Sporting KC top RSL on penalty kicks to win dramatic MLS Cup Final

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Sporting Kansas City spent the past few years knocking on the door of an MLS Cup title and on Saturday they finally made their way through.

Sporting KC won the 2013 MLS Cup in front of 21,650 fans on a frigid Saturday evening at Sporting Park, defeating Real Salt Lake, 7-6, on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw that had plenty of physical play and drama. The trophy is the second of its kind for Sporting and first since the Kansas City Wizards won it in 2000.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am and how happy I am for the guys because I know what it’s like as a player to win an MLS Cup,” said Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes, who is the first person to win the MLS Cup with the same club as both a player and coach. “It’s a special moment because you’ll always have that as a player and nobody can ever take that away from you.”

Aurelien Collin, who scored the equalizer for Sporting in the second half and was named the MLS Cup MVP, converted the game-winning penalty in the 10th round of the shootout. RSL had an opportunity to extend the match after Collin scored, but Lovel Palmer saw his effort from 12 yards smack off the crossbar.

“That’s the best penalty he has hit since he’s been with us, in training or anywhere else,” said Vermes of Collin’s first career penalty kick. “That was an unbelievable PK. He saves them for the good times.”

Real Salt Lake, which took a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute through a superb strike from Alvaro Saborio, had a chance to win the match earlier in the shootout but failed to capitalize. After substitute Lawrence Olum hit a weak penalty kick well wide of goal, Sebastien Velasquez was denied by Jimmy Nielsen.

“It’s every kid’s dream and for it not to happen the way you see it finishing, it’s always tough,” said RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman. “I’m sure he’ll learn from it. It’s real surreal. It’s happening so fast. You take the kick thinking that it’s going to go in and when it doesn’t it turns a dream into a nightmare.”

The match was a physical and open one from the opening whistle, but shocking misses and shots hitting off the woodwork kept the match scoreless. RSL forward Robbie Findley saw a shot from a tight angle on an open goal smack off the post in the 29th minute, Saborio missed wide on a close-range header seven minutes later and C.J. Sapong fired high on a shot from inside the six-yard box in first half stoppage time.

While Sporting KC was struggling to find its finishing touch, Real Salt Lake did not have much luck going their way. RSL hit the post on three occasions throughout the 120-minute game, including on a Beckerman shot from distance in the 62nd minute and a curled effort from Javier Morales in the 73rd.

Both strikes would have made the score 2-0 in RSL’s favor.

“The bounces didn’t go our way,” said Beckerman. “We hit the post three times…Of course it’s heartbreaking to lose in the final but a lot to be proud of.”

That lack of luck opened the door for Collin’s tying goal. In the 76th minute, Graham Zusi hit a corner kick from the right that the French center back powered home to inject life into Sporting KC and their fans and ultimately force extra time.

Sporting KC, which lost starting midfielder Oriol Rosell eight minutes in because of an ankle injury, also benefited from an offside call on a Saborio header at the end of the first half of extra time. Saborio nodded home a cross into the back of the net and began celebrating with the Real Salt Lake fans in attendance before realizing the linesman’s flag was up.

RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was not called upon to make a key block in the 30 extra minutes, but he did make a pair of quality saves in regulation to prevent Sapong and Zusi from scoring.

In the shootout, Sporting KC jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to tallies from Claudio Bieler and Paulo Nagamura and misses from Saborio (who shot high) and Ned Grabavoy (who was denied by Nielsen).

Sporting KC center back Matt Besler then stepped up for his shot, but failed to give his club a commanding 3-0 advantage. Besler tried picking out the bottom right corner, but Rimando blocked it.

“Funny story that earlier this year in Kansas City with the (U.S.) national team, we each had to take five PKs and I hit five out of five there against Nicky Rimando,” said Besler. “I was honestly debating all week long if it went to PKs if I was going to change it up because we both know I go there but at the end of the day I stuck with what I felt confident with and he saved it.”

Besler’s miss, a couple of makes and Zusi’s skied effort in the fifth round allowed RSL to pull level and force sudden death penalty kicks. It took five more rounds to find a winner, but Collin’s well-taken penalty kick and Palmer’s shot off the crossbar handed Sporting KC a championship they’ve long wanted.

“It’s all about winning the cup for our city, for our team, for the ownership,” said Sporting midfielder Benny Feilhaber. “Everything is as good as can be right now.”

Here are the game highlights:

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What do you think of Sporting KC’s MLS Cup victory? Who do you think played well? What’s next for both clubs?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS Cup, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Sporting Kansas City. Bookmark the permalink.

179 Responses to Sporting KC top RSL on penalty kicks to win dramatic MLS Cup Final

  1. Ralph Nader says:

    Dramatic is definitely not the word I would choose. I feel for any casual fan that tuned in to watch the “championship” of our beloved domestic game.

    It was decided after 120 minutes of terrible play by a defender who has most likely never hit a penalty in his life.

    • Pace says:

      Well I thought it was pretty fun.

    • Mike in Missouri says:

      That’s always the case in a 10 round shootout. It’s not like we can bring the forwards back.

      Overall, great game. Even a Casual fan would have noticed that.

    • John says:

      RSL pretty much didn’t even try to put together an attack for the last 45 minutes. Other then that I thought it was good.

      • Chris says:

        Are you serious? RSL had 2 goals waved off in Extra Time – Sabo’s legitimately, but Robbie Findley’s sure looked legitimate.

    • frank from santiago says:

      spot on, Ralph Nader.

    • Mike in Missouri says:

      And it was much better than the 94 world cup final by a guy who skied it much worse than Palmer. But I guess the WC sucks too.

      • Ralph Nader says:

        That game is widely considered an embarrassment for the World Cup as Italy did not even try to play.

