Sporting KC and the Kansas City Current will tell you at the start of every season that they aspire to win. It’s no different than any other year. But when another team within the cityscape wins a trophy, it serves as a point of inspiration.
A number of Sporting KC players are season ticket holders with the Chiefs, including Daniel Salloi. Salloi and a group of his teammates were watching No Other Pub, among the thousands crammed into KC’s Power and Light District, to see the Chiefs lift their third Lombardi Trophy.
“Rog (Espinoza) and I were talking — … we love America, that’s great,” Salloi told the media on Tuesday. “This doesn’t happen anywhere else. It’s wonderful.”
Salloi and Espinoza have renewed their season tickets, and perhaps even their race to win another trophy for the city.
“My friend was in town and I was telling him, ‘What a feeling,'” said Salloi. “If I can be that happy for another team like the Chiefs, imagine how we’ll feel celebrating for ourselves.
“I am very excited to start the season and this always gives us extra motivation to one day be a championship team. It’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. But we will do everything we can to experience that feeling too.
The Current are stationed at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for pre-season preparations. Hailie Mace told reporters on Thursday that every mansion where teammates are clustered had its own Super Bowl party.
“It has been really nice to have a team bond and support one of our owners,” Mace said. “The Chiefs victory in the Super Bowl is great for the city and inspiring for us because all sports in Kansas City have won something. I think he’s just an inspiration for us to hopefully bring home a championship for the city.”
Patrick Mahomes has ownership stakes in both teams and Brittany, his wife, also has a stake in Current. And while players may rally around him and his performances, the coaches of both teams draw inspiration from Andy Reid and his leadership.
Peter Vermes was quick to point out on Tuesday that he correctly predicted the end of Butker hitting a game-winning field goal and three-point spread. He also highlighted how the Chiefs performed in the second half and particularly on the closing drive.
“I think they have more than enough experienced players and obviously an incredibly experienced head coach who has his wits about him and doesn’t get lost in situations,” Vermes said. “I think that was the difference in the game, personally speaking.”
For Current coach Matt Potter, it was how Reid, his staff and players behaved after the game and during interviews.
“Everyone highlighted someone else’s or someone’s contribution to the collective,” Potter said. “It’s something we’ve tried to do here at the Kansas City Current.
“Hearing those kinds of comments on the biggest stages right now, it was very encouraging that there are maybe some things that are translating into what we’re trying to do. And of course we’re also trying to get to the top of that mountain.
Sporting KC add to the centre-back’s depth
Sporting KC announced the signing of Robert Castellanos on Friday. The right foot center fielder has extensive professional experience with the USL and with Nashville SC. He has one appearance in MLS, in which he scored his only professional goal.
Castellanos joins a Sporting KC roster preparing for the season opener next weekend when the club takes on the Portland Timbers on Feb. 25.
The current pre-season announcement roster
While Sporting is in Phoenix for another week to prepare for the season, the Current are training in Bradenton, Florida. They announced their preseason schedule with all NWSL opponents on Thursday. There are four games on the agenda in total.
The Current will take on the Orlando Pride (February 23) and Chicago Red Stars (February 27) in Florida this month. The team heads to San Diego in March, playing the Houston Dash and San Diego Wave on March 8 and 11, respectively.
The Current will open the regular season on March 25 at North Carolina Courage.