Sporting KC opens the season Saturday at Philadelphia with a slightly retooled lineup that manager Peter Vermes believes can finally help the club win an elusive MLS Cup title.
The club had a successful campaign last year, winning the U.S. Open Cup and the regular-season Eastern Conference championship. But it was ousted by Houston as the No. 1 seed when the MLS Cup playoffs rolled around, providing the club a little extra motivation this offseason.
The club will have to chase a title, for now, without midfielder Roger Espinoza and forward Kei Kamara. Espinoza transferred to Wigan Athletic and Kamara is on loan to Norwich in the English Premier League.
The club hopes that newcomers such as Claudio Bieler and Benny Feilhaber will help absorb their loss.