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The Pow Wow

The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

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Madden Rauschs view of the game.
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Madden Rausch, Staff Writer • April 25, 2024

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Sporting’s Rise: Kansas City’s team of destiny

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Colin E. Braley/AP Sporting Kansas City’s Johnny Russell (7) and Logan Ndenbe (18) celebrate with teammates at the end of an MLS playoff soccer match against St. Louis City, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Kansas City, Kan. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

The much-maligned Major League Soccer (MLS) has a true underdog story. Kansas City’s version of Rocky Balboa at this moment in time. Despite the success, a very tortured fan base with ghosts of Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo past can finally have fun since 2017. The song of Sporting Kansas City’s turnaround will be sung through the hallowed stadium of Children’s Mercy Park by their fanbase. Here is their story.

Before the 2023 season, this team was very much returning despite their mediocre result in 2022 missing the playoffs by a close margin. Fan expectations were to at least make it to the new wild-card round the MLS introduced this year, allowing the eighth and ninth seeds to play a single elimination game. But the season didn’t even start with that low bar. After ten games they had three points, no wins, and were dead last in the league. Fans were livid as everything was in complete disarray. No scoring, bad defense, and very shaky goalkeeping. They were calling for manager Peter Vermes’ job as everything looked lost.

But then with haste, the club became the hottest team in the league overnight. Everything just gelled and they came together as one cohesive unit. Not just the team but the fans as well. Us devoted fans, who would stick with the team through thick and thin came together and became the team’s twelfth man once again. And with that the club strung multiple results with wins and draws, rarely losing. And on decision day, they had beat Minnesota United in an emphatic 3-1 victory to book their ticket to the Wild Card matchup. And the San Jose Earthquakes drew on the final day, which meant Sporting would host the game. This team during the season was something special, everyone was at peak form fighting in every game for survival. If it weren’t for leaders like Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido, Sporting KC most likely wouldn’t have made it to this point. They are some of the heroes in this Justice League roster.

The playoffs are now here and against San Jose, Sporting KC completely outperformed them but it was a tough finish to go to penalty kicks. And if you know goalkeeper Tim Melia, he comes in clutch in penalty kicks. He has never lost a shootout and he didn’t lose again. They then moved on to St. Louis to play St. Louis SC. The newest rivalry on I-70 not just the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis was a new team was the best in the league and had a home-field advantage. They have a very tough field to play but it shows a match to this team of destiny, completely thrashing them in their own house 4-1. And then finishing business in a 2-1 finish at home to send them to the second round. 

Their conclusion to the season is yet to be determined but I’m proud to say I support Sporting Kansas City. Because of not just our players rising to the challenge, but also our fans for always staying there whether they want to be or not. I don’t care if we go on to win the league or lose in the following round, I’m very grateful for this team we have. It means more here in Kansas City, the soccer capital of the United States.

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About the Contributor
Madden Rausch
Madden Rausch, Writer
Madden Rausch is in his second year on Staff at BSHS. He mostly covers World Sports and potentially other topics. Highlighting his fandom is Borussia Dortmund and the Kansas City Chiefs. He is pictured with Borussia Dortmund striker #9 Sebastian Haller.

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