        FIFA is officially considering removing penalties all together.

    • futbolisimo says:

      +1. Painful to watch, though at one point in the second half RSL were permitted (by Kansas’s easing off on their”high pressure” bumper-car style of “soccer”) to start doing something very effective in soccer – that is, actually string some passes together… Dreadful state of futbol in this country. Oh, and T. Twellman… really? Can’t ESPN throw someone at least 10 I.Q. points higher to do color commentary? Here’s a quote from the big man, no joke: “it’s deja vu all over again.” Yeah, Taylor, that’s why you don’t have to say “all over again”… When the commentators start talking towards the end of the match about what a great job the refs have done, you know the futbol’s been abysmal.

      • Ralph Nader says:

        Haha, I remember when he made the Deja Vu comment. My nephew asked me why he said that because he thought that’s what Deja Vu meant.

        I just told him he misheard–can’t get him too cynical about commentators at such a young age.

        • futbolisimo says:

          Oh I disagree… let ‘em learn and maintain those wonderful nascent powers of observation before the world beats it out of him.

          • crossmlk says:

            Futbolisimo = Eurosnob douche.

            • futbolisimo says:

              Hey, it’s not my fault if MLS sucks big time in terms of the aesthetic. I’m just point it out in the hope that it gets better. I honestly can say that since the league’s inception I really haven’t seen an improvement in the quality of futbol.

              • Yevgeniy says:

                Even the biggest haters would not agree with this comment. Have you just watched the final?

              • slowleftarm says:

                Now that’s funny

              • tony and cupcake says:

                There is a cure for that. Stop watching.

              • wandmdave says:

                Wow, you only started watching a year or two ago then.

              • DWE4 says:

                “I’m just point it out in the hope that it gets better.”

                Awesome! 17 seasons of MLS and countless fans have been waiting on pins and needles for your keen observation skills to start the revolution (not the New England kind).

                Also, you’re wrong. Like in that “everyone’s rolling their eyes at you” way…wrong.

        • James Fine says:

          “it’s deja vu all over again” is a famous quote by Yogi Berra. maybe you all need to start watching sports other than soccer. i have no doubt taylor knew what he was saying.

          • Paul says:

            Thank you! I was wondering when someone was going to say this. I actually thought i was a pretty famous quote.

      • KungFuSoccer says:

        “deja vu all over again” is a famous quote. Don’t call it stupid because you don’t get the joke.

        commentators always talk about the refereeing. It’s part of their job. I didn’t watch the whole game (I started at the 70th minute), but they did a good job and managed to keep themselves out of the headlines.

        Finals always tend to by physical. The fans don’t want the refs becoming part of the game and they back off knowing this and “let them play.” This is all over the world. Statistics back this up. It’s science.

        As a neutral this was a fun game to watch. I do not need to see 24 back passes prior to movement on goal to be entertained. There was action, tension and entertainment.

        • futbolisimo says:

          Ok, got it. Thanks for the edification. Seems like the phrase was coined by Yogi Berra vis a vis Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris repeatedly hit back-to-back home runs… But, T. Twellman is still dumbs as rocks. :)

          • blackandred says:

            Congratulations, you’ve successfully demonstrated you are not as smart as a guy you call stupid.

          • Chris says:

            Not so dumb that he didn’t know a really famous sports reference, though…And since you seem to like to speak before knowing what you’re talking about, maybe you need informed that Twellman’s career as a player ended prematurely due to persistent concussion problems, so you calling him dumb just makes you look like a bully.

        • AMPhibian says:

          +1

        • Chris says:

          You didn’t watch the whole game, so don’t talk about what a good job the refs did. The only reason they’re not getting more headlines is because MLS/Garber wanted SKC to win and ensured that happened, and the media (unfortunately apparently also this site) are swallowing their propaganda hook, line and sinker. Grajeda’s officiating became a complete joke the second he didn’t give Collin a second yellow for once again committing the same foul he had already given him a yellow card for in the first half. If that foul was a yellow once, it’s a yellow twice, never mind that persistent infringement is also a yellow card offense. If Grajeda had any integrity, he’d have given the second card, Collin would’ve been off and wouldn’t have scored the equalizer, and SKC would’ve been a man down for a significant chunk of the second half. So don’t talk about how the refs didn’t impact the game.

          Grajeda also waved off two RSL goals in extra time – Saborio’s was offside by half a step and was the right call unquestionably, but Robbie Findley’s sure looked onside and so far I haven’t been able to find a replay that shows otherwise.

      • frank from santiago says:

        futbolisimo, +10000000000

      • John says:

        “deju vu all over again” is an old Yogi Berra “Yogism” so it’s kind of a known joke

      • RICARDO says:

        Good comments

      • Gary Page says:

        I don’t understand all the Taylor Twellman bashing on this site. I find him no worse than a number of former MLS commentators such as Brian Dunseth or Kyle Martino and he often brings insight into the game. As for the deja vu comment, it is quite possible he is repeating an often repeated quote which originally came from Yogi Berra and is a tongue in cheek remark. Although the suspicion is that Yogi meant it seriously.

      • RP says:

        “Deja vu all over again” is an Americanism.
        For those of us that know our yogi Berra a quote like that is natural and appreciated.

    • Choto says:

      10 rounds = great drama.!

      Nice thing about the tv is guys like you can turn it off and watch helmet football.

      Please… Go comment on the euro games. My goodness…

    • Falsify says:

      You have absolutely no clue. This game was exciting especially the 2nd half!

    • Rory says:

      How In the crap can you deny it was dramatic? For the entire match one shot could have ended it. It doesn’t get more dramatic than that! Maybe if the goalies had to take the PK’s in the next round, that was all this was missing.

      I smell eurosnobbery here … If this was Chelsea and Man U on penalties to so. The FA cup you’d call it the greatest final!

