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15 December 5:00 pm

Whenever Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman takes to the airwaves, it's more often than not a must-listen segment. Heineman is honest and open and likes to keep Sporting KC fans in the loop on the latest club news.

Today was no different when Heineman went on air with Kevin Kietzman this afternoon. The two started by announcing Nate Bukaty as the club's new play-by-play announcer. Co-host of The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB, Bukaty will take over for Callum Williams calling locally broadcast Sporting KC games on SKCTV.

Heineman on the decision to hire Bukaty: "What we've always been committed to from a brand perspective is local and also trying to do things that create continuity and a long-term vision. When we talked to Nate about this, what really struck me is as a kid, he grew up minutes from where the stadium now is and he said 'This would be a dream job for me and this is something that I could see doing for a long time.' That fits perfectly for us … and I think this is going to be great for us going forward.

Following the discussion around Bukaty's hiring, Heineman stayed on with Kietzman and Danny Clinkscale to talk about the latest news surrounding Sporting KC and Major League Soccer. They talked recent trades, potential signings as well as what MLS needs to do to expand its fan base. Check out the podcast below for the full interview.

11 December 1:39 pm

The holiday season is upon us and this morning Sporting Kansas City and The Victory Project helped send off families participating in the annual Snowball Express holiday trip. Since 2006 the Snowball Express has provided families of fallen military heroes a chance to come together in Dallas, TX for an early holiday vacation. Today 31 children and their families from the region gathered at KCI to depart for their trip.

This is not your typical flight. Before boarding the plane families were welcomed into a special room within the airline terminal where they were greeted with applause, food, presents and special guests, including Sporting KC defender Kevin Ellis and our mascot Blue. Once the families board the airplane, fully decorated with holiday fare, they engage in a cotton ball “snowball” fight with flight attendants and are joined by families from Chicago and Minneapolis. The trip is four days but these families make memories that will last a lifetime.

To learn more about the Snowball Express please visit SnowballExpress.org.

Created with flickr slideshow.

10 December 8:51 am

Major League Soccer's 2015 Expansion Draft will take place Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT. This will be the next opportunity for New York City FC and Orlando City SC to fill out their rosters ahead of their inaugural season.

The draft will consist of 10 rounds with Orlando City SC selecting first. Each team will have three minutes to make their selection. MLS also announced yesterday that the audio of the draft will be live streamed on MLSsoccer.com.

As a reminder, if Orlando City or NYCFC selects a player from Sporting KC, Manager Peter Vermes will be able to protect one additional player who has been exposed. Sporting KC's current protected player list includes: Matt Besler, Igor Juliao, Chance Myers, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic, Bernardo Añor, Benny Feilhaber, Jimmy Medranda, Paulo Nagamura, Graham Zusi and Dom Dwyer. Additional Sporting KC players who are not eligible to be selected include homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin, homegrown defenders Kevin Ellis and Erik Palmer-Brown and Generation adidas midfielder Mikey Lopez.

Also, each club who loses players in the Expansion Draft will receive $50,000 of allocation per player selected.

So what do you think? Will Sporting KC lose any players in today's draft? Let us know in the comment section below!

09 December 5:08 pm

Sporting Kansas City center back Matt Besler joined Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John on Sports Radio 810 WHB's The Border Patrol this morning. 

The guys chatted about Besler's offseason plans and the long year he had in 2014, highlighted by a trip back to his alma mater for the first time in three years and partying with the president.

Listen to the full podcast below:

04 December 8:20 pm

The 2014 MLS Cup Final is this weekend featuring the LA Galaxy and the New England Revolution. Although Sporting Kansas City's not playing in their second consecutive Cup final, that doesn't mean that Kansas City soccer doesn't have representation in the game.

In fact, six players, coaches or executives from Sunday's finalists are a part of Kansas City soccer history. Let's start at the top.

Both LA Galaxy president Chris Klein (pictured, right) and New England Revolution general manager Mike Burns played for Kansas City. Klein featured more than 200 times for the then-Wizards and was a part of the team that won the MLS Cup / Supporters' Shield double in 2000. Burns joined the squad a year later and played 43 League matches for the club over the course of two years.

Moving down the ladder, let's look at the Galaxy's coaching staff. Three members of the staff have Kansas City soccer ties. Prior to the Galaxy's hire of Bruce Arena as head coach in 2008, the former U.S. Men's National Team moonlighted as color commentator for Kansas City Wizards' television broadcasts. Arena worked a handful of games alongside play-by-play announcer Sean Wheelock.

Although not technically on Arena's first team staff, LA Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo managed Kansas City from 2007-2009. And last, but not least, we get to Dave Sarachan, Arena's long-time assistant coach. The two worked together at the University of Virginia, at D.C. United, on the USMNT staff and now with the Galaxy. But before Sarachan began his illustrious coaching career, the New York native spent a year playing indoor soccer for the Kansas City Comets in the original Major Indoor Soccer League.

Kansas City's final connection to Sunday's MLS Cup Final is New England Revolution striker Teal Bunbury (pictured, left). Peter Vermes drafted Bunbury in the first round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft after a standout career at the University of Akron. In four seasons with Kansas City, Bunbury played 89 regular season matches with 19 goals scored and six assists. Bunbury played in two playoff matches last year for Sporting KC including 77 minutes against the Revolution in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Sunday's MLS Cup Final kicks off at 2 p.m. CT from StubHub Center. The match can be seen nationally on on ESPN and UniMas.

