe. He flourished in his native Scotland — notably representing both Celtic (1984-87) and Rangers (1989-91), the country’s two perennial powerhouses — and also enjoyed successful spells with FC Nantes (1987-89) in France’s Ligue 1 and Everton FC (1991-93) in the English Premier League. Other stops in Johnston’s career took him to Scottish outfits Partick Thistle, Hearts and Falkirk as well as English side Watford.
Upon retiring after the 2001 MLS campaign, Johnston had amassed well over 200 goals in more than 600 professional appearances. Outside of his club commitments, Johnston also scored 14 goals in 38 matches for the Scotland Men’s National Team, including a game-winning strike against Sweden in the group stage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Nicknamed “MoJo” during his time in Kansas City, Johnston wore the captain’s armband on several occasions under head coaches Ron Newman and Bob Gansler. He helped guide the team to consecutive playoff appearances in 1996 and 1997 and led the team with 11 goals in 1998. He added four goals and seven assists in 2000, famously assisting the series-winning goal to Miklos Molnar in the Western Conference Championship that propelled his side to the MLS Cup.
Prior to his induction ceremony next Wednesday, Johnston will participate in a variety of local activities next week. On Tuesday, he will meet with Sporting KC players and technical staff before coaching a youth soccer match involving players from the Sporting Kansas City Academy at Swope Soccer Village. Before Wednesday’s match, Johnston will hold a KC Cauldron Meet and Greet from 6-6:30 p.m. CT in the Boulevard Members Club.
Johnston will then make a special appearance at Children’s Mercy Hospital (2401 Gillham Rd., Kansas City, MO) from 2-3 p.m. CT next Thursday to visit with patients in conjunction with The Victory Project, the philanthropic arm of Sporting Kansas City. Later that evening, he will return to Swope Soccer Village to coach another youth soccer match.
Tickets for next Wednesday’s highly anticipated Retro Night match between Sporting Kansas City and defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC are available at SeatGeek.com. A limited-time throwback four-pack is also available by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. For more information about Retro Night at Children’s Mercy Park, click here.