Ten Best: Metros who played for KC
September 2, 2014
On January 28, 1999, the MetroStars and Kansas City Wizards participated in a major four-player trade. The two teams proceeded to bottom out, with two of the worst seasons in league history (Metro's was worse, of course). A year later, the Wiz were riding a former Metro to the MLS Cup, while Metro... well, we'll get to that trade soon enough.
10) Alexi Lalas: NY 1998; KC 1999
Ugh. No choice but to include Lalas on this list... what other options are there, John DeBrito? Taylor Graham? Birahim Diop? Edsucko Rodriguez? At least Lalas wasn't completely incompetent in his time in New York (as a player; as a GM, he is still the worst in a line of terrible executives), before being sent to the midwest in that massive trade. After one season in KC, he decided to quit soccer. If only he kept that retirement permanent...
9) Brian Bliss: NY 1997; KC 1998
The best trade in team history? Ex-World Cupper Bliss played just half a season for Metro... he played in only three games for KC. Metro traded him for the draft pick that became Mike Petke. Yeah, we won that one.
8) Chris Henderson: KC 1999-2000; NY 2006
At the time of his retirement, Henderson played more games than any other MLS player. His last season was with NY, as Lalas decided to trade the promising Tim Ward for a player clearly on his last legs. Henderson's two seasons in Kansas City saw him help the team to MLS Cup.
7) Luke Sassano: NY 2008-10; KC 2011-12
A utility player with Metro, Sassano filled in at right midfield, right back, central defense, and even central midfield (having Juan Carlos Osorio as head coach clearly had a lot to do with it). But it's his turn as the starting defensive midfielder during NY's run to the 2008 MLS Cup that solidifies him on this list. Sassano was let go in the Re-Entry Draft after 2010. He was taken to LA, immediately traded to KC, and played very little in his two seasons there.
6) Mike Sorber: KC 1996; NY 1997-99
One of the Wiz's initial allocations, the ex-World Cupper was traded to Metro after the season for the useless Damian Silvera (RIP). Sorber spent three years with Metro, and was a pretty much an automatic starter in defensive midfield throughout. He finished off his MLS career in Chicago.
5) Mark Chung: KC 1996-98; NY 1999-2001
An all-star with KC, a two-time all-star with Metro, he came east in that massive 1999 trade. While he did play well in NY and is one of few players in team history to score in multiple playoff years, it's clear that his best seasons were elsewhere. Chung was traded to Colorado so that Metro could take Diego Serna in the Dispersal Draft; he immediately became an all-star there as well.
4) Peter Vermes: NY 1996; KC 2000-02
Metro's original captain, scorer of the greatest (shootout) goal in team history. It was an absolute shocker when he was traded to Colorado for supplemental draft pick Kerry Zavagnin. The story doesn't end there: Zavagnin was awful with Metro, went down to the minors, then re-surfaced in MLS in 2000... with KC, now with Vermes. The two helped the Wiz to MLS Cup, and are now on Sporting's staff, leading them to last year's Cup (with Vermes the head coach, of course). Ugh.
3) Mike Ammann: KC 1996-98; NY 1999-2000
Another part of that massive trade, he came to NY with Chung. A heroic effort in goal for that terrible 1999 team was followed by an excellent 2000 and a place entrenched in Metro history: Mamadouchebag Diallo, Ammann's broken ribs, "Crime of the Century", and then the valiant comeback in the playoffs. Ammann was traded to the Scum so Tim Howard could become the starter.
2) Dave van den Bergh: KC 2006; NY 2007-08
If the Bliss-Petke trade wasn't the best in Metro history, this one definitely was. Metro gave up less than peanuts: a 3rd round supplemental pick for van den Bergh. All he ended up doing was solidifying Metro's left side for two seasons, winning MetroFanatic Hero of the Year in 2008, and helping the team to their first MLS Cup by scoring the greatest (ever) goal in team history. Then, the moronic Osorio decided to trade van den Bergh to Dallas. We're still pissed.
1) Tony Meola: NY 1996-98, 2005-06; KC 1994-2004
The final piece of that 1999 trade. Let's recap: Lalas and Meola to KC; Chung and Ammann to NY. Could have been worse, we guess... in the grand scheme of things. In any case, Meola backstopped Metro for three all-star seasons prior to that trade. After an injury-filled 1999, he swept MLS awards with this fantastic 2000, perhaps the greatest goalkeeping season in league history. Meola would return to Metro in 2005, and turned in one of the best performances we've ever seen, in the regular-season-ending, playoff-clinching win against Chivas USA.