Is there a Kansas City soccer connection that we missed? Post it in the comment section below!

04 December 3:21 pm

In the build up to MLS Cup on Sunday (2 p.m. CT on ESPN), end-of-the-year awards are being handed out by American soccer scribes and several of Sporting Kansas City's top performers earned high honors for their play in 2014.

Goal USA editor Thomas Floyd ranked the Top 10 players at all 11 positions from Major League Soccer's regular season for Backheel.com, with five Sporting Kansas City starters securing top-four recognition at their respective spots on the field:

  • Seth Sinovic: No. 1 left back
  • Benny Feilhaber: No. 1 attacking midfielder
  • Matt Besler: No. 2 left centerback
  • Graham Zusi: No. 3 right winger
  • Dom Dwyer: No. 4 striker

Dwyer, who set a single-season team record and finished second on the MLS scoring chart with 22 goals, was also named Major League Soccer's Most Improved Player on SBIsoccer.com.

Dom Dwyer’s first full season as a starter for Sporting Kansas City saw him break out and become one of the league’s top goal scorers. The English forward bagged 22 goals and one assist, the second most in MLS, making him the runaway choice for SBI MLS Most Improved Player of the Year. Dwyer also finished the 2014 regular season with the fourth-most shots, third most shots on goal, and third most game winning goals. In addition, Dwyer’s 10 goals on the road was tied for the most in the league with Obafemi Martins, showing that Dwyer’s dogged and determined style was the same no matter which stadium he played in.

 

04 December 11:44 am

Looking for a place to watch MLS Cup on Sunday? Look no further than BurgerFi in downtown Lawrence (918 Mass Street).

Sporting KC's Chance Myers and Erik Palmer-Brown will be on hand with the MLS Cup from 2-3:30 p.m. CT. Fans are invited to come to BurgerFi to take pictures with both Myers, Palmer-Brown and the MLS Cup as well as get autographs from the Sporting KC players.

Both Myers and Palmer-Brown are in the midst of offseason rehab after suffering season-ending injuries in 2014. Palmer-Brown made his professional debut on May 18 in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire and appeared in six matches in all competitions this past year. Myers, who turns 27 on Sunday, is the club's longest tenured player. Kansas City drafted the former UCLA Bruin with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. Myers started 26 games in 2013 including all five MLS Cup Playoff matches en route to the club's second MLS Cup championship.

The 2014 MLS Cup pits host LA Galaxy against the New England Revolution. Sunday's match features some of the top stars in Major League Soccer including all-time MLS an USMNT goalscoring leader Landon Donovan, 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane, U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Jermaine Jones and MLS MVP finalist Lee Nguyen. The match will kick off at 2 p.m. CT on ESPN and UniMas.

04 December 10:37 am

Helping children thrive through life’s challenges is the mission of The Victory Project. This year -- with the help of our players, coaches, staff and fans -- The Victory Project was able to impact the lives of many children in the Kansas City area through various programs and special events.

During the month of December, The Victory Project will countdown some of their favorite moments from the year. Follow @VictoryKC on Twitter and @VictoryProjectKC on Instagram to relive the memorable events and experiences. And if you have a favorite moment, please share on social media or in the comments section below.

To learn more about The Victory Project, visit VictoryKC.org.

29 November 12:38 pm


Illustration by Roxie Vizcarra (as seen in ESPN The Magazine)

Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer is featured in ESPN The Magazine's "Big Money" Issue, which hit newsstands on Friday, as one of six athletes whose spending habits were tracked and analyzed by senior writer Sam Alipour.

To find out how athletes really spend their money, we asked six -- from an NBA star who makes $12 million a year to a college swimmer using grant money -- to record several days’ worth of purchases...diaries from Andrew Bogut (NBA), Ryan Hunter-Reay (IndyCar), Justin Forsett (NFL), Dom Dwyer (MLS), Tyler Latorre (MiLB) and Kendyl Stewart (USC swimming).

Major League Soccer's second-highest scorer tallied 22 goals and took Sporting KC to the playoffs. Says the British bachelor, who makes $92,500 a year: "I'm a guy who focuses on the game and has fun after too." He has the club's co-MVP title -- and the bar tabs -- to prove it.

Dwyer's transactions were logged over the final five days of October, which included a World Series game in Kansas City and a playoff road trip to New Jersey. To see the full feature, the Dec. 8 issue of ESPN The Magazine is available for $5.99 at area retailers. Readers can also purchase access to a digital edition for $3.99 on Google Play or by using the ESPN The Magazine App for iPad and iPhone.

29 November 11:47 am

Sporting Kansas City Defender of the Year Seth Sinovic joined Kansas City Mayor Sly James at the annual Mayor's Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Friday at Crown Center. Sinovic -- a Leawood, Kansas native -- was this year's featured celebrity and the event served to support the Mayor's Christmas Tree Fund (donate here), which helps as many as 7,000 local families each year.

Sinovic's speech: Watch Now

The tree is known as one of the nation's largest at 100 feet high and seven tons in weight. The decorations include more than 1,200 ornaments and 7,200 lights, while its wood is turned into commemorative ornaments following each holiday season.