Over the last 10 years, few professional sports franchises have experienced a more transformational journey than Sporting Kansas City. From Wizards to Sporting, from minor league baseball park to world-class soccer stadium, from MLS afterthought to perennial title contender, the 2010s ushered in a Kansas City soccer renaissance as Sporting enjoyed a meteoric rise both on and off the pitch.
Throughout this decade of success, everyone tied to the club—from players and coaches to owners and fans—made priceless memories that will last a lifetime. As the 2010s come to a close, SportingKC.com is counting down the top 20 moments of the decade. The daily series will run from Dec. 12-31, looking back on the biggest matches, announcements and off-the-field developments that left lasting impacts on the club. The top 20 list was determined through voting among front office associates at Sporting. Click here to visit the top 20 as it unfolds.
This just might have been the definitive turning point. The spark that lit the fuse. The beautiful prologue to a glory-filled decade that would ultimately unfold for Sporting Kansas City.
The largest soccer crowd in Kansas City history gathered on July 25, 2010, to see the Wizards face English powerhouse Manchester United at Arrowhead Stadium. The 52,424 in attendance were treated to an inspired performance from the hosts, who notched a 2-1 victory with goals from Davy Arnaud and Kei Kamara.
What truly set the game apart, however, was the noise and passion generated by fans. Though many came to the stadium donning United red, all supporters were pulling for an upset in the latter stages.
The remarkable response from the crowd was a harbinger of things to come. Given how perfectly the afternoon went, the club's players and owners believed more than ever that soccer had a bright future in Kansas City. And boy, did they have every reason to believe.
To this day, the Manchester United friendly is seen as an instrumental juncture in team history, proving that Kansas City had a tremendous appetite for soccer and that the sport was here to stay.