Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork. Mark McGwire Jersey .com) - Sporting Kansas Citys MLS Cup defense will begin on Thursday when the club travels to Red Bull Arena to face Red Bull New York in the Eastern Conference play-in game. Kansas City finished the 2013 regular season in second place, one point back of the MLS Supporters Shield-winning Red Bulls. Sporting went on to win MLS Cup in the playoffs, but the 2014 campaign has been a significant deviation from last seasons success. Once in the discussion for the top seed in the East, a poor second half to the season yielded an abysmal 3-8-1 record after the All-Star Game, dropping Sporting to fifth place in the table. Kansas City concluded its regular season on Sunday with a disappointing 2-0 home loss to the Red Bulls. SKC head coach Peter Vermes cited the teams exhaustion as one of the main factors for the demise. To me, this isnt a bad loss from the point of view that the guys fought and tried, theyre just tired, Vermes said of the loss to RBNY. One is you make technical or tactical errors and the other is you make psychological errors when youre tired, and the guys are. There was really nothing we could do. Im not sure if Im not being clear, but when you have as many guys out as we do, at some point you have to understand you cant replace those guys. We have a salary cap. So were asking guys that are not regulars, not ready yet, to be 34-game times 90-type players. And theyre having to play like that on a regular basis. And not just through one competition, its been multiple. Ive painted those examples before, but I dont walk around with the guys and paint excuses to them based on that. We have to get healthy and I think that if our guys are recovered and healthy, we can give any team in this league a good game. The Red Bulls have also had to contend with CONCACAF Champions League fixtures this season, but head coach Mike Petke seems to have managed the extra fixtures more appropriately. New York essentially enters the postseason at full fitness, a testament to Petkes rotation policy. The Red Bulls rested captain Thierry Henry for Sundays meeting with Sporting, but the team rallied and earned a result in what Petke identified as one of the most enjoyable matches hes witnessed since assuming the managerial duties of his former club. This was one of the more enjoyable games since Ive been a coach, because you put a game plan out and you watch it executed, its a fun thing, Petke said after the match. Thats not always the case, but these guys were disciplined, they did exactly what we wanted to do and Im happy for them. We didnt celebrate like we won anything. Its just a good thing now we can go home and have a home game. Bradley Wright-Phillips stole the headlines by notching both goals on the night to finish with 27 goals on the campaign, tying Chris Wondolowski and Roy Lassiter for the single-season scoring record. But according to goalkeeper Luis Robles, the shutting out SKC striker Dom Dwyer was the biggest contributing factor to helping the Red Bulls march on to three points on Sunday. The thing that stuck out was defensively we limited Kansas Citys chances, said Robles, who only had to make two saves en route to recording his sixth clean sheet of the year. Realistically, they only had the one in the beginning with Dwyer and after that we won every second ball, were chasing balls down and it was a performance that we can really be proud of. Custom Oakland Athletics Jerseys . The 23-year-old Neustaedter will move at the end of the season when his contract with Moenchengladbach expires. He signed a four-year deal with Schalke. Marcus Semien Jersey . The light-heavyweight champion and number one ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world is on an 11-fight UFC winning streak, the longest in the history of the weight class. http://www.authenticbaseshopathletics.com/Joe-Morgan-Jersey/ . "Last year we were in a ton of situations, late-game situations we couldnt pull out. Wed kind of fold under the pressure, get frustrated or let a big shot frustrate us," guard DeMar DeRozan said.Here are some photos from the wild and crazy niight with the Cup. Rollie Fingers Jersey. NFL Jerseys WholesaleCheap NFL Jerseys AuthenticWholesale JerseysDiscount NFL JerseysNFL Jerseys WholesaleWhite NFL Jerseys CheapCheap Jerseys Wholesale ' ' '