Once again it was another special night for Major League Soccer and those who have supported the Wiz, Wizards and now Sporting Kansas City as Livestrong Sporting Park opened up to rave reviews. A mid-west stadium with a European feel has created another crown jewel of stadiums within MLS.
The best moment about the inside of this new ground is the touch of Dallas Cowboys Stadium when both sides enter the pitch. After leaving the dressing room, both sides enter the season tickets lounge and then walk outside.
For the supporters group “The Cauldron” they are probably getting the biggest treat out of all the new or recently built stadiums for any MLS side. Behind their stands is a pub and lounge area — that is open seven days a week — where they can attend if it’s not on match day. And let’s not forget the standing room only section above the seats.
The first half ended scoreless with some pretty good action, even if Graham Zusi’s goal was called offside in the fourteenth minute. It was a great strike to get the Kansas City crowd going. Jimmy Nielsen looked strong in the net for Sporting as he made at least one to two solid saves.
But the action got really interesting when Sporting keeper Jimmy Nielsen created a mistake in the 67th minute when he accidentally pawed the ball outside his area and after he realized his mistake, went straight to the ground in disgust. Of course it was a straight red card for Nielsen and Sporting were down to ten men.
Another moment where you thought Michael Kennedy was going to point to the spot, nothing happened. In the 86th Omar Bravo went after the ball and entered the Chicago area. Defender Bratislav Ristic tackled for the ball. His right leg was between Bravo and the ball, got the ball first then tackled down Bravo. The big chance to get a goal from the spot never came either.
Even though the action wasn’t as good on TV, I have to say that those in Kansas City should be very proud that they finally have their own stadium to watch their team play.
After so many years combined at Arrowhead Stadium and Community Bank Ballpark, my good friends Robert Houghton and Mike Kuhn can relax and celebrate this accomplishment.
After a long road trip to finally come home to such a fantastic venue in the mid-west shows why Major League Soccer is growing every single day. More still needs to be done to make the American game important in the States, but on the night of Thursday, June 9 2011, another achievement has been accomplished.