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Sporting KC is another club that was a founding member of the MLS, however, it was under a different name (Kansas City Wizards) for the first 15 years of its existence. It is the only club whose operations take place across two states; with the club office (and past home field) were in Missouri while the club plays home games in Kansas. The club was founded by Lamar Hunt (for whom the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is named) who was also the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The inaugural head coach of the team was Ron Newman who would remain with the club until April of 1999. The Wizards would make the playoffs in both of their opening seasons, however the next two seasons they finished last in conference and costing Newman his job. The club changed managers to Bob Gansler, a former U.S. National Team coach, but the result was the same finishing dead last in the conference.
In 2000, Gansler changed the club’s fortunes stating a twelve game stint where they were unbeaten. They had the best defensive record in the league, which would eventually lead them to the first double in club history. For the next several seasons the club would bounce between making the playoffs and being eliminated early on, or missing out entirely. In 2005 they would be moved to the MLS Eastern Conference as a result of expansion. They moved their home games into CommunityAmerica Ballpark (home to the Kansas City T-bones baseball team) for two years prior to the opening of now-Children’s Mercy Park.
In 2006, Gansler was replaced by the team for Curt Onalfo who would stay with the club for three years with minor success. In 2009, the club would usher in a new era with the hiring of Peter Vermes who is still with the club (in his 10th season).
MLS Cup (2): 2000, 2013
Supporters’ Shield (1): 2000
U.S. Open Cup (4): 2004, 2012, 2015, 2017