Nothing about Sporting Kansas City’s 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake on Saturday night was easy.
Coming off a pair of resounding wins against the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers, respectively, Real Salt Lake welcomed Manager Peter Vermes’ men to Rio Tinto Stadium for a match played at high altitude and seemingly even higher temperatures. And despite facing a season-high 20 shots throughout the night, Sporting Kansas City weathered the storm to preserve a valuable point and extend their unbeaten run to 10 straight matches in all competitions.
In fact, Benny Feilhaber’s equalizing penalty in the 59th minute — the very first spot kick awarded to Sporting Kansas City this season — was enough to lift the current undefeated streak into rarefied air among the club’s all-time longest.
Sporting Kansas City’s 10-game run without a loss is now tied for the fourth-longest in team history.
Needless to say, this paints a positive picture for Vermes’ squad moving forward. In three of the other four seasons in which Kansas City strung together at least 10 matches without defeat, the club would go on to win a major trophy.
The chart-topping 13-game streak came in 2012 when Sporting Kansas City hoisted the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Children’s Mercy Park. A 12-game run unfolded in 2000 when Kansas City achieved an historic MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield double. And in 2004, a 10-game surge was the precursor the team’s first Open Cup and a second appearance in the MLS Cup Final.
SPORTING KC’S LONGEST UNBEATEN STREAKS IN ALL COMPETITIONS
|13||08/04/12 to 10/24/12|
|12||03/25/00 to 05/27/00
05/25/11 to 07/09/11
|10||06/05/04 to 07/24/04
06/03/17 to present
|9||08/23/00 to 09/29/00|
|8||06/21/08 to 07/27/08
04/25/15 to 06/16/15
Sporting Kansas City’s current unbeaten stretch includes seven MLS fixtures and three Open Cup matches, during which time the club has outscored opponents 18-5 with five clean sheets.
This prosperous period runs concurrently with the phenomenal form of USL affiliate Swope Park Rangers. The Rangers have won a club-record seven straight and, like Sporting KC, haven’t lost in 10 consecutive games. Since the start of June, Sporting KC and SPR have gone a combined 13-0-7, demonstrating impressive strength from top to bottom for an MLS organization that will continue its pursuit of trophies well into the summer and fall.