Welcome to a new feature on The Daily Wiz. Video Replay will feature selected video highlights from previous matches between Sporting Kansas City and an upcoming opponent. Our feature begins with the first opponent of the 2013 season: Philadelphia Union.
Video Replay #1:
October 24, 2012 Sporting Kansas City 2, Philadelphia Union 1
Philadelphia was the last opponent Kansas City faced in the 2012 regular season. A win in this game and Sporting KC would clinch the top spot and home-field advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. With the game tied in the 82nd minute, Kei Kamara made a sequence of beautiful moves through the Philadelphia Union midfield before connecting with CJ Sapong for the go-ahead goal.
Video Replay #2:
June 23, 2012 Philadelphia Union 4, Sporting Kansas City 0
If there was an outlier to the whole of the 2012 season, this was it. Sporting KC had not lost in six weeks and were coming off a scrappy 1-1 road draw against the Seattle Sounders. The Union were 0-5-1 in their previous six games, had been shut out five times, and manager Peter Nowak was fired ten days earlier. The game in Chester, Penn., appeared to be another workaday game where Sporting KC could control possession, fire open crosses, attempt a lot of shots, and walk out with at least a draw. Sporting did in fact execute their game plan, but were undone by a series of dysfunctional moments that allowed Philadelphia to score 4 goals.
The final goal—a pass from Michael Farfan to a wide, wide open Antoine Hoppenot—may have been the lowlight of the 2012 regular season.
In a postgame interview with MLSsoccer.com Peter Vermes took the blame for the result stating, "We just weren’t ready for the game. That’s my fault, and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again." Three weeks later Sporting Kansas City beat Philadelphia, in Chester, to advance to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.
Video Replay #3:
June 22, 2011 Philadelphia Union 0, Sporting Kansas City 0
It may seem odd to feature a scoreless draw as a video highlight, but in the context of the time, it was an incredible result. This midweek game was Sporting KC's twelfth road trip of the season, in just over three months. Peter Vermes had to make a number of substitutions due to injuries, suspensions, and the heavy toll a 10-game toad trip to start the season had taken on his players. The team was gassed. Philadelphia were a point out of first place and looked to exploit Sporting KC with four forwards starting in an aggressive 4-1-2-1-2 formation. Sporting KC withered in the hot weather, forgoing possession and allowing 26 attempts on goal. It was saved by the dynamic play of Jimmy Nielsen and the entire defense. Nielsen made seven saves in one of his most impressive performances of the 2011 season. Philadelphia would finish the season three points behind Kansas City in the Eastern Conference.
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June 10, 2010 Kansas City Wizards 2, Philadelphia 0
Philadelphia joined MLS as an expansion franchise in 2010, so the selection pool of great moments from the Wizards Era is pretty small. The summer of 2010 saw the Philadelphia Union come to Kansas City for the first time. The leaky Union defense struggled to contain the Wizards, allowing a closely-cropped Graham Zusi to score his first professional goal.
See Graham Zusi's first goal via YouTube.
Video courtesy MLS and MLSsoccer.com.
Any thoughts on the highlights? What are your favorite past moments with the Philadelphia Union? Comment below!