Sporting KC media day outlines team goals
- Mar. 4, 2014
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Back-to-back champions. These four simple words are something every championship team strives for. It’s known to be one of the hardest things to do in sports. Everyone in the league is gunning for you, because they know you are the best.
Sporting Kansas City looks to defend their MLS Cup title this season, along with many other things. Sporting has a lot on their schedule in the upcoming weeks.
The MLS Cup champions will be travelling to Seattle to take on the Sounders in their first game of the season. Every other team in the MLS will be looking to knock off Sporting and contend for the cup.
“The hardest thing to do in sports is to repeat,” midfielder Graham Zusi said. “We’re coming into this season with a huge target on our backs.”
Zusi is one of three Sporting players that will be competing to make the US World Cup team as well. Midfielder Benny Feilhaber and newly named Sporting captain defenseman Matt Besler are the other two players. Trying to make the US World Cup team is just one of the obstacles that Sporting will be facing in the upcoming weeks.
“We have a couple guys trying to make the US National Team,” coach Peter Vermes said. “That’s just a part of international soccer, it’s a testament to our team that we have three guys going for a spot.”
Sporting will host Cruz Azul from the Mexican Premier League in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on March 12.
“An MLS team has never won the CCL before,” defenseman Seth Sinovic said. “I think that this is the closest an MLS team has been to being able to win one. We have a great, competitive squad.”
Winning the CCL would be an incredible achievement for Sporting.
“It would mean a whole lot to me and the guys,” Vermes said. “We are such a competitive group of guys and feel that we can compete on any level.”
Sporting will certainly have a hard time repeating as MLS cup champions this season, but that is not all they are concerned about.
One of Sporting’s major goals heading into this season is to not stay complacent. They need to come out with the same intensity they had last year in order to be successful.
“It shouldn’t be that hard,” Zusi said. “Our goals are to win as many games as possible. We want to win the Champions League, the Open Cup, the MLS Cup and after that win the Club Championship.”
Ben is a sophomore from Rockville Centre, N.Y., studying journalism on the news and information track. Read more from Ben Felderstein.