Sporting Kansas City has two regular season games remaining, the first at LIVESTRONG Saturday against the New York Red Bulls...
And yes, without a doubt it’s the biggest game of the season. Here’s why:
Depending on how the boys in blue fare, SKC could finish as No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Or they could miss the playoffs altogether. Pressure, anyone?
You better believe it. And get this, not a single team in the Eastern Conference has clinched a playoff spot yet. Not. One. That’s right sports fans, in this long 34 game season that KC started on March 19th, not a damn thing has been decided…yet.
So it’s all on the line, including, in my opinion, head coach Peter Vermes’ job.
As I’ve stated before, missing the playoffs would be a complete nightmare after the ups and downs that SKC has endured this season. They started the season off horribly, plummeting to last place in the league due at least in part to the team’s endless, extended road trip while waiting for the stadium to be completed.
Then, like champions, they battled back, rounding into excellent form in the middle of the season, winning games and even ascending to first place in the east. They scored loads of goals through their uptempo and attacking style and became one of the teams no one wanted to face.
And they’ve largely maintained that form – granted with a hiccup here or there at times – but are still one of the better teams in all of MLS. The latest power rankings have Sporting listed at #3 behind LA and Seattle.
All this and they could still miss the playoffs?! Yep.
Which is crazy to even write. I mean, this team deserves to be in the playoffs, right? Most fans I talk to have had Sporting penciled in the playoff bracket for weeks now. Actually, scratch that, most wrote it in permanent marker.
Why, I don’t know. Maybe it was the compelling story of worst to first. Or the euphoria of opening that gem, LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Possibly a helluva lot of booze. I really don’t know.
Which is why at this point it would be devastatingly shocking were Sporting to miss out on the post season fun.
Which is also why Peter Vermes needs this team to do him a solid and win Saturday. With a win, Sporting clinches a playoff spot and brings to reality the dream that most fans have been living for a month or longer.