There were two no-brainers on the 2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame ballot -- former Kansas City and U.S. goalkeeper Tony Meola and midfielder Claudio Reyna. Both received more than 90 percent of the votes for induction as the Class of 2012.
Meola is the third Kansas City player inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Preki (2010) and Alexi Lalas (2006). Former KC managers Bob Gansler (2011) and Ron Newman (1992) were inducted on the Builders ballot.
Kansas Citians will always remember Meola for his stellar 'keeping during the 2000 MLS Cup run. He was the MLS MVP and Goalkeeper of the Year that season. His 10-save performance against the Chicago Fire helped secure the Cup.
Peter Vermes, Sporting KC's current manager, received just 35.29 percent of votes in his final year on the Player ballot. He will be eligible on the Veteran ballot beginning next year.
Sporting schedules 2 exhibitions
While Sporting failed to qualify for the championship or consolation match in the 2012 Disney Pro Soccer Classic, they won't be leaving Orlando without one more game. On Thursday, Sporting will scrimmage with the United States U-17 national team at 10 a.m. (CT).
Kansas City will also host a friendly against Rockhurst University on Tuesday, March 13 at Livestrong Sporting Park. (That game was originally slated to feature Creighton University.)
USA earns historic win in Italy
While not at all Sporting-related, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention the United States' 1-0 victory over Italy in Italy this afternoon.
Sure it was a friendly. Sure it means nothing, really. But it's still nice to see the United States beat a world power. While the U.S. weren't especially convincing for the entire 90 minutes, they were never out-played by the Italians.
Clint Dempsey got the goal for the Yanks. Of course he did.
I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that the USA went 3 for 3 today. The U.S. women beat Denmark 5-0 to open the 2012 Algarve Cup while the U.S. U-23 team beat Mexico 2-0 in a friendly. (Sporting Kansas City's Teal Bunbury was a second-half substitute in that game.)
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!