    • Gary Page says:

      You must be a casual fan then. This was not high quality soccer and most MLS games are significantly better played than this was. I think the excitement and intensity must have gotten to the players as I saw a lot of poorly thought out play as well as just poor play. Very little possession and too many hit and hope long passes. That was more a sign of MLS about 10 years ago than the present game.

      • slowleftarm says:

        A lot of times finals and championship games aren’t the greatest games. For example, how many super bowls have been terrible? As someone who couldn’t have cared less who won, I thought the game was a lot of fun to watch yesterday.

      • wandmdave says:

        Im sure the weather had nothing to do with that.

    • Ben says:

      Jesus Christ, you’re even worse than the real Ralph Nader.

  2. richJ says:

    If Palmer was gonna miss he was gonna miss high. That guy is always launching that ball halfway into the upperdeck

  3. Fredo says:

    Great game: dramatic, hard fought, chippy, full of chances, Jimmy Nielsen PK save, and a fantastic result.

    • futbolisimo says:

      I want what you’re smoking.

      • crossmlk says:

        Well whatever Fredo is smoking would beat the hell out of the downers you’re peddling. If you don’t like MLS go watch your Fing EPL or whatever brand of Eurosnobbery floats your boat and leave the rest of us alone.

        • futbolisimo says:

          Ok, I’m sorry, you have my unfettered permission to go back to your American dungeon of philistinery, so to speak.

        • Northzax says:

          And I bet most of the people complaining about the match want two things: pro-rel, which leads to more cynical soccer (ties generally keep you up, losses drop you) and a euro schedule (temps below 35 don’t make for good soccer, and this weekend is below 35 in boston, ny, dc, Chicago, kc, denver, Dallas, Columbus, Portland. That’s a pretty decent chunk of the league in early December.

          • futbolisimo says:

            No, really I just want some creative, imaginative futbol.

            • homerica7 says:

              It’s a final. Finals rarely have creative, imaginative futbol.

            • tony and cupcake says:

              watch something other than MLS. you will be happy and we will be glad you are gone. thank you

            • blackandred says:

              You do realize they were playing on a frozen pitch in 13 degree wind chill conditions, right? Even the best players in the world are not going to play beautiful football in those conditions. But, no matter, you are clearly here to push your lame point of view regardless of facts so obviously its not going to change your preconceived bias.

  4. Duke says:

    While Collin’s goal was critical… MVP for me was Graham Zusi. He was everywhere and totally outplayed Beckerman. If JK was watching this game (and I have to believe he was) I think Zusi punched his ticket to Brazil while Beckerman was basically invisible with the exception of one nice pass.

    • Mike in Missouri says:

      A little harsh. Beckerman was invisible in the first half, but made a much bigger difference in the 2nd.

      Zusi wasn’t that great either in the first half. Took him a bit to figure out the free kicks in the conditions.

    • Ralph Nader says:

      How can you say he’s invisible despite diming a perfect assist for the team’s only goal? If that’s your criteria, nobody else even showed up.

      • Rory says:

        I just can’t get Zusi’s missed shots out of my head… I think he had no chance of being MVP with a missed penalty and another good chance he should have burried.

  5. steveNC says:

    I don’t get all of the.negativity. I thought it.was a good hard fought game in difficult conditions. Congrats skc fans. Rough end of the regular season but your team deserved it in the end.

    • futbolisimo says:

      It’s interesting, because America’s such an intellectually and socially homogenized society, American’s per se tend to equate any kind of informed, thoughtful criticism with mere “negativity” because they themselves are so bland and mindless in their thinking, or lack thereof.

      • steveNC says:

        Wow guy. You’re kind of a j3rk. Maybe don’t come to an american football site to discuss the league? No one is claiming mls is the most exciting league but it is America’s league and many people enjoy it. I’ve watched plenty of bpl games that have been much worse.

      • john l says:

        @ futbolisimo,

        You simply come off as ignorant and jealous. The United States is one of the most creative and innovative countries in the world. The United States leads the world in technological innovation and has for a long time. The United States still leads the world in many other areas of science, education and industry. This is fact not conjecture.
        I understand that your frightened of the US becoming a football power, there are reasons you should be. Your snobbish remarks are simply a reflection of that fear.

        • futbolisimo says:

          Education? Really? Break that down for me. The U.S. has 32 million adults who can’t read – 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read. Think about that for a minute: children who have spent about 15 years in the public school system still yet cannot read by the time they “finish.”

          For clarity, I’m not jealous. I’m American. I was born and raised here… but back to futbol. I’d love for the USA to become a “world power,” but it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

          • Oculus says:

            And yet US still leads in technological innovations, and that won’t change anytime soon. As far this study, they are including people that we used to consider “developmentally delayed”. Not only that,About 12.8% of U.S. residents are foreign born. One way to increase literacy rates would be administer literacy tests to potential immigrants.

            • futbolisimo says:

              You’re confusing literacy and the ability to speak English. Two separate things.

              • Oculus says:

                Actually the same thing, when 12.8% of the 14 percent you mention as being illiterate, are foreigners. Most foreigners that settle in the US, come from 3rd world nations.

              • Rory says:

                Hey footbolismo, you mind explaining why our Universities are the top in the world and more Foreigners come here for college than anywhere else in the world?

                Funny we are supposedly “homogenized” when in fact every region and many neighborhoods in our largest cities are unique and more diverse than anywhere else in the world.
                And finally, counter to your own declaration, I see nothing informed or thoughtful by any of your comments on here.
                Now move along back to the bridge you live under, troll.

