Unless you're a part of the ever-growing Sporting KC fanbase or stumbled on the #DearMrHunt hashtag on Twitter during the past week or so, you probably had no idea that Kansas City's 2000 MLS Cup trophy doesn't reside in Kansas City.
In fact, the trophy doesn't belong to Sporting KC at all.
The hardware Peter Vermes, Tony Meola and Chris Henderson, among others, earned at RFK Stadium against the Chicago Fire remains – and will continue to remain – property of the Hunt Sports Group, a treasured memento of the late Lamar Hunt, who owned the Wizards when they reached the MLS pinnacle at the turn of the century.
Understandably, Kansas City fans started wondering if they would ever get the opportunity to enjoy the spoils from their lone championship season in person. From that idea grew #DearMrHunt. And as it turns out, Clark Hunt was listening.
Sporting still won't own the trophy itself – retaining ownership was part of the terms agreed to by the Hunts and OnGoal when the team was sold – but they will have the opportunity to display it at Livestrong Sporting Park for the 2012 season until it goes to it's permanent home at Arrowhead Stadium.
It may not equate to ownership, but no matter how you slice it, that's a win for the fans that pack Livestrong Sporting Park from week to week.
On February 11, Team MLS/SUM raised over $75,000 to support Cycle for Survival, the national, indoor relay-style team cycling event that has raised more than $9 million in support of lifesaving research on rare cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
— Will Kuhns (@will_kuhns) February 11, 2012
This year's event broke all records and has provided Memorial Sloan Kettering with over $8M in funds. Every dollar raised by Cycle goes directly to Memorial Sloan-Kettering for research on rare cancers, paving the way for new, more effective treatment options.
— Lauren Lee Brophy (@Lauren_Brophy) February 11, 2012
The event was inspiring, emotional and fun, and wouldn't have been possible without the support of our friends, family and fans. A sincere thanks to everybody, and if you have interest in learning more about Cycle for Survival, you can visit www.CycleforSurvival.org.
I read an interesting Q&A on dcunited.com today where Kevin Payne says that Dwayne De Rosario is the most accomplished professional athlete in DC, and that the only guy in the greater market who comes close is Ray Lewis.
I liked that, mostly because I like solidarity, especially the kind of solidarity that leads you to make bold claims. But this raises a bigger question: Is Payne right?
In addition to Lewis — who plays in Baltimore for the Ravens, but whatever — the DC area boasts some notable athletes. The Capitals have Alex Ovechkin. The Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis have the Williams sisters. (I know, I know.) So who's the most accomplished?
First, I'm taking Ray Lewis in a landslide because I walk around in perpetual fear that he'll pop up on my blindside and destroy me. If I weren't worried about that, though, I'd probably point out that he's only won one Super Bowl and only two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, numbers which are clearly inferior to De Rosario's (four MLS Cup titles, two MLS Cup final MVP awards, an MLS MVP Award and a Golden Boot).
SB Nation is also throwing its support behind Payne's assessment, while Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post counters that Ovechkin has probably been one of the best two players in the world at points in his career, a feat which DeRo can't claim.
Of course, by that logic, Serena Williams blows the rest of the competition out of the water, because she may be the best player in women's tennis history, nevermind that the Kastles' season lasts about one month and that most of her accolades come from Grand Slams rather than WTT play.
But the fact I just spent 290 words on it means that Payne has hit on something interesting. (Everything I write about is interesting, didn't you know?) So I'll submit the question to you: Where does DeRo rank in the pantheon of DC-area pro sports?
It's one of the favorite pastimes of MLS supporters (and detractors): Figuring out where the league stands in the grand scheme of things.
Most feel it's somewhere between 10 and 15, and ESPN's Adrian Healey comes in at the upper limit of that range.
"I feel it is now a top 10 league in the world. I would say it’s right in the mix now with something like the Dutch Eredivisie in terms of the talent, the standard of play and the infrastructure," Healey told Prost Amerika on Wednesday in a must-read interview. "The only thing it doesn’t have yet is a history and a body of work, but that is coming. It has made amazing strides in just over a decade and a half."
Anyway, where do you feel MLS ranks among the world's leagues?
Toronto DP Danny Koevermans knows the secret way to win MLS Cup. After practice in Orlando, the Dutch forward spilled the beans and I have to say, not a bad idea. Who would be your secret weapon?
