In the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round, Sporting Kansas City was sternly tested by the reigning United Soccer League Pro champions, Orlando City SC.
Peter Vermes’ club survived, but now Sporting KC faces another USL Pro team, the Dayton Dutch Lions, in the quarterfinals June 26.
“They are going to come to play,” Vermes said. “They didn’t come this far because they’re not good. They’ve done something well.”
Sporting KC, which hasn’t been past the quarterfinal round since winning the Open Cup in 2004, knows it must keep its nose to the grindstone.
“We’re going to have to grind out games like this in order to make it farther in this tournament, and we want to win this whole thing,” forward Teal Bunbury said.
Another USL Pro team, the Richmond Kickers, ended Sporting KC’s run in last summer’s Open Cup in the quarterfinals — a fate the club is determined to avoid.
“We want to bring as many trophies to this organization as we can,” Bunbury said. “As a group, we know we’re talented enough and have the proper tools to do so.”
• Right back Chance Myers is the only player who has been on the field for every minute in all competitions this season.
And that’s suit Myers, who was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, just fine.
“That was a goal of mine coming into this year — to play every minute of every game,” Myers said.
It’s not a charity case by any means. Vermes thinks Myers has earned every minute.
“I put the guys out there that I feel like are going to help accomplish the goal and the plan, which is to win,” Vermes said. “You’ve got to remember, Chance didn’t have it easy. It took him a few years to get himself centered with this group.”