Last year was the year of the long road trip and "we finally have a home for soccer in this city" stories. In the process of living out those stories, Sporting Kansas City managed to sneak up on the rest of Major League Soccer to claim the Eastern Conference and come within one terrible, bad, no-good game of the MLS Cup.
It was amazing "out of nowhere" story.
That’s not going to be the story this year. Not in the "Year of Great Expectations." Not when you owner is openly tweeting that the expectation is "#PaintTheWall." Not when you return 10/11ths of the starting lineup from the Eastern Conference final. Not when your average age (including 31-year-old camp no-show Birahim Diop) is 25.03-years-old
According to the online betting site Bovada, Sporting KC’s odds of winning the MLS Cup are 8/1. That’s behind only Los Angeles (2/1), Seattle (5/1) and Salt Lake (7/1). (Not that we condone gambling or anything.)
So, yeah, the pressure is definitely on.
To get you ready for a season where the stakes are this high and the expectations this great, The Full 90 is pulling out as many stops as it can. Seriously, the only thing that our season preview is missingis this.
**Try as we may, we couldn’t find room in the budget to bring in Truck-asaurus Rex.
Instead, we’ll bring you position-by-position previews for Sporting Kansas City, a look at the changes/expectations throughout Major League Soccer and make some outlandish predictions ahead of First Kick weekend.
It'll kick off up top later this morning with a closer look at the forwards. Tonight, we’ll explore the midfield. Thursday we’ll dedicate to the defense and goalkeepers. Friday brings a broader look at MLS and some predictions. Saturday, of course, is the pre-game primer on D.C. United.
And that’s just stuff I'm writing. I know Tod Palmer (The Star’s main Sporting KC guy this year) has a bunch of things he’s working on.Let’s do this.