          • Oculus says:

            Not only are you not Ameircan, you pull your information from random websites, without knowing WTH you are talking about. Not only will the US be a soccer power, we will achieve this sooner then people like yourself think. Looking at the history on how sport leagues rise in this country, you would see its happens almost overnight. Look at the NFL from 1970-1990, and how much more wealthy the league became. The US is the media capital, we have the most profitable sports leagues in the world, and thats a fact. MLS in 6-10 years will be one of time, I guarantee it.

            • futbolisimo says:

              I’ll bet my left nut the U.S. doesn’t become a “world power” in 6-10 years. I, Futbolisimo, said it first, here, on Soccer by Ives. Ain’t no W.C. – or W. Club Cup from an American club – on the horizon, next year, in 2018, or 2022 for that matter, holmies.

              • Oculus says:

                Well I feel sorry for your right nut, because its going to lonely in the sac.

              • Oculus says:

                Why wait?Due what a guy in Las Vegas did, sell one of your testicle, he got paid. Instead of given it away for free, you could help a guy with only a right nut. You know how lonely that right nut must feel. not one to cuddle with, share stories with, and no one to ball dice with? “think of that poor nut’…….oh well.

              • Oculus says:

                sorry its no, not “not”.

          • Nate says:

            Sure you were. The fact that you would correlate those statistics with an understanding of “futbol” basically tells us all we need to know about you.

          • John L says:

            @futbolisimo,
            I like how you just focused on education. You know there is more to education than just reading. The US continues to have the best higher learning establishments in the world. Once again fact not conjecture. I like how you call American’s bland and mindless. Since your an American then that means your bland and mindless. No one should take your post seriously then.

      • crossmlk says:

        I take it back futbolisimo = Troll douche.

      • HoBo says:

        your pathetic, move on……

      • Gary Page says:

        To call the US intellectually and socially homogenized shows a breadth of ignorance so vast I not sure where to start. Briefly, in any large urban area, there are numerous different ethnic groups. One example with which I am familiar, in the San Diego Unified School District, students speak over 70 different languages at home. There is probably more diversity right now in the US than at any time in its history.

        • futbolisimo says:

          Yes, literally speaking, you’re absolutely correct – but there’s much more going on beneath the surface: yes, that guy calls himself a muslin; that other guy calls himself a catholic; this woman is Mexican; that other woman is Vietnamese; this man lives on welfare; that other guy earns a middle-class income; etc., etc., etc. BUT THEY ALL THINK THE SAME ABOUT LIFE. They all share a concept about being, of living – a certain, very narrow form of “excellence” – which is the product of social organization driven by the underpinnings of Capitalism.

          That’s a chunk to unpack, I know. But take this as a launching point, a starting point for thought and perspective maybe. All the virtually identical responses to my comments throughout this thread are unequivocal empirical evidence of this.

      • Ben says:

        It’s odd–I read all sorts of places that the US is more divided culturally, politically, and socially than it has been in decades, and furthermore that huge chunks of the country are having their demographics dramatically altered by immigration. But “futbolisimo” informs me that we are “homogenous.” Gosh, I’m going to have to rethink everything.

        • futbolisimo says:

          Yes, you are correct: the country is divided – but not necessarily culturally – that is the superficial appearance.

          Rather, the country is divided SOCIO-ECONOMICALLY. But, paradoxically, it is homogenized IDEOLOGICALLY. And it is this form of homogeneity that paralyses the American psyche or consciousness. This is critical to understand.

          In the U.S. more people live in poverty now than at almost any other time – the gap between the “1%” and the rest of the population is oceanic. Yet, no one complains, no one protests, no one revolts, rebels; everyone accepts these reckless wars, the sub-par public education, the laws that are geared to the wealthy and major corporations, etc. One could go on and on about the disparity.

          It pretty much seems the American public is placated, almost anesthetized into docile acceptance of massive inequality.

      • stpauljosh says:

        And you have a difficult time understanding context.

    • AMPhibian says:

      I also enjoyed the match, and am confused and disappointed by all of the complaining. I think it’s part of the new vibe these commentary boards have been taking on.

      • futbolisimo says:

        It’s not complicated AMPhibian. It’s just bad futbol. Just watch Arsenal play when Whilshire and Ozil are on the pitch or Barcelona when Xavi, Iniesta and Messi are on the field and you’ll get what you’re missing.

        • John says:

          What I wasn’t just watching Barcelona against Arsenal? Single players on each of those teams have a far greater salaries then either RSL or Sporting’s entire team.

          • futbolisimo says:

            Fair enough, I think – somewhat of a relevant point. BUT, there are guys out there who got game – Zusi, Feilhaber (particularly him), I even like Beckerman (what a fantastic, deft Magic Johnson style assist tonight!)… The the larger culture is the problem – the coaches like Vermes, who bring in players like Aurelien Collin and so on. The people in charge off the pitch are working towards winning at all costs. I find it depressing and terribly cynical. The game is magic, pure magic, when true talent and skill is to develop and shine.

            • PDid says:

              Calm down…we’re capable of enjoying soccer games played at different skill levels. I love watching my team Arsenal, but I also enjoy watching my local high school team make a run at the state tournament. I love the game period…I think both teams showed commitment and effort. Not every game has to reach the loftiest standards to be enjoyable. This was a more enjoyable game to watch than that Spain-Holland slugfest of a WC final. The negativity in that game from Holland was highly disappointing.

        • AMPhibian says:

          You assume I haven’t seen The Gunners or Barca play because I happened to appreciate this game?

        • Fredo says:

          The only thing missing from MLS Cup 2013 was The LA Galaxy.

        • Siberian says:

          Of course RSL fans are upset. It’s tough to lose on penalties. And if you’re expecting to watch top class soccer, a final often disappoints. Sporting Kansas City deserve the Cup as much as any team in the league, so I’m not sure how anyone can complain. It was an entertaining game. Wish it weren’t played in December though.

        • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper" says:

          It’s not complicated Futbolisomo. It’s just bad intelligence

          This Final was better than many UCL finals I have watched in the last 7 years not to mention the 2010 WCF that had Arsenal and Barcelona players on the pitch ( Xavi, Iniesta and Van Persie). What you’re missing is more than just perspective and reason, it’s just too much hubris and too little intelligence.

        • Rivaldo says:

          Why bust this guys chops? He has a lot of good points
          After watching that game (albeit very exciting) I can understand why people are not watchng that much MLS
          We still are not producing enough talented players

          And you know why?

          We have NO plan for player development.

          This is what “Klinsy” was supposed to provide
          Give them hell futbolisimo!!

          • futbolisimo says:

            Cheers Rivaldo! More life out there after all! Turning into a better night by the post!

          • futbolisimo says:

            And by the way, “top down” development is really tough. While I appreciate Klinsmann on many levels, development of any lasting kind really has to happen from “grass roots” levels. I’m speaking in a kind of ontological sense, the nature of things, so to speak, if I’m getting that right. France is an excellent example of this. After the ’86 W.C., many of those guys from that team went out into the the lower divisions in their homeland and started training the next generations, etc. The result was the France of the late 90’s – a phenomenal group of players who took home the big prize at home in ’98…

            • Nate says:

              I think you mean after the 1984 Euros. in any event, the core of the 98 team were well into their teens by then (84-86); pretty late to be learning the game.

            • Rivaldo says:

              Futbolismo you are clearly someone who knows the game.
              It will take a major collapse in Brazil for us to understand what it really takes to become a soccer power.
              The same type of movement happened n Germany after a real US coach (BA) took us to the quarterfinals
              JK is taking money from US Soccer and not putting anything back. For $6000 a day, I want a solid development system in place by now.
              Please show up on this site again

              • futbolisimo says:

                Thanks Rivaldo. It’s heartening to know someone out there is on to things in a similar way.

                And I totally agree with you – it’s going to take a “catastrophe” of sorts for the American futboling culture to wake from it’s clueless slumber about the real state of affairs. In the near future the only way I see this happening is if they get emasculated in the first round down in Brazil – say three losses, no goals for, etc.

                Conversely, if the U.S. gets out of it’s group (then of course loses) it will be business as usually, culturally speaking: everyone will congratulate themselves and say, “we’re really proud; all things considered, we did well,” blah, blah, blah, and then go eat some oranges slices and oatmeal cookies.

                And yes, by the way, Bruce Arena is the best coach the U.S. has ever had, in my opinion too. Real breath of fresh air. I spoke with him over the phone once about my future as a young player back in the early 90’s. His candor did more for me then, than entire seasons with other trainers.

                One other note. I like Klinsmann. Somewhat. But at the end of the day – and I never thought I’d hear myself saying this – I think we need an American running that squad for myriad reasons… I don’t like it when American executives (Sunil Gulati) throw money at problems: it’s not a long-term fix. In the end, it’ll always be short term and in many respects regressive.

  6. Eric viva galaxy says:

    Ugh man I can’t stand SKC. Worst style of play. Bunch of hacks. Zusi bugs, i wish he was Canadian. Collin thugs allways throwing his arms everywhere. Feilhaber looked like a whiney little girl today, and Sapaong can’t hit the broad side of a barn, Was rooting for RSL as i’ve grown to like Beckeman and Rimando a little bit, and I have always liked RSL’s style of play. Would have been awesome to see RSL and NYRB today. Enjoyed watching the game, gotta support my MLS.

    • Eric's Mom says:

      Eric, don’t forget our agreement: if you continue to live in the basement and Like every female Facebook friends’ updates and if you expect me to pay for your World of Warcraft account, you would do two things.

      You would look for a job and you would quit getting drunk and posting dumb comments to websites. You are 37-year-old man, not whiny baby.

  7. Pace says:

    We get it, you guys the MLS. Your soooo cool and know sooo much more about soccer than us…

  8. Bean says:

    SBI has become the YouTube comments section.

  9. MLSatlanta says:

    I support SKC simply because I’ve been to their stadium multiple times now, I like their players, and I don’t have a local team to call my own. That being said, I’d still say that I for into the neutral fan category and from my stand point I was HIGHLY entertained.

    -Yes, the play was sloppy at times but it was always going to be a physical match up in harsh conditions.

    -There was a lot of excitement with both goal keepers coming up with extraordinary saves (Rimando especially) and Neilson getting some help from the woodwork.

    -Not a fan of PKs but I’ll admit that was the most intense shoot out I’ve seen in a long time. I thought for sure SKC had shot blew it.

    Futbolismo – I think you need to understand this isn’t Barcelona playing and no one in their right mind would say the level of play in MLS is anywhere near that just yet. But your negative attitude is the exact problem that is slowing down the growth of soccer culture in America. We need our fans to be true fans of the game and support our domestic league.

    You’ve got to realize that MLS is about 100 years younger than most top European leagues. We’re not going to match the quality of the EPL overnight or maybe not in the next couple of decades, but we are doing damn good considering its a constant struggle to win over “fans” such as yourself that think that someone is going to magically throw billions of dollars at MLS and turn it in to one of the best leagues with the best players in an instant.

    • futbolisimo says:

      You and I have differing definitions of what it means to be a “true fan.”

      To me, this does not mean passive acceptance of teams that simply work hard by running around, grunting, and banging into the opposition. Instead, a true fan is highly critical of poor, unimaginative futbol and demands better by exerting excruciating pressure on the players, the management, the ownership – and most importantly – on fans who are passive.

      This ain’t youth soccer with half-time orange slices no more.

