Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sporting Kansas City: 2013 Major League Soccer Champions

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Two championships in 16 months. A young core entering its prime. Owners willing to spend, and a fanbase mushrooming out of control. Everything is going to plan in Kansas City.
And after collecting their second MLS Cup trophy in a wild penalty shootout win over Real Salt Lake, becoming only the fifth team in MLS to win multiple titles in the process, it would seem Sporting Kansas City’s time atop the MLS heap has only just begun.
Of course, it’s easy to say that after popping bottles. But the sentiment’s got plenty of merit – despite the unknowns all MLS teams, most certainly championship ones, face come offseason – and Sporting hope this is just the beginning of a trophy case-clogging run.
“I could throw LeBron out there and say we’re going to win one, two, three, four, five,” defenderMatt Besler said somewhat facetiously, drawing plenty of laughs. “But I saw the potential with this club and where it’s headed and where it was already at. That was probably the biggest factor in signing a long-term deal.”
Besler’s United States national teammate Graham Zusi did the same this June, and despite the fact that both could move on next summer should foreign clubs come calling following the 2014 World Cup, trophies have a way of keeping talent in the fold and attracting plenty more.
As Sporting know all too well, success also attracts wandering eyes, a lesson learned when Roger Espinoza and Kei Kamara departed for England in the past year, but it seems the club has had no problem moving on, restocking the cupboard and finally overcoming their playoff yips to bring a long-awaited championship to Kansas City.
“This is definitely the first stepping stone. We’ve kind of created a culture at this club, and the past couple years we’ve grown each year,” Zusi said. “Don’t get me wrong, we’re very satisfied with what we’ve accomplished right now, but we need to take this as a stepping stone into the years to come and try to become one of the dominant teams in the league.”
Don’t forget the region, either.
By defeating Real Salt Lake, a team that knows all too well that titles are hard to come by after winning MLS Cup ahead of schedule in 2009 then falling short in the ensuring seasons, Kansas City is back in the CONCACAF Champions League for the 2014-15 season.
Before that, though, they’ll try to navigate the knockout stages for the first time facing a quarterfinal matchup against Cruz Azul in March.
“I made a joke earlier right after the president and owner came over to me on the field. I said, ‘That’s great. Now let’s go and win Champions League,’” manager Peter Vermes said. “Give me one day to just relax and enjoy this, but that’s hopefully the next thing on our list.”
And after that? Perhaps a Supporters’ Shield, US Open Cup or MLS Cup triumph.
Hey, Sporting can dream about a potential dynasty, right?
“I don’t know about a dynasty. We feel like we’ve got a team that can put ourselves in position to win trophies,” defender Seth Sinovic said. “Obviously, US Open Cup last year and MLS Cup this year. Who knows? We’d like to win a lot more, but we know it’s going to be difficult with the parity in this league.”

ISML 2013: Double Upset Special for Kyouko, Mirai



ISML 2013: Double Upset Special for Kyouko, Mirai
Kirigiri takes Summer Diadem, Kuriyama takes Autumn diadem

By Jo-Ryan Salazar
The Bedlam on Baltic Avenue
December 7, 2013

In what can be describes as a night of upsets, Match Day 9 of the 2013 International Saimoe League Bonus Exhibition saw two major upsets take place. In the Summer Diadem final, Kyouko Kirigiri defeated Noire 3696-3056 to prevail, while Mirai Kuriyama upset Mitsuki Nase 3514-3067 to take the Autumn Diadem.

The Summer Diadem final was an example of the rift in Saimoe taste between Japan and the rest of the world. Noire won Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonedia, Malaysia and Singapore but failed to win anythign else. Kirigiri's bigger victories came in China and Latin America.

The Autumn Diadem was more of the same rift between Japan and the world. Nase won Japan, Korea, Russia, Easter Europe and Canada, but Kuriyama took the rest of the regions, performing relatively well in Africa, Vietman and the Philippines.

"It's a good victory for me, but it will mean nothing if I don't qualify next year for the regular season," Kirigi said via phone interview. "I will be surprised if Noire is given an opportunity in the Nova next season."

"I think I've made a good impression on the voters and I want to make an even bigger impact next year," Kuriyama said via phone interview in Tokyo. "This Diadem victory is a good one, but I will have my work cut out for me in Preliminaries next season."

Match Day 10 of the 2013 International Saimoe League Bonus Exhibition is scheduled for December 8, 2013. Vote for your favorite characters at InternationalSaimoe.com and join the ongoing debate.


I'm A Man



Well my Daddy sent a message
'bout the whiskers on my chin
Never had no problems
'cause I've always paid the rent
I got no time for lovin'
'cause my time is all used up
I spend that time creatin'
For some groovy kinds of love

I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so

If I had my choice of matter
I'd rather be content
Being closer to the chatter
Than where your mind is at
While relating to each other
How strong your love will be
'cept that only sometimes
Groovy chicks you see

I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so



I've got to keep my image
While I'm standing on the floor
If I drop upon my knees
It's just to keep her on my nose
You think that I'm not human
And my heart is made of stone
But I've never had no problems
And my body's pretty strong

I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
Man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
Oh God I love you so, I love you so

If I had my choice of matter
I'd rather be content
Playing closer to the chest
Knowin' where your mind is at
While relating to each other
How good your love can be
Resisting only sometimes groovy chicks you see

I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so

I gotta keep my image
While I'm standin' on the floor
If I drop upon my knees
It's just to keep them on my nose
You think that I'm not human
And my heart is made of stone
But I never had no problems
And my body's pretty strong

I'm a man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
Man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
Man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so
Man, yes I am, and I can't help but love you so...