Beyond The Box Score: Where Sporting's eight-year playoff streak ranks in MLS history

A commendable streak that began in 2011 has officially come to a close.

Wednesday’s heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Minnesota United FC eliminated Sporting Kansas City from playoff contention, ending a club-record eight-year postseason run that began when the team moved into world-class Children’s Mercy Park.

In addition to reaching the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs every year from 2011-2018, Manager Peter Vermes and Sporting lifted four major championships during a wildly successful period that saw the club consistently compete in the upper echelon of Major League Soccer.

Sporting’s eight-year playoff run clocks in as the fourth-longest postseason streak in MLS history. Only Seattle Sounders FC, the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy have enjoyed longer uninterrupted spells in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

LONGEST PLAYOFF STREAKS IN MLS HISTORY

Club Seasons Years
Seattle Sounders FC 11 * 2009-2019
New York Red Bulls 10 * 2010-2019
LA Galaxy 10 1996-2005
Sporting Kansas City 8 2011-2018
LA Galaxy 8 2009-2016
New England Revolution 8 2002-2009
FC Dallas 7 1996-2002
Real Salt Lake 7 2008-2014

* denotes active streak

To put Sporting’s streak into further perspective, it ranks as the longest all-time playoff run of any major professional sports team in Kansas City. The Kansas City Royals made a team-best three straight postseason appearances from 1976-1978, while the Kansas City Chiefs claimed six consecutive playoff berths from 1990-1995.

Vermes’ men will now turn their attention to Sunday’s home finale at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff against the Portland Timbers is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and tickets remain available at SeatGeek.com, with the first 5,000 fans through the stadium gates receiving a free headband courtesy of match sponsor PNC Bank. The Western Conference clash will also air live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.

Series: 
Topics: