Beyond The Box Score: Sporting KC in an Open Cup class of their own

The newest chapter of Sporting Kansas City’s proud history unfolded in glorious fashion Wednesday night.

Goals from Latif Blessing and Daniel Salloi paced Manager Peter Vermes’ men to a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, played before an electric crowd at jam-packed Children’s Mercy Park.

The win was another major feather in the cap for a Sporting Kansas City side that has tasted more championship success over the last six seasons than any other club in Major League Soccer.

The biggest statistical talking point to emerge from Wednesday’s triumph is simplistic in nature, but too profound to ignore.

Indeed, Sporting Kansas City has become the first MLS team to win four major trophies over the last six seasons. The club also kept their unblemished record in Open Cup finals, joining Seattle Sounders FC and Chicago Fire as the only four-time champions among MLS outfits.

MAJOR TROPHIES AMONG MLS CLUBS SINCE 2012

Team Trophies MLS
Cup
Supporters'
Shield
Domestic
Cup
Sporting KC 4 1 0 3
Seattle Sounders FC 3 1 1 1
Toronto FC 3 0 0 3
LA Galaxy 2 2 0 0
FC Dallas 2 0 1 1
New York Red Bulls 2 0 2 0
Montreal Impact 2 0 0 2

U.S. OPEN CUP WINNERS AND FINALISTS
(MLS TEAMS SINCE 1996)

Team Wins Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
Sporting KC 4 0 2004, 2012, 2015, 2017  
Seattle Sounders FC 4 1 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 2012
Chicago Fire 4 2 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006 2004, 2011
D.C. United 3 2 1996, 2008, 2013 1997, 2009
LA Galaxy 2 2 2001, 2005 2002, 2006
FC Dallas 2 2 1997, 2016 2005, 2007
New England Revolution 1 2 2007 2001, 2016
Columbus Crew SC 1 2 2002 1998, 2010
Philadelphia Union 0 2   2014, 2015
New York Red Bulls 0 2   2003, 2017
Real Salt Lake 0 1   2013
Miami Fusion 0 1   2000
Colorado Rapids 0 1   1999

This narrative, of course, isn’t complete without shining the spotlight on Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes. The 50-year-old is one of just two coaches to win three Open Cups as well as an MLS Cup.

U.S. OPEN CUP TITLES BY COACH
(MODERN ERA, 1995 - PRESENT)

Titles Coach Years MLS Cup wins
5 Sigi Schmid 2001, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 2002, 2008
3 Peter Vermes 2012, 2015, 2017 2013
2 Bob Bradley 1998, 2000 1998
2 Dave Sarachan 2003, 2006  
1 Bruce Arena 1996 1996, 1997, 2011, 2012, 2014
1 Steve Sampson 2005 2005
1 Bob Gansler 2004 2000
1 Oscar Pareja 2016  
1 Ben Olsen 2013  
1 Tom Soehn 2008  
1 Steve Nicol 2007  
1 Greg Andrulis 2002  
1 Dave Dir 1997  

Children's Mercy Park provided an electric atmosphere for Wednesday's final, serving as the ideal venue for the nationally televised showdown on ESPN2. It was not only a fitting climax to the Open Cup competition, but affirmed that the world-class stadium is among the greatest fortresses in North America. With Toronto FC's 5-3 home loss to the Montreal Impact on Wednesday, Sporting KC is the only MLS team yet to lose a competitive match on home soil in 2017.

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