At the start of the season I posted this open letter to the players of Sporting Kansas City pouring a bit of my heart into how I felt heading into the season. Today, the day of the US Open Cup final my feelings haven't changed. As Robb said last night, I'm one of those that endured the empty cavern, the poor sight lines and screamed about the name change. Tonight none of that will matter, tonight I'll be in the Cauldron nervous as hell, but cheering my heart out for this team the same way I have for years. Tonight's not about those that have been with the team since the beginning or since this year. Tonight's about joining voices as one in the stands and on the field and bringing a trophy back to Kansas City. I've not really cared a lot about other sports teams in the city for a little while now (my love of the Chiefs died when Lamar Hunt put the team for sale even though it worked for the best for KC, and I've been apathetic about the Royals for as long as David Glass has), but I know plenty of my friends do, and this is something that is needed for this city. While the T-Bones have won a title and the Comets and Mavericks have done well, those teams don't register much on the radar of sports fans. Sporting has pushed their way onto the radar of casual sports fans the past few seasons, especially with the opening of Livestrong Sporting Park. Tonight KC has a chance to push themselves even higher by bringing a trophy back to Kansas City.
I don't think I've ever been more excited and apprehensive, even more so than last year's Eastern Conference Final. Truth be told I've never seen KC play in a cup final in person. In 2000 I was in the middle of high school soccer and watched the final from my living room. In 2004 I listened to a radio feed from my college dorm alone for the US Open Cup final. For the MLS Cup final I watched with my roommate. For the first time I'll be in the stands when KC tries to add a new trophy to their trophy case.
And needless to say "The Terror" is in full affect. I didn't sleep well at all last night and unlike last night when I dreamed about winning the US Open Cup tonight it was nightmares of loss after loss. It was images of Seattle's late winners that they've scored against Kansas City in the past. Goals like these in league play, or this PK in the 89th in the US Open Cup in 2009.
And while I feel "The Terror" I also do have confidence in the game tonight. All I have to do are watch any of the videos below and all of a sudden "The Terror" disappears if only for a little while. This team is ready, they know the stakes and they're ready to seize it.
I took liberties with a quote from Troy in my original letter to the players, and tonight is their chance at that immortality. Getting the club's name written as the champions in 2012, lifting the trophy and creating memories that will be in the minds of all those that are there for the rest of their lives. Tonight is that opportunity, BRING THE TROPHY HOME! C'MON SPORTING!