“MLS Cup Champs! #SKCNation, you were amazing last night! Can’t begin to express what you guys mean to us. I love this city!!!”
Graham Zusi, @gzusi, in the aftermath of Sporting Kansas City’s scintillating MLS Cup win over Real Salt Lake, Twitter
GH: Hats and scarfs off to Sporting Kansas City for bringing a championship back to Kansas City’s professional sports scene. In a pulse-pounding live-or-die PK ending, SKC survived when RSL’s final PK hit the crossbar and slammed straight down harmlessly to the frozen turf. It was a weird way to end what was a remarkable cup match. I watched the final PK’s from the bar of the Bristol in the Power and Light District and the entire bar broke out into applause with Sportings’ victory. It was a pretty cool scene in a city that deserves to feel cool once again.
“I stuck with my plan and hit it well and it hit the corner and he guessed right and made the save. It happens. Graham and I were sitting there all week in practice and we’re just crushing it in the corner on our penalty kicks – and we were the two guys who missed it.”
Matt Besler, Sporting defender, on missing his PK in the overtime against Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando, 810 AM
GH: Besler told a great story about he was practicing PKs against Rimando this summer with the national team and how the two discussed his strategy and thinking for PKs. It appears Rimando keeps a book on his opponents just like “Author” told Bruce he needed to do in Bang the Drum Slowly, a favorite and very underrated baseball movie of mine.
“Glad #SportingKC won but #RSL fans were great. I laughed when they did the #ibelieve chant when they were ahead.”
Michael Long, @mkaalong, Twitter
GH: Cool to hear that the RSL fans were enjoying the moment as well. They brought a very impressive contingent to frigid KC for the cup final. I think Sporting Park is one of the best-looking sports venues on television. Not just because of the raucous fans but the field, the lighting and the atmosphere that bleeds across onto my television screen just demands that you pay attention.
“I don’t know if we followed the rules. Some of the trophy officials were giving us dirty looks (during Sportings’ postgame locker room celebration).”
Matt Besler, 810 AM
“FYI, I bought my first hard copy newspaper in 2 years today thanks to @SportingKC. Sucker for nostalgia.”
G Low, @KCPRGuy, in a tweet directed to @jeff_rosen88, sports editor at The Star, Twitter
GH: The Kansas City Star did a nice job in giving both Missouri’s SEC Championship game and SKC’s Cup Championship match their own “front page” in the sports section. I wasn’t thrilled with either full-page photo they chose for each but the full-page spreads were a nice nod to the two local teams.
“It’s gotten quiet here in KC! #RSL! Shhhh.”
Bill Riley, @espn700bill, RSL’s radio play-by-play voice, after RSL took a 1-0 lead at Sporting Park, Twitter
GH: Riley was having some fun with his Twitter followers and I made sure to keep his tweet just in case SKC turned things around. When I retweeted Riley’s tweet on Sunday morning, he responded with class. Read on.
“The decibels dropped a bit. For a while. But unfortunately not long enough. It wasn’t quiet for long though. Was a Great, fun game to attend. One to remember for sure.”
Bill Riley, @espn700bill, Twitter
GH: Riley has been RSL’s voice since their inception in 2005 but he knows our KC market as well. He shot me a tweet that showed his local roots as a Kansas grad who has worked in Hastings, NE, Moberly, MO and Wichita. “KC has come a long way from the days of Harry and Fortune calling Comets games at Kemper,” Riley tweeted. I could not have stated it any better.
“SKC Nation, you are invited to the official MLS Cup celebration Monday night at Union Station! Join us at 6:30 p.m. CT as we celebrate Sporting KC being crowned MLS champions. The special event is free and open to the public with parking available in the front lot or in the garage on the west side of Union Station. Festivities will include a live DJ, complimentary Boulevard beverages, player appearances and opportunities for fans to have their photo taken with the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.”
What: MLS Cup Celebration
When: Monday, December 9, 6:30p.m. – 8:30p.m.
Where: Union Station, Sprint Festival Plaza, 30 W Pershing Rd
Who: Players, fans, staff
Parking: Fans can park in the lot in front of the building OR in the visitor garage to the west of the building
GH: I think this party is going to get ridiculously out of hand. Enjoy.
and Twitter / @greghall24