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.
You just knew this was coming.
In a decade full of unforgettable moments, none were more magical than Sporting's epic hoisting of the MLS Cup title at Children's Mercy Park.
On Dec. 7, 2013, Sporting reached MLS Cup heaven at the expense of rivals Real Salt Lake. In one of the most iconic matches in Major League Soccer history, Manager Peter Vermes' men prevailed in a 10-round penalty shootout following a tense 1-1 draw in which Alvaro Saborio and Aurelien Collin traded second-half goals.
This heavyweight battle dripped with drama from beginning to end amidst frigid temperatures and a pulsating atmosphere, culminating with a wild series of spot kicks that took place in front of the Cauldron. When Lovel Palmer's penalty rattled the crossbar in the 10th round of the shootout, euphoric celebrations shook the Soccer Capital like never before as Sporting claimed MLS Cup glory to put an exclamation point on arguably the greatest chapter in club history.
Here's to more moments like these in the 2020s.