#SKCnation is made up of the best fans in MLS.
Capacity crowds in 34 straight MLS games. Traveling hundreds for away games. National anthems. Tifos. Pep rallies. Watch parties. Hosting this year's Independent Supporters Council summit. The list goes on.
Which is why we think one of our own belongs in ESPN's Fan Hall of Fame. In its second year, the worldwide leader is looking for three new inductees in 2013. Submit an application -- for yourself or a fellow fan -- online at FanHallofFame.com until Nov. 18. Ten finalists will be announced on Dec. 2.
— ESPN (@espn) November 4, 2013
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 8, 2013
To celebrate the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship coming to sold out Sporting Park, Sporting Kansas City is auctioning off five unique packages for fans. Each package includes an autographed item and a pair of tickets for the most anticipated match of the season to date. Proceeds from this auction will go to support the mission of The Victory Project -- our foundation to encourage, celebrate and help kids in Kansas City who are battling cancer.
The auction -- operated online at biddingforgood.com -- is now open and will close at 12 p.m. CT (noon) on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Check out the package options below:
Auction #1: This package includes an authentic, game-worn Sporting KC jersey signed by Graham Zusi on both the front and back, along with two (2) tickets to the Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo playoff game on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT. Seat location: Section 103, Row 12, Seats 15-16.
Starting Bid: $250 (Click Here)
Auction #2: This package includes an authentic, game-worn Sporting KC jersey signed by Aurelien Collin on both the front and back, along with two (2) tickets to the Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo playoff game on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT. Seat location: Section 103, Row 12, Seats 13-14.
Starting Bid: $250 (Click Here)
Auction #3: This package includes a full team-signed Breast Cancer Awareness soccer ball, along with two (2) tickets to the Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo playoff game on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT. Seat location: Section 131, Row 23, Seats 19-20.
Starting Bid: $150 (Click Here)
Auction #4: This package includes a full team-signed Boulevard Brewing Company playoff canvas, along with two (2) tickets to the Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo playoff game on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT. Seat location: Section 104, Row 21, Seats 3-4.
Starting Bid: $150 (Click Here)
Auction #5: This package includes a full team-signed Boulevard Brewing Company playoff canvas, along with two (2) tickets to the Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo playoff game on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. CT. Seat location: Section 104, Row 21, Seats 5-6.
Starting Bid: $150 (Click Here)
UMKC forward Jordan Rideout (Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography)
College soccer programs across the country are into the postseason stages and more than 30 Sporting KC Academy alums are playing a part for their respective schools. Check out the list below for updates on several of the players representing the Sporting KC Academy...
- Tom Adams (junior forward at Oral Roberts): Has made 11 appearances, including three starts with one goal on the year (Aug. 30 at St. Louis). The Golden Eagles (6-7-4) will have the two-seed in this weekend’s Summit League Tournament in Macomb, Ill. and face No. 3 Western Illinois on Friday.
- Joe Amico (freshman defender at Central Florida): Has made 14 appearances, including eight starts with one assist on the year. The Knights (8-4-5) have the No. 3 seed in the American Athletic Conference Championship and play No. