Friday, August 1, 2014

Sporting Legends Add 3 Members

At halftime of tonight's Sporting Kansas City game against Philadelphia, the club added three members to the Sporting Legends. Founder Lamar Hunt, manager Peter Vermes and defender Jimmy Conrad joined the club's Hall of Fame.

Clark Hunt, representing his father at the ceremony, spoke to reporters before the game. He said his father would be very proud of what the game has become in Kansas City. Clark also said his father would have been incredibly proud of how well the US Men's National Team performed at the 2014 World Cup.

Conrad, who also served as team captain during his eight seasons in Kansas City, was just as goofy as you might have thought he would be. When I asked him how he felt being inducted with Lamar and Peter, he said it was almost like you could say, "One of these things is not like the other..."

Conrad also said he's only 37 and he thought he should have been in his fifties, maybe even complaining about it in the press before he was inducted.

Maybe it's just me, but I think Jimmy's induction is well deserved and he more than earned it from not only his time here, but also his play for the Stars and Stripes.

Conrad played an important part in the club's 2004 season. I think it's fair to say that if Conrad had not been part of the club that season, the club might not have won the US Open Cup or reached the MLS Cup final against DC United.

I'm sure it's possible that I'm coloring my perceptions of Conrad's time here with the fact that he's a great guy off the pitch. He has always been pleasant to deal with when I've seen him since he retired, at the 2013 MLS All-Star Game, for example. He remembers my name and I get the impression that he's genuinely happy to see me.

It's that perception, though, that helps support something I've said about this club for a very long time. Sporting KC is full of good players who are even better people. I think that's one of the tests Peter Vermes uses when trying to decide on whether or not to bring a player in. How will they fit with the rest of the group? The new guy has to adjust to the group, not the other way around.


The club's in for a very busy week. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi will be gone from training all week, as they're off to the All-Star Game in Portland and will join the team in Vancouver prior to the team's match with the Whitecaps on Sunday. Jon Kempin and Erik Palmer-Brown will also be in Portland as they will play in the Homegrown Game on Monday.

Hope the team's road form continues so the club can run its unbeaten streak to nine matches.

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