WICHITA, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City fans have endured an up-and-down regular season in 2022, and one fan is gaining popularity amongst the Major League Soccer online fandom.
“Everyone has always mentioned since I was younger that I’m a little aggressive when it comes to goals. I celebrate hard,” Kevin Lopez said.
“It’s very hard to support a team and then score a goal and you’re just like, ‘Yeah, good goal.’ Maybe it’s an English style, but in South America, its a whole different vibe. Being able to film that now, people are kind of, ‘Okay, maybe people take this league seriously.'”
Lopez, creator of SKC FAN TV, was born in Argentina and moved to Kansas as a child. He grew up watching the Argentina Primera Division and European soccer and became a Sporting KC fan due to the club’s proximity to Wichita.
His second ever match he attended was the 2013 MLS Cup Final when Sporting defeated Real Salt Lake to win their second championship.
About six years ago, he combined his passion for soccer with his other passion of film-making to start a YouTube channel.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started and kept everyone indoors, he decided to shift his video content to covering his interests and started live streaming as he watched his native Argentina win the Copa America in 2021.
Lopez took the momentum he saw from the Copa America and began covering the MLS and streaming as he watched Sporting KC, garnering the attention of fellow and rival fans.
“I get to talk to people while I’m watching, that was the whole idea. It’s just going to be a cool little hang out,” Lopez said, “Very quickly, I saw fans of opposing teams tuning in. Second stream in I had RSL fans in the stream like ‘Hey, I love your content.'”
With SKC’s struggles this season, Lopez admits some people tune in to laugh at his over-the-top reactions, but says he knows at the end of the day, the MLS community loves to come together.
“The cool thing with MLS, were only like 26 years into a new league and there is definitely rivalries, but at the same time everyone is trying to prove to the world that we’re a legitimate league,” Lopez said.
Lopez said it’s not the same as being in the stadium for a game, but connecting with fans around the league would not have been as easy while at a game.
“I thought, if I’m gonna watch them anyways, might as well just stream my reaction and see how it goes. Four months later, I’m not gonna say it’s blown up, but it’s reached so many different people, so many different fans of different teams, completely took me by surprise,” Lopez said.
Along with fans, Lopez has received positive feedback from Sporting KC forward Daniel Salloi and sideline reporter Aly Trost. He’s even heard rumblings from inside the club that they like what they see, despite not hearing from them directly.
The Seattle Sounders in-game announcers gave SKC FAN TV a shoutout during a broadcast and he was followed by Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira, because of his Latin American passion while celebrating goals.
Lopez hopes to expand the channel to include vlogs and reaction while at games next season and create content with more fans, similar to what clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United have in England.
He will also be streaming the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.