Thursday, December 05, 2013

Weather, SKC vs MU, and Other MLS Cup News

We're less than 48 hours away from MLS Cup. And with the game so close, there's lots of news coming out as soccer journalists around the US have descended on Kansas City for the final. Here's some news from today as MLS Cup gets closer.


This has been one of the big talking points for the last few weeks or so. After last weekend and earlier this week, that had temperatures in the 60's, the bottom has fallen out and temperatures for Saturday are now expected to only be in the 20's for Saturday. It gets even better, with the wind chill, it'll feel like it's in the single digits or below zero. Two weeks ago, KC played in the coldest game since MLS started keeping track in 2003. And Saturday it looks like a new record low could be hit. The expected snow this weekend looks like it'll hold off until Saturday night after the game, which is a good thing, but definitely dress in layers on Saturday.

SKC vs Mizzou

This has been a topic of discussion since last week when Mizzou defeated Texas A&M and clinched a spot in the SEC title game. That game kicks off in Atlanta at the same time that MLS Cup is set to kick off. With the two games starting at the same time, the conversation has turned to the coverage of both teams. So much so that the Wall Street Journal has made mention of it (albeit poorly in my opinion).

But let's be serious, Sporting KC is extremely unlikely to get top billing ahead of Mizzou, no matter how the SEC title game ends. Despite the MU/KU (and K-State) split in this city, MU is the larger fan base in the city. And while Sporting KC and soccer in general has made great strides in it's coverage in the media (print, TV, radio) over the past few years, football is still king in this city and country.

There really shouldn't be debate, unless you're a fan of both teams and not planning to attend one or the other. Then it becomes a debate of which one you watch live (or which one gets the big TV). Other than that, there is no debate here (especially in media coverage).

Retirement Questions

This shouldn't be a surprising conversation given the hunt by journalists around the city to find a story, but questions have been asked about Jimmy Nielsen's future. In the Guardian, as well as in today's press conference, Nielsen talked about potential retirement after Saturday's game.

The Guardian got the more in depth answer from Sporting's captain, and Nielsen was very diplomatic in his answer. Nielsen though didn't rule out the possibility of retiring, saying he'll make the decision after the game "If we win, then the first thing I'm going to do is go on a little vacation with my family. Then I will follow my gut feeling after that."

Going out on top would certainly have it's advantages, but plenty of fans would be disappointed if the White Puma chose to hang them up after the season.

Heineman Letter

Last year before the US Open Cup final against Seattle, Robb Heineman penned a letter to fans that was posted on the team's site, thanking the fans for their support and getting people excited for the final against the Sounders. This year he's done it again with another letter to the fans, and like last year, it has the desired effect. It gets more excitement for the fans and while it does have the general "rah-rah" you'd expect, it does speak to the great efforts that Sporting KC have made to endear themselves to the city and fans.

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