With the 2020 MLS season on temporary hold, SportingKC.com is taking daily strolls down memory lane with an "On This Day" web series that celebrates memorable moments in team history. As one of Major League Soccer's proud charter members, Sporting has a decorated past full of thrilling victories, amazing goals, momentous off-the-field developments and more. "On This Day" pays tribute to these specific instances, turning back the clocks while treating fans to nostalgia and club history lessons. To catch up on the series as it unfolds, visit SportingKC.com/OnThisDay.
Precisely one decade ago, the soccer scene in Kansas City looked distinctly different.
For one, Sporting Kansas City was still known as the Kansas City Wizards. The Power & Light District had yet to host a single World Cup watch party. MLS matches took place at a baseball venue called CommunityAmerica Ballpark rather than world-class Children's Mercy Park. The famous 2010 friendly between the Wizards and Manchester United, widely considered a momentous turning point in club history, was still more than three months away.
Major League Soccer was in the early stages of celebrating its 15th season, and on April 10, 2010, a pair of MLS originals locked horns almost exactly 14 years after squaring off in their inaugural match.
On April 13, 1996, the Kansas City Wiz handed Colorado a 3-0 defeat at Arrowhead Stadium. Push the clocks to 2010, and Kansas City once again put the Rapids to the sword.
Forward Kei Kamara scored the contest's lone goal in the 48th minute—a towering header off a free kick from English playmaker Ryan Smith—to give the Wizards their second straight win to start the 2010 campaign under Manager Peter Vermes, who was in his first full season at the helm.
Also featuring for Kansas City was heralded goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, making just his second club appearance, as well as current fan favorites Matt Besler and Roger Espinoza. Besler partnered Sporting Legend Jimmy Conrad in central defense, while Espinoza was an outside back on the opposite flank as Michael Harrington.
The 2010 season, as everyone knows, was Kansas City's last as the Wizards. Rebranded to Sporting Kansas City, the club moved into Children's Mercy Park in 2011 and embarked on a glory-filled era that yielded four major championships—namely the 2013 MLS Cup and three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups—and eight consecutive playoff appearances.