  10. Scott says:

    Tell me again how we need to go to the European schedule. To the poster that corrected me and said that KC had a heated field…how did that work out for them? And it is not even winter yet! Can’t wait to watch MLS soccer in January and February! Ice skating anyone?

    • Bean says:

      It doesn’t have to be winter to be cold. Arctic air arrives usually in November/December. It was pretty cold despite being autumn.

      • Scott says:

        Not the point. Point being that the weather is typically colder in the portion of the year that some people want to play in, just because that is how they do it in Europe.

  11. KJH says:

    Quite an enjoyable game actually. Lots of chances and counter attacks. Anyone who says otherwise wasn’t watching. Hate to see either of these teams lose in PKs but neither could put the finisher in. Kudos to both teams for not being conservative.

    PS MLS is not BPL but I’ve see. So much worse in BPL than this. Haters will be haters after all….

  12. 2012 CT state champs says:

    Do you guys think this could be Gil’s last game in MLS?

  13. neuraminidase says:

    Im pretty sure futbolosimo is using a few different user names to agree with his absurd comments. Do not take him seriously. Nobody expects mls to compare to a barca vs arsenal game in terms of quality. We love our league and are optimistic in its continued growth. Congratulations to the skc fans. You deserve it.

    • futbolisimo says:

      I swear, I’m not. There are people out there whose opinions resonate with mine. And let me be clear, I don’t expect RSL v. SKC to look like a Barca v. Arsenal match. I’m not naive. BUT I do expects some decent, thoughtful, imaginative futbol. This is just so hard to find in MLS. It is more enjoyable for me to watch a 2nd division Spanish or Italian league game than to watch MLS. It hurts my brain, brother.

      • neuraminidase says:

        Then answer a few questions for me. Why do you insult an entire league and its fans because it is not up to the standards of serie a or primera? Do you go to the Norwegian or dutch league forums and do the same? Mls is young, has nowhere near the budget of said leagues yet still puts out an entertaining product and is growing every year. What exactly is your problem?

        • John says:

          I watched a few Dutch league games earlier today and I think that’s why I didn’t mind this MLS match so much. Perhaps people enjoy it because they are trying to create a bit more “imaginative futbol” but when nothing actually comes off its also pretty frustrating to watch.

        • futbolisimo says:

          First, I don’t meant to insult MLS fans.

          Second, I don’t mean to insult the MLS league per se. I mean to be critical of it. Those are two different things.

          Third, no, I don’t go on Norwegian or Dutch league forums. I’m American and don’t watch as many of those league’s games.

          Fourth, I’m not so sure I agree with you that the amount a capital pumped into a futbol league translates into success on the level that I’m trying to address.

          Finally, my problem, in very short, is that American culture, more or less, is bland and boring. It’s pedestrian and unimaginative (I’m not talking about it’s technological prowess here – I’m not a fan of technology; that’s another discussion).

          Take this with a grain of salt and try to see it as a starting point for discussion – a broad stroke if you will. MLS’s “brand” of futbol is a product of this culture. It’s deeply unsatisfying and, really, cynical to me.

  14. KB says:

    The thug team with the most fouls in 2014 wins the championship. As a potential consumer, that tells me something about the type of league that MLS wants to be. And I don’t like what it’s saying.

    • futbolisimo says:

      + 1, amigo. Spot on.

    • Yevgeniy says:

      So, if MLS didn’t want to be this “type of league”, they should have ensured that KC didn’t win?!?! Thoughtless comment!

      • Hincha Tim says:

        Yes, not by any nefarious or underhanded way, but by instructing and training refs on how to call games in general. What constitutes foul, a red card, a yellow card. Don’t you think that the game would have been played out differently if the league had it’s refs call the game as it is called in Spain or the season if the rules were enforced to protect and encourage creative play instead physical negative play? The non call of Collin’s yellow/red card hack of Findley that was not even deemed a foul the ref 5 feet away says it all.

    • tony and cupcake says:

      good. do us both a favor and leave.

    • frank from santiago says:

      KB, sure looks that way, unfortunately. I,ve been reading all the flack futbolisimo has been getting an it’s pretty funny. I’ve been following the league since day one, and it’s definitely grown but to say it was an exciting final is not accurate at all. People for some reason feel like they are being personally attacked, it’s weird. I was a 7 yr season ticket holder for the ‘quakes before moving to s. america, so I understand what mls is. I just don’t get why people get so cranky when someone else points out something that although truthfull it kinda hurts.
      I watched it with a few “new” fans ’cause I love & will always support mls, even from afar, but the truth is neither team could string 2-3 passes going forward.Not great advertisement. Also the ref should of sent off a couple of players early and it would of probably changed the thuggary a bit. Again what a couple of “haters” on here have said is not entirely of base, just some people seem to feel they are being personnaly attacked!?!
      Again, love mls, will always support it, but remember espn showed the game world wide and it didn’t look to good, That’s all…………

      • futbolisimo says:

        Well said, Frank in Santiago.

        My hunch is that a lot of comments come from young guys who’ve never played professionally at a high level or, equally or even more importantly, don’t have experience really watching and studying the game at the highest level. This may also account for taking criticism personally – the skin’s not thick yet.

        I’ve been studying futbol for over 30 years. Based on all my experience, MLS falls into the category of a sub-par league. The game – the beautiful game – is about possession, probing, penetrating and withdrawing and penetrating again, and again, looking, searching, inventing, using the imagination and skill to break down slowly (though admittedly sometimes quickly) a team like waves shaping stones. Pure rhythm being allowed to develop. Barca, then Arsenal, are the best examples of this that come to mind.

        And, yes, I agree with some comments above that finals, championships, etc. are often very rough-type battles, but that game last night was painfully discordant. There just wasn’t much futbol going on. And to be clear, this is often what I see when I turn on an MLS season match.

