The Sporting Legends group doubled in size Friday, when Peter Vermes, Jimmy Conrad and Lamar Hunt were inducted into the Sporting Kansas City hall of honor during a halftime ceremony.
Vermes was recognized as a former Kansas City Wizards player and the current Sporting KC coach. Both tenures included MLS Cup championships.
Conrad was inducted after an eight-year career as a defender with the Kansas City Wizards, a stretch that featured six straight All-Star selections and a U.S. Open Cup championship.
Hunt, who died in 2006, was saluted Friday for his role in launching Major League Soccer and the Kansas City Wizards organization in 1996. The Hunt Sports Group continued its ownership of the team until 2006. Hunt’s son Clark, the chairman of the Chiefs, attended Friday’s ceremony.
“I know how proud he would be in regards to what Sporting Kansas City represents and the job that the ownership has done with the team here,” Clark Hunt said in a brief meeting with the media prior to the match. “He had a vision for what the sport could become in the United States, something that he worked on for over 40 years.
“He loved the Kansas City Wizards. They were one of his passions, like the Kansas City Chiefs. I think he would be delighted to see the growth of the sport, not only here in Kansas City but really throughout the United States.”
Preki, Tony Meola and Bob Gansler were the members of the inaugural class of Sporting Legends last August.
Jorge Claros made his Major League Soccer debut Friday in the Sporting KC midfield. He started as the holding midfielder — a position most recently occupied by Lawrence Olum, who joined the Kenya national team this week for its match Sunday against Lesotho in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
Claros, 28, signed with Sporting KC on July 16. He played in three World Cup matches with the Honduras national team.
Sporting KC was without a pair of its regulars on defense. Matt Besler was suspended Friday after picking up a pair of yellow cards — and subsequent ejection — in last Saturday’s victory in Toronto.
Seth Sinovic sat out with a groin strain. Sinovic’s injury is not believed to be serious, manager Peter Vermes said. Sinovic did not train with the team this week, but he did some light running Thursday and reported no problems.
Jacob Peterson earned the start at left outside defender with Sinovic out.
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