Sporting Kansas City debuted it’s $200 million stadium last night in front of a sell out crowd of over 19,000 fans. The stadium is sponsored by Livestrong and Lance Armstrong himself made it to the debut and addressed the sell out crowd. Chad Ochocinco also made the debut and spoke with the team in the locker room before the game. Chad had tried out for the club during the NFL lockout before the season and was named an honorary member of the club’s reserve team. The game was also played on ESPN2 as the MLS game of the week. The stadium is said to be by far the most technologically advanced soccer specific stadium in the US.
With one of the biggest soccer games in Kansas City history and thousands of local fans cheering at the game and at home, the team still could not come away with a win. After a few good chances from both squads, the teams came to a draw 0-0. It’s the third draw in a row for Sporting and extends their winless streak to 10 games in MLS play. Sporting has not won since the season debut where they beat Chivas USA 3-2.
Livestrong Sporting Park has still not seen an official goal scored but on it’s debut night it did see it’s first red card and controversy. In the 86th minute Omar Bravo was taking down inside the box by a Chicago Fire defender, but no foul was called. The defender did make contact with the ball but also slide right through Omar, who had to be taking off on a stretcher. The red card came in the 67th minute when the Fire played a ball over the top and forward Oduro got behind the back line. Oduro tried to flick the ball over goalkeeper Nielsen who had come outside the box. The only thing Sportings keeper could do at that point was reach up and slap the ball away which resulted in a red card. Even though Sporting had to play the rest of the game down a player, the Fire was unable to convert the free kick so Nielsen did stop them from scoring a game winning goal.
Sporting KC will now go on the road again but will be back to their impressive stadium next weekend June 17th. Now that they can play home games in Kansas City, their schedule will start to pick up and Sporting will have a chance to make up some ground in the standings. The majority of the their schedule will feature home games and with the new stadium they have a great home field advantage all season long.
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