  15. KB says:

    Man, I’ve already flipped the calendar, hahaha. 2013, of course.

  16. El Paso tx says:

    It was a fair game since the weather conditions were not good but not terrible, just terribly cold.
    MLS needs to ask all teams to get their stadium ready for cold or hot or rain no matter what. I see MLS going to the international calendar, with the right planning and once warm markets come in like Orlando,Miami,Atlanta and I guess Sacramento or San Antonio.
    If the season starts in mid May and stops in early December and comes back after Super Bowl weekend or same Super Bowl weekend, that wouldn’t be that bad .
    For the break, have a Hawaii tournament or Tucson tournament.
    You can also have all those MLS vs European friendlies in the summer and the all star game as well.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Dude you always have some “I have an idea of how to make things better” comment. SMH U_U…..

  17. M says:

    Supporters Shield was the more important trophy this year tbh

    NYRB a much better side. SKC keeper has had a little to much BBQ

  18. Mouf says:

    Least reds in the league, they are physical, sorry if you like more of a ballet

    • KB says:

      And that’s the problem.

    • RB says:

      Wow — cherry pick much?

      You’re referring to SKC, the team that committed the most fouls in the league? With a bigger gap between them and the next team than between that next team and the 10th team in the league? The one whose MVP in this match had more yellows than anyone in the league (and by a similarly significant margin over other players)?

      Sure, OK.

      • frank from santiago says:

        haha…+1, RB

      • Stephen says:

        RB-
        Talk about cherry picking… Of course SKC has a ton of fouls, they play a physical, pressing style of play. Seems to work, now doesn’t it?

        You complain about the “thuggery” of SKC but they have maybe the fewest red cards in MLS and RSL out fouled SKC yesterday 21-19. I also believe that RSL was the team that knocked Kei Kamara out of the game with a shouldered cheap shot in the first 20 seconds of the game earlier this season. Complaining and “cherry picking” stats is hilarious and can go both ways but face it, RSL was beat by a better team yesterday and SKC are MLS Cup CHAMPIONS!!!

        • RB says:

          Yes, I talked about cherry picking, because Mouf’s comment about having the least red cards in the league, while omitting any commentary of the related points I mentioned, is a fine example of it. This is clear if you understand what type of argument “cherry picking” refers to. (However I’m not sure you do, given your later comments in reference to it.)

          Not sure what else you’re on about as I didn’t say anything about thuggery there, and what happened to Kei Kamara in some other game earlier this season is irrelevant, especially when the point is the total of _____ over an entire season (which both Mouf’s and my comments referred to).

  19. Kosh says:

    Congrats, SKC! I enjoyed the game and thought that both teams came to win a title. It was a fun year for our league this year – great stories and great games. Looking forward to next year.

  20. tony and cupcake says:

    Fun game. I enjoyed watching the battle. The cold weather did effect the play. Ordered my Dynamo season tickets and I can’t wait until next season. We will be there next year!

  21. Vinz Clortho says:

    It’s like watching a bobsled race decided by 1/100 of a second. Only this game played out over 120+ minutes. Such a slim margin to make the difference…….

  22. Floyd says:

    That first half was the worst football I’ve seen all year including my son’s u10 games.
    Didn’t have the stomach to watch the second half

  23. I just scrolled down through the comments here and I completely forgot about MLS. Instead, I couldn’t help wondering if Futbolista lives in a college dorm room or his parents’ basement.

    • futbolisimo says:

      First, it’s “Futbolisimo” not “Futbolista homey.

      Second,
      I live with your mom,
      in a brothel,
      where she works,
      to get away,
      from you,
      and your dad.

  24. solles says:

    This game just cements my dislike of Sporting Kansas City. Gary Smith was right, theyre a glorified college team.

    • futbolisimo says:

      + 1. And it’s a shame Zusi and Feilhaber play for them. They could really, really shine elsewhere.

  25. wandmdave says:

    Exciting game start to finish. I loved it. Weather effected play but it was wide open start to finish with skc putting pressure on goal constantly while rsl regularly looked dangerous on the counter. Pks were a roller coaster. Great fun.

  26. Just saying says:

    This guy futbolisimo, dude let it go. I am a fan of the EPL and when I I watch it every weekend I understand what I’m watching with the quality. However, I don’t bring that to my MLS watching time I understand where the league stands and how long it has been around for I don’t expect an arsenal quality or bayern or Barça so I just enjoy the fact that compare to previous years it has improved by miles ( oh wait is that too American for your? Using a distance of measurement for comparing the distance of analysis of quality? Eat a dack!) tell me what other newly formed league has the exposure this league has globally? The fact is eurodouché the way MLS is doing their growth we are poised to have the succes of bundesliga and real and Barça have at some point because they are focusing on youth development of their countryman. That’s why England is getting left behind they are developing more foreigners than Englishman.

    • futbolisimo says:

      Do you want me to let it go or do you want me to address one of your half-formed, psycho-emotionally-stunted, semi-literate, run-on questions? I mean it. Really. You tell me homey.

      • Just saying says:

        Well, aren’t you a know it all. You’re a moron for expecting this league and all of its content to be world class everything takes time to develop and that’s what your eurodouché under-developed so called brain of yours can compute. I stated facts Homie.

        • futbolisimo says:

          I really don’t think I know it all, but judging from so many incoherent comments above I can see why you might say that.

          Here’s the thing (and I’ve said this above): I don’t expect SKC or RSL to play like Barca or the like for that matter, but I do expect clubs in MLS to strive to play the beautiful game. I don’t see this happening. It’s terribly cynical and capital-driven. I find this depressing and uninspiring and culturally depraved.

          Of course things take time, but bang-em up bumper-car derby futbol like SKC’s is not the path to brilliant futbol – pure dead end: there are only seven ways til’ Sunday and most of the futbol I’m seeing in MLS ain’t it.

