The calender has switched over to 2013. And with the change it's time to look towards the year and soccer in Kansas City, specifically Sporting KC, who will start the season in about 2 months. Here are my wishes for the year 2013.
1. Silverware - This is what I always want. Last year KC grabbed the US Open Cup and I'd love to repeat that or grab the Supporters' Shield, or the big one, MLS Cup.
2. 15 goals from Claudio Bieler - Bieler has been brought in for one thing, to score goals. For KC to be successful next season, he's going to need to find success and put the ball in the net. Fifteen goals would be the most for a KC player since Eddie Johnson in 2007 and tied for the second most all time for Kansas City.
3. A second double digit goal scorer - Finishing needs to improve next season. Hopefully Bieler helps with that, but hopefully KC doesn't lose too much from other goal scorers. KC almost had two double digit goal scorers last year, next year getting a second player over 10 goals would be good.
4. A game in the Hex at Livestrong Sporting Park - KC has proven the last 2 years that they'll bring it to support the US national team in games at LSP. From the Gold Cup two years ago to the qualifier vs Guatemala. There were reports out of Costa Rica that KC would get that game in March, but later rumors have that game going to Colorado or Salt Lake for altitude preparations for Mexico City. I'm not sure that KC will get the high profile US-Mexico game, but I wouldn't be surprised to see US-Honduras played at LSP.
5. No more than 1 home loss - KC had a 10-3-4 record at home this past year and a 8-4-5 record on the road. If KC wants to go to the next level it's going to have to be their home record that improves. KC's never been a traditionally good road team so if they can improve their home form and try to keep a similar road record they'll be in the race for the Supporters' Shield.
6. Comets break the Big 2 - Since the MISL returned in it's 3rd form in the 2008-2009 season (then the NISL) either the Baltimore Blast or Milwaukee Wave have made the final. The last two year's the finals have been between those two teams. The Comets initial hope this year had been to finally break up those two. Currently though they're well behind those two in the standings this year. While they may not catch the Wave or Blast in league play, hopefully at least in the playoffs they can break up the finals being these two teams.
7. Successful launch of FC Kansas City and the NWSL - It's been a whirlwind month plus so far for the new women's team and the new women's league. From not publicly existing to the point of starting play in 2013. On the surface the league looks like it may be in a good position from the start with the backing of 3 federations and more interested in how the league does in it's first season. Right now FCKC is one of only two teams that have yet to announce where they'll be playing in the 2013 season. Getting everything squared away for the 2013 season and a successful launch to the new league.
8. Advancement from the group phase of the Champions League - KC's first trip into the CONCACAF Champions League since it referred to as the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2005. At this point for an MLS team anything other than advancement is a major disappointment.
9. No friendlies - With MLS play, the US Open Cup, and the CCL, there's really no reason for KC to congest their schedule any more with meaningless friendlies. Last year KC pulled in French champion Montpellier, which was a fun game for what it was considering it's a team most teams had never seen before and looked to be entertaining. The other game was against EPL side Stoke who while a top half of the table side this season doesn't exactly scream high profile. Avoiding these games with the busy schedule during the summer is something that I think needs to be done.