How did Sporting Kansas City prepare for their dominating 2-0 road victory over Toluca on Thursday night, in which the club held 62 percent of possession and incited cheering from opposition supporters as their passing sequences racked up? They did it in their sleep.
Not as simple as getting more sleep than normal, but in the way they slept. The players laid their heads in altitude tents to prepare for Estadio Nemesio Diez, Toluca's home ground, which sits at an elevation of 8,750 feet.
Yes, altitude tents. Players would lay down with an enclosure over their heads and chests, turn it on and speed along the physiological acclimation to the thin air of Toluca.
“The first few nights were fine when we were only at about 5,000 feet,” Seth Sinovic told Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star. “Toward the end, when it was past 11,000, that was a little more difficult. You find yourself waking up in the middle of the night.”