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.
In 2004, 2012 and 2017, Sporting Kansas City had the luxury of winning Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles on home soil.
That wasn't the case in 2015, as Peter Vermes' men traveled to face the Philadelphia Union in front of a hostile crowd at Talen Energy Stadium. The match hung in the balance for 120 minutes, with Sebastien Le Toux and Krisztian Nemeth scoring on either side of halftime to force a penalty shootout.
Goalkeeper Tim Melia turned away Andrew Wenger's shot in the eighth round of spot kicks, opening the door for newly acquired midfielder Jordi Quintilla to bring the Open Cup back to Kansas City. The young Spaniard, just 21 at the time, had played less than 200 minutes for Sporting the entire season. Yet the weight of the moment did not deter Quintilla, who wrong-footed John McCarthy and calmly slotted low into the net.
On-field celebrations ensued near the traveling Roaddron, comprised of 1,000 raucous fans who had made the trip to see Sporting win their third major trophy in four years.