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Sporting Kansas City is aiming to repeat as MLS Cup champion, and its coach knows that playing at home in the postseason could be the difference.

Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes says the prospect of home-field advantage in the playoffs is keeping his team focused on maintaining its form in Major League Soccer regular-season play.

Sporting claimed the 2013 MLS Cup on home turf last season, defeating Real Salt Lake on penalties, and Vermes is intent on doing everything he can to replicate the triumph.

"It's really internal motivation — you have to know what you are going after," he said after his team's 2-1 win over Toronto. "Last year the thing that really resonated with our team was that if you put yourself in a good position towards the end of the season in the table and through the playoffs, there is a chance of home advantage in the MLS Cup final.

"That notion is a very big carry at the end of the year."

Sporting currently occupies first place in the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of second-place D.C. United (although United has a pair of games in hand). SKC is currently on a six-game undefeated run, and has picked up maximum points in each of its last three games.

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