C.J. Sapong - Sporting KC vs Manchester City - July 23, 2014
Jamila St. Ann

Before Bayern and Milan: A history of major club friendlies in Kansas City since 2010

A marquee match in the International Champions Cup featuring German champions FC Bayern Munich and Italian powerhouse A.C. Milan will be played at Children’s Mercy Park on July 23. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and tickets will be available to the general public online at Ticketmaster.com beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. CT.

Kansas City will be hosting its ninth club friendly since 2010, while Children’s Mercy Park will be hosting its eighth since opening in 2011. Here's a look back at the major club friendlies in Kansas City this decade.

July 25, 2010: Kansas City Wizards 2-1 Manchester United

The game many consider the turning point for soccer in Kansas City. At Arrowhead Stadium in front of a record crowd of 52,424 people, European giants Manchester United were defeated by the Kansas City Wizards 2-1. The Wizards struck early as midfielder Davy Arnaud scored in the 11th minute. Things got interesting when he received a red card in the 39th minute for a slide tackle on Dimitar Berbatov in the box, and Berbatov converted his penalty kick two minutes later. Things got even more exciting when Kei Kamara got his head on a corner kick a minute later for a goal just before halftime. That was it for the scoring, as Eric Kronberg came in for Jimmy Nielson and kept the Red Devils goalless in the second half, allowing the Wizards to emerge victorious.

July 20, 2011: Sporting KC 0-0 Newcastle United FC

The first club friendly at Children’s Mercy Park was a scoreless draw between English Premier League side Newcastle United and Sporting Kansas City. Despite firing 17 shots, Sporting KC was only able to find the frame twice. Goalkeeper Tim Krul, most famous for his penalty shootout performance for the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals, was able to save both. Kronberg had even less to do in this match, saving Newcastle’s lone shot on goal.

Oct. 12, 2011: Sporting KC 2-2 Chivas de Guadalajara

Sporting welcomed Liga MX side Chivas de Guadalajara to Children’s Mercy Park in the fall of 2011. Marco Fabian scored the first goal of the game when he converted a penalty kick in the 20th minute, sending Kronberg the wrong way. Omar Bravo, who was playing against his former club of 10 seasons, nearly tied things up, but his headed attempt went just high of the goal. Sporting finally got their goal when Soony Saad scored in the 75th minute. In the 86th minute, Kevin Ellis scored the go-ahead goal after the ball skipped past goalkeeper Victor Hugo Hernandez off a Sporting free kick. Just two minutes later, Erick Torres stole the win from Kansas City when he scored the late equalizer.

July 24, 2012: Sporting KC 0-3 Montpellier

Sporting welcomed French Ligue 1 side Montpellier to Children’s Mercy Park for a friendly match in mid-summer 2012. The game kicked off with temperatures reaching 102 degrees. Montpellier’s attack proved to be too much for Sporting’s defense as they bagged three goals en route to the win.

Aug. 1, 2012: Sporting KC 1-1 Stoke City

Children’s Mercy Park welcomed another English Premier League side when it hosted Stoke City for a friendly with Sporting. The scoring didn’t come until later in the match when Michael Tonge sunk his penalty in the 84th minute. It looked like Stoke was going to leave Kansas City with a win, but Kyle Miller scored one of the weirdest goals in stadium history in stoppage time. Stoke’s goalkeeper Asmir Begovic came to the top of his box to clear the ball. His pass went right at defender Kyle Miller, who deflected it back towards goal with his head. With Begovic at the top of the box, the ball rolled into the empty net for a 92nd-minute equalizer.

July 31, 2013: MLS All-Stars 1-3 AS Roma

Kansas City had the honor of hosting the 2013 MLS All-Star Game, featuring the best of MLS versus Italian giants AS Roma. In their home stadium, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin and Graham Zusi faced off against Roma legend Francesco Totti and the rest of his squad. Roma came ready to play as they scored in the fourth minute off Kevin Strootman’s breakaway goal. Alessandro Florenzi doubled Roma’s score in the 47th minute and Junior Tallo added one in the 68th. U.S. MNT regular Omar Gonzalez got the MLS on the board with a 91st-minute goal, ending Roma’s hopes of a clean sheet.

July 23, 2014: Sporting KC 1-4 Manchester City

Nearly four years after beating Manchester United at Arrowhead Stadium, Sporting didn’t fare quite as well against Manchester City at Children’s Mercy Park. In a match between two reigning champions, Manchester City got off to a fast start when Bruno Zuculini scored in the second minute. C.J. Sapong equalized in the 30th, celebrating in front of the cauldron with a backflip. Dedryck Boyata and City regained the lead in the dying minutes of the first half and never looked back. Aleksander Kolarov added a penalty in the 72nd and Kelechi Iheanacho scored in the 88th. Jesus Navas had two assists in the 4-1 result.

June 21, 2016: Pachuca 1-1 Santos Laguna 

Children’s Mercy Park was the venue for a Liga MX preseason friendly between Santos Laguna and C.F. Pachuca. This was a rematch of the 2016 playoffs, when Pachuca outlasted Santos and went on to win Liga MX. In the 33rd minute, Pachuca took the lead off a goal from 16-year-old Erick Sanchez. Right before halftime, Santos equalized off a Kristian Alvarez header. In the final 45 minutes, neither team could find the back of the net and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

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