030213_isi_sportingkc_mlsbb10241250 Bill Barrett/isiphotos.com
Major League Soccer

Defining Sporting Kansas City in One Word: Reloaded

Sporting KC's losses are significant, but the club managed to hang onto Graham Zusi and Matt Besler while added a few vital pieces. A run at MLS Cup seems like a strong possibility in 2013.
BY Matt Thacker Posted
March 02, 2013
2:32 PM
Despite losing two key players to the English Premier League, Sporting Kansas City has made the right moves to remain a top contender for MLS Cup this year.

Benny Feilhaber arrived as Roger Espinoza was leaving. Claudio Bieler was signed as a designated player as Kei Kamara was heading to Norwich on a three-month loan.

Sporting KC’s management has been a step ahead of the game, and they now have the most complete team in the league. The defense—with Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin—dominated last year, but finding a great finisher was a priority. Sporting conceded the fewest goals in MLS last season but finished tied for 12th in goals scored. Bieler, 28, might be the answer. He averaged more than a goal every two matches in Ecuador (57 goals in 110 league games for LDU Quito). He will have service from Feilhaber, MLS MVP candidate Graham Zusi, and talented young Spaniard Oriol Rosell. Sporting has finished atop the Eastern Conference the last two years, but the real goal is reaching MLS Cup.

Expected finish: 1st in the Eastern Conference. If the new players reach their potential, Sporting Kansas City will be the team to beat this year.

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