1. 2013 MLS Cup triumph
Sporting KC captured their second-ever MLS Cup on a 20 degree December day in Kansas City by defeating Real Salt Lake on penalties 7-6. After 120 minutes that ended 1-1 after goals from Alvaro Sabario and Aurelien Collin, Jimmy Nielsen came up trumps for SKC, saving two penalties.
Collin, who was named the MLS Cup MVP, also tucked away his penalty as SKC defeated Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake in the 2013 MLS Cup Final following Lovel Palmer’s tenth-round penalty clanking off the crossbar.
It later came out that Nielsen had been playing with fractured ribs. Nielsen announced his retirement at the club’s celebration several days later. It was a remarkable performance on the biggest stage. Meanwhile, head coach Peter Vermes became the first and only manager to ever win MLS Cup as a player and as a manager with the same organization.
Sporting KC enjoyed a wonderful decade, but winning MLS Cup is the pinnacle of North American soccer. This was their moment of the decade, and it was never going to be anything else.