The Full 90

Five years ago today, OnGoal took control of KC's soccer future

On August 31, 2006, a group of local businessmen bought the Kansas City Wizards from Lamar Hunt and, in the process, kept soccer alive in Kansas City. It was the end of nearly 20 months of turmoil and speculation and confusion.

At the time, the plan was to move the Wizards to a temporary home in Johnson County with the hope of a soccer-specific stadium coming soon.

A lot has changed since then, including two stadium plans that fell through -- the one in Johnson County and another at the Bannister Mall site.

More than that:

• The name has changed with Sporting Kansas City replacing the Wizards in 2010.

• Only two players -- Davy Arnaud and Eric Kronberg -- were a part of the team when the sale took place. And Kronberg was a rookie at the time who was out on loan to Miami FC.

• Peter Vermes wasn't installed as the technical director until the end of the 2006 season -- the first major hire by OnGoal. Curt Onalfo was the first coach hired by the group.

• You know what hasn't changed at all? Chet North, the team's head athletic trainer. He was hired when Lamar Hunt owned the team.

• In 2006, Kansas City's average attendance was 10,664 (according to Down the Byline) while playing at Arrowhead. This year, the average attendance through 12 games is 17,578.

• Of course, it's not all bee so good. Kansas City have only two playoff appearances since OnGoal took over.

• But the promise of salvaging the club and building a stronger foundation for soccer in this city certainly came to fruition.

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