4. Emotional 2017 U.S. Open Cup victory
Sporting KC’s 2017 summer was full of ups and downs. On July 9th, Neal Patterson, one of the owners of the club, passed away after a battle with soft-tissue cancer. SKC had a U.S. Open Cup quarter-final just two days later against FC Dallas. In an already emotional match, SKC were reduced to 10 men after Seth Sinovic was sent off. Sporting were able to hold Dallas off for the entire 90 minutes, sending the game to extra-time.
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In extra-time, Ike Opara went to head the ball as Max Urruti went for a bicycle kick. Urruti kicked Opara’s head, forcing him off with a frightening injury. Urruti was shown a second yellow card, evening out the numbers. At this point, SKC ran away with the game, eventually dispatching a nine-men Dallas by 3-0.
Sporting KC then went on to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 5-4 on penalties after they exchanged goals in the opening half. Then, in between August’s semi-final and the final on September 20th, the wife of Neal Patterson, Jeanine Lillig-Patterson, passed away on September 5th after battling with breast cancer.
SKC then went on to defeat the New York Red Bulls in the final with a 2-1 scoreline after goals from Latif Blessing and Daniel Salloi. The celebrations were wild in honor of the Pattersons as SKC made history, winning their third U.S. Open Cup title in this decade alone.