The Full 90

Is Kansas City trip to thank for Roma's hot start in Italy? Yeah. Maybe.

Updated: 2013-10-01T14:19:17Z

Charles Gooch

The Kansas City Star

There are a bunch of teams in this early European season who have yet to lose a game -- Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, Bayern Munich, PSG, Monaco, Napoli, Juventus, Inter Milan and Everton(!).

But will all due respect to that group of teams, the hottest team in club soccer is AS Roma. Not only does the Giallorossi have a 100-percent record to start the Serie A season, they've only allowed 1 goal. This weekend, Roma throttled Bologna 5-0.

They can send a thank you card to Kansas City.


Over the last three years, nearly every team that traveled to Kansas City -- as Roma did this summer for the MLS All-Star Game -- has had a blinding start to the season (or, as is the case with Chivas, a fine end to the season).

Back in 2010, Kansas City hosted Manchester United at Arrowhead Stadium. The Wizards won that game 2-1 -- the only defeat United would taste over the next 22 matches in all competitions. What's more, on the way to the English Premier League title, Man United didn't lose an EPL game until February of 2011 -- a 25-match unbeaten run.

Following in those footsteps, Newcastle United became the first international team to visit Sporting Park for a friendly. While it wasn't a tremendously entertaining match (a 0-0 draw), Newcastle went on to have a pretty decent start to the EPL campaign. Through all competitions, Newcastle didn't suffer a loss for 11 games. In EPL fixtures, Newcastle also didn't suffer a loss in the 11 games preceding a 3-1 to Manchester City on the road.

Later that year, Chivas Guadalajara took on Kansas City at Sporting Park during the middle of the Liga MX Apertura. Following the 2-2 draw with SKC, Chivas closed out the season with only one loss in its last seven games.

Stoke City visited in August 2012 and picked up a 1-1 draw with Sporting KC. After that -- despite a schedule featuring Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool (away), Chelsea (away) and Manchester United (away) -- the Potters managed to lose just three times in the first 20 matches of the season. The only losses? Chelsea, Manchester United and Norwich City.

The one outlier in this group? Montpellier. The defending French champs became the first international club to pick up a win in Sporting Park (3-0), but that was the lone highlight of the start of the season though -- Montpellier only won four times in the first 15 matches in all competitions.

Is it a coincidence that five of the six teams that have traveled through Kansas City have started the season on a blinder?

And, is it a coincidence that the only international team to beat SKC was the only international team to stumble out of the gate in its league?

Probably. On both accounts.

Doesn't mean it isn't a fun little piece of trivial information to read way too much in to.

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