MLS Cup 2013

MLS Cup 2013, the 18th edition of Major League Soccer's championship match, was a soccer match which took place on Saturday, December 7, 2013 between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, United States. The match was to decide the winner of the 2013 season. Sporting KC were making their third appearance in the competition's final, having won in 2000 and losing in 2004. RSL were appearing in their second final, having won their only other in 2009.

MLS Cup 2013
EventMLS Cup
After extra time
Sporting Kansas City won 7–6 on penalties
DateDecember 7, 2013
VenueSporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas, US
Most Valuable PlayerAurélien Collin
(Sporting Kansas City)[1]
RefereeHilario Grajeda
WeatherSunny, 20 °F (−7 °C)[3]

It was the first MLS Cup final to be held at Sporting Park and the second time the championship match was not held at a predetermined neutral site. Sporting Kansas City won the right to host the match by besting Real Salt Lake in the regular season standings. This was the first time Kansas City hosted an MLS Cup final and the second final hosted at Sporting Park, the other being the 2012 U.S. Open Cup final.

The game was the coldest MLS match ever and was tied 1–1 after regulation time and extra time.[4] The penalty shootout was won 7–6 by Sporting Kansas City, ending with the longest shootout in MLS Cup history at ten rounds.[3]

Road to the final

Both teams qualified for the playoffs by finishing in the top five of their respective conferences at the end of the regular season. Sporting Kansas City then beat New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo to reach the final, while Real Salt Lake knocked out defending champions Los Angeles Galaxy and Portland Timbers.

Sporting Kansas City Round Real Salt Lake
Eastern Conference
Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
New York Red Bulls 3417985841+1759
Sporting Kansas City 34171074730+1758
New England Revolution 34141194938+1151
Houston Dynamo 34141194141051
Montreal Impact 34141375049+149
Regular season
Western Conference
Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
Portland Timbers 34145155433+2157
Real Salt Lake 34161085741+1656
Los Angeles Galaxy 34151185338+1553
Seattle Sounders FC 34151274242052
Colorado Rapids 34141194538+751
Opponent Result Legs Playoffs Opponent Result Legs
New England Revolution 4–3 1–2 away; 3–1 home Conf. Semifinals Los Angeles Galaxy 2–1 0–1 away; 2–0 home
Houston Dynamo 2–1 0–0 away; 2–1 home Conference Finals Portland Timbers 5–2 4–2 home; 1–0 away


The 2013 Cup was the first-ever small media market cup, with both Kansas City and Salt Lake City outside of the Top 10 media markets in the US (Kansas City is #28 and Salt Lake City is #32).[5] The tickets for the match were the highest price for the MLS Cup in the past five years, coming in at an average of $302 on the secondary market. This made it the highest priced sports event in the Kansas City area in four years, with the exception of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.[6]



Sporting Kansas City
Real Salt Lake
GK1 Jimmy Nielsen (c)
RB7 Chance Myers
CB78 Aurélien Collin 35'
CB5 Matt Besler
LB15 Seth Sinovic
RM6 Paulo Nagamura
CM20 Oriol Rosell 8'
LM10 Benny Feilhaber 103'
RW8 Graham Zusi
CF14 Dom Dwyer 72'
LW17 C. J. Sapong
GK18 Eric Kronberg
MF37 Jacob Peterson
DF23 Federico Bessone
FW16 Claudio Bieler 72'
DF3 Ike Opara
FW9 Teal Bunbury
DF13 Lawrence Olum 8'
Peter Vermes
GK18 Nick Rimando
RB2 Tony Beltran
CB6 Nat Borchers
CB28 Chris Schuler
LB17 Chris Wingert 24' 72'
DM5 Kyle Beckerman (c) 100'
RM21 Luis Gil 87'
LM20 Ned Grabavoy
AM11 Javier Morales
ST15 Álvaro Saborío 44'
ST10 Robbie Findley 112'
DF7 Lovel Palmer 72'
DF44 Brandon McDonald
GK24 Jeff Attinella
MF12 Cole Grossman
FW8 Joao Plata 112'
MF26 Sebastián Velásquez 87'
FW13 Olmes García
Jason Kreis

Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)[1]

Assistant referees:
Paul Scott (United States)
Bill Dittmar (United States)
Fourth official:
Ismail Elfath (United States)

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


Sporting Kansas City Real Salt Lake
Goals scored 1 1
Total shots 24 12
Shots on target 5 2
Saves 1 4
Corner kicks 9 1
Fouls committed 19 21
Offsides 4 3
Yellow cards 2 3
Red cards 0 0


As MLS Cup finalists, both teams were supposed to be qualified for the 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League. Sporting Kansas City (the champion) was to be placed in pot A, and Real Salt Lake (the runner-up) was to be placed in pot B. However, on December 13, 2013, CONCACAF accepted the US Soccer/MLS proposal to change the qualification rules, so that the spot reserved for the MLS Cup runner-up is instead awarded to the regular season conference winner that is not the Supporters' Shield champion, the Portland Timbers. Sporting Kansas City was not affected by this change.[7]


  1. "Aurelien Collin named Volkswagen MLS Cup MVP after scoring equalizer, netting in shootout". Major League Soccer. December 7, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  2. McDowell, Sam (December 7, 2013). "Sporting KC captures franchise's second MLS Cup in thrilling penalty-kick shootout". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  3. "Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake". Major League Soccer. December 7, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  4. Kaplan, Jonathan. "Recap: MLS Cup champions Sporting KC prevail in 10-round penalty shootout after 1–1 draw". Sporting Kansas City. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  5. Borg, Simon. "SmorgasBorg: First-ever small-market MLS Cup a badge of honor for league, supporter5". Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  6. Lawrence, Jesse. "Sporting KC Tickets For MLS Cup Are Most Expensive Cup Tickets In Last Five Years". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  7. "Portland Timbers headed to 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League after USSF rule change approved". Major League Soccer. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
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