All Hail Sporting KC

Dan Moreno

Sporting KC put Kansas City’s name on the international map. With the MLS Playoffs ensured for the third year in a row, SKC also advanced to the playoffs of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Sporting KC advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013-2014  continental tournament after a 0-0 draw last Wednesday against CD  Olimpia from Honduras.

Head Coach Peter Vermes’ team finished first in its group after winning both away games and tying the home matches against CD Olimpia and Real Estelí from Nicaragua.

The eight teams that qualified for the playoffs emerged from the 24 teams that started the group play last August. The quarterfinal matchups will be played in a home-and-away format in March 2014.

Entering the playoffs as the competition’s seventh seed, Sporting KC will face second-seeded Cruz Azul from Mexico.

Cruz Azul finished second last season after losing the Liga Bancomer MX title against Club America and is considered one of the biggest teams in its country. Itis also the most successful team in the CONCACAF Champions League history, having won the tournament five times.

The winner of the tournament will earn a spot to the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup along with the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations as well as the league winner from the host nation, which will be Morocco.

Sporting Kansas City will end 2013 qualifying for both the MLS Playoffs and the Champions League playoffs.

Vermes, who was recently added to the MLS Hall of Fame, has had an unforgettable year so far, putting “The Soccer Capital of America” on the map.