  27. rafavic says:

    I must say you know your successful when the haters come out. I understand that MLS is not for everyone and that’s fine. But you do not have to watch MLS at all. Watch whatever league fits your impression of what soccer should be. Allow those who are looking to build up the sport here whether good or bad to decide it’s course. If you want to have a say in the future of MLS, join a supporters group or better yet invest in the league by going to the games, buying merchandise, something. Now I can complain about the refs calls in general and I do alot. But I’d rather have a league that I can complain about than nothing which is what the eurosnobs would like us to have. To you the league may not have the most technical players, competent refs or imagination but it’s OUR league and I’ll support it because it’s ours.

    • futbolisimo says:

      Alright… I have to zero in on something: it is pure capitalistic b.s. to think that “investing in the league by… buying merchandise [or] something” is a genuinely productive way in which to “have a say in the future of MLS.” I cannot express how depressing and superficial this is. Pure American, capitalistic foolery and ideology. Totally passive in nature. I have my say in the league’s development by watching – and attending, time and funds permitting – matches and by constructively offering criticism.

      Lastly – and see my comments throughout this thread – I am ultimately motivated by an interest in the development of the American footballer per se and consequently with the prowess of American futbol in general. If MLS is interested in the kind or “brand” of futbol on display Saturday evening in Kansas, the nation is doomed. We will never genuinely compete with Spain, Brazil, Germany, Holland, Italy, Argentina and the few other like.

  28. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Futbolisimo is tying his best to win whiner of the year. He isn’t very smart, but man he has a lot of time on nis hands.

    Great game, funas heck to watch…still hate PKs, don’t know why they don’t jist play these things out. One thing I didn’t see brought up was Colin’s second yellow. He wouldn’t have hit that great PK after a red.

    • futbolisimo says:

      Oh… give it a rest. Since you’ve read my comments, you clearly have just as much time as I do, which is a good thing when it comes to paying attention to futbol in America… And really, I thoroughly enjoy edifying philistines like you.

  29. Neruda says:

    Congrats to skc. Worthy champs who beat my RSL on the tenth penalty. This could have gone either way but it’s sportings trophy.

    Sporting and peter vermes have proven today they exist to win. Their job is to win not entertain (a nice byproduct if they can). Winning is all fans care about and that’s enough for them.

  30. Ryan says:

    Congrats SKC. Can’t believe how much futbolisimo has commented on here. I was quickly scrolling through the comments and saw so many. I have to agree that MLS isn’t always the best but it’s what we have. I will choose to support it. I don’t understand so much effort to try to say it’s a sub par league…

    • Neruda says:

      There were more attractive games in MLS this year and the west is producing the more fluid style. But who cares in MLS Cup or any game for that matter. Win in any way is the goal. It’s very simple really. Results over style

    • futbolisimo says:

      You should actually read the comments. I whole-heartedly support the league.

      • mouf says:

        This game has nothing to do with development of players in our nation, the youth system, etc..

        I cant tell if you are trolling or really believe this game is some sort of indicator of anything you are trying to talk about. Either way, LOL

  31. wandmdave says:

    I’m curious futbolisimo. Were you just as disgusted with how the Dutch played Brazil in the 2010 WC? Seems like most teams no matter how skilled will play “bumper-car derby” soccer when the need arises. I take it you don’t like that and that is fine but lets not pretend MLS has a monopoly on that type of play. Any time a team plays a skillful fluid style and their opponent doesn’t think they can match it then their opponent will go for disruptive rhythm breaking fouls.

    Me personally I’ll take the bumper-cars as long as the game remains open. What I don’t prefer is bunker ball which is rarely very exciting at all. This game certainly didn’t have any of that, whereas the champs league and international soccer are chocked full of it. As I recall Chelsea won it last two years ago playing that way almost exclusively which was pretty god awful. Its not like we can say that is stunting the BPL or the English game which overachieves quite a bit for the size of the nation. In the end our international players will need to know how and when to play all of these styles to be successful on the international level so all that really matters is that the level of individual players rises from year to year. That is definitely happening and should continue to do so. Hopefully MLS will get a better TV deal and can raise the salary cap at least a little instead of just adding DPs. That would help tremendously.

    • stpauljosh says:

      Well said.

    • futbolisimo says:

      Disgusted is probably too strong a word. But yes, I was very disappointed with the Dutch. There was another match/tournament – maybe the Euros at some point? – where they adopted the same style. Really disappointing and cynical on so many levels.

      In the MLS final I did see some bunker ball. But yeah, I see that in Europe too. I remember the Chelsea game you mention. That was pretty bad. One note though – there are teams out there that don’t resort to the bumper car derby method. In the last 10-15 years, for instance, I don’t recall ever seeing teams like Barca or Arsenal every resorting to it.

      Here’s the thing. I’m a hard core purist when it comes to football. And with respect to futbol in my country I’m going to be particularly punishing. And here’s the bigger thing. I’ve been all around the world, and I’ve played at a very high level – particularly for an American – and I’ve been studying this game for longer that most people on this site have been alive. The U.S. is an amazing country. We have an extraordinary pool of athletic talent. Reminds me of Brazil in fact (heh, heh). We are barely tapping into it when resort to boring, intellectually trepid, and unimaginative strategies.

      • wandmdave says:

        Barca doesn’t really count considering they tend to set the standard because of how much money they spend but point taken.

        I’d agree we barely tap into our talent soccer-wise but given that interest and knowledge of the sport was pretty much at 0 no more than 25 years ago its hard to expect MLS or any other soccer body in the country to be tapping it at the level of Brazil anytime soon. I get pushing for more which is necessary but some patience and realistic expectations are required as well I think.