By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Sporting KC is mourning the death of their owner Neal Patterson. He died on Sunday morning after complications from soft-tissue cancer. He was 67.
“We not only lost a great man, we lost the spearhead of our organization,” Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes said. “When you look at the thing that are left behind in this organization — purchasing the team and saving it for Kansas City, the rebrand, the facilities that have been built, the stadium, the success the team has had on the field — he was extremely invested in all aspect of this organization.
“When you have a guy that is, like I said, the spearhead of all of those things, it’s such a huge loss.”
The soccer club plans to honor their former owner during Tuesday’s match with F.C. Dallas during the U.S. Open Cup. They will also honor him the rest of the season.
He regularly attended the games up until last year when he was diagnosed with cancer. Vermes said he recently texted with Patterson about the recent team matches.
“This isn’t something that I think anybody saw coming,” Vermes said.
Under Patterson’s leadership, the team won the 2013 MLS Cup. They also captured the 2012 and 2015 U.S. Open Cup Championships.
“When [Patterson] first bought the team, I don’t necessarily know if he thought he was going to be a huge soccer fan, or someone who was going to be in tune with the wins, losses, and ties of the team — but he absolutely was that,” Vermes said. “Util he became ill, he was at almost every game. He celebrates the wins. He felt the difficulties of the losses or ties, especially when we dominated the game. It was like a knife to the hear when we had the losses, because he’s a winner. He pursued excellence every day.”
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