Got down to Tucson on Monday afternoon to finish up some future in-game spots for Real Salt Lake before taking up the analyst role alongside Allen Hopkins for the second game of the opening matches of the Desert Diamond Cup between RSL and the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday evening.
Thursday and Friday afternoons I found myself to be incredibly fortunate to be a part MLS' Media Training, presenting to both the New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake players talking about the good, the bad and the ugly of television, Twitter, etc.....
Been hearing about these rides that Volkswagen are dropping off for us to roll up and down the Pacific Coast - I'm a self admitted car geek..... From stops in LA to San Jose to Portland to Seattle, I'm personally looking forward to great games, great fans and cool interactions with all of you along the way.
If there's something (cool spots, great food, must see sights) along the way that you think we need to see - LET US KNOW!!! Drea and I are planning to roll up our sleeves and hang out as much as possible, telling as many stories as we can through your eyes.
Expect to see more of this as we inch ever closer to the March 11th debut of MLS on NBC Sports. Arlo White, the former voice of the Sounders and the future voice of MLS on the peacock network, joined host Russ Thaler on NBC Sports Talk tonight to discuss some of the big storylines around the league heading into the 2012 season.
And you know what? He looked damn good doing it. Here's to more soccer talk on Sports Talk.
Did you hear about the email that Celtic sent out to its fans today? In a nutshell they are encouraging their fans in the Seattle area to turn out to the Sounders' upcoming CONCACAF Champions League match and root against the home team and for Santos Laguna, their sister club. Sounds crazy, I know, but just to prove I'm not lying here's an excerpt from the email:
"Celtic's partner club, Santos Laguna, will face MLS outfit Seattle Sounders in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals at the start of March.
And Celtic fans in the area are being urged to come out and support the Mexican side, who now also include former Bhoy, Marc Crosas, among their ranks, as they aim to advance to the last four of the competition.
The Seattle district, of course, is home to a sizable Celtic support which was in evidence when the Hoops took on the Sounders in recent pre-season tours of North America.
While it may not be the Hoops from Glasgow in action, the club is asking supporters to turn-up and give the Los Guerreros some green and white backing from the stands."
Now there may be MLS cities where this tactic might work to bring out a few more bodies for the opposition but, let's be honest here, Seattle probably isn't one of them. Asking Seattlites to come out and root against the Sounders is akin to...hell, I don't know. I'm not sure there is a scenario out there that is preposterous enough for me to draw comparison with it.
Seriously, what are Celtic playing at here? After all, this is club that has played in Jet City four times, including three matches in the last 9 years, so it's not like Seattle is a market for which they hold no ambition. If they've made any new friends among the Sounders' sizable fanbase in the last few years they may have just broken up with them with this move. Are the Bhoys burning a bridge in the Emerald City? Or are they fanning the flames of rivalry for their next visit?
In conjunction with today’s Three for Thursday article, it was hard to highlight just three new strike partnerships which could be successful in MLS this year.
Because, oh my, there are plenty of wonderful options to chose from.
So what about some of the new partnerships we failed to mention?
Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper at New York look almost certain to line up side by side when the Red Bulls kick-off their campaign against FC Dallas on March 11. And with Luke Rodgers' chances of arriving back in New York looking slimmer by the day, the Frenchman will have to build a rapport with Cooper sharpish if Hans Backe’s men are going to challenge for a title in 2012.
Meanwhile up in Portland the arrival of Designated Player Kris Boyd means Jorge Perlaza will have a man alongside him who knows how to finish. Boyd has scored goals wherever he has gone, it’s as simple as that. Perlaza will thrive from being given a creative role, and having scored six goals in the Timbers’ first MLS season, the Colombian will hope he and Boyd can make JELD-WEN Field an even more intimidating venue to visit in the upcoming campaign.
The question is, which other strike pairings can set the scoring charts on fire in MLS this season?
You asked for it via Twitter and Facebook so here it is on MLSsoccer.com: full-length video of last night's State of the League fan forum with Commissioner Don Garber, Crew Owner Clark Hunt and Crew President & GM Mark McCullers. Press play on the video above to view Part 1, visit TheCrew.com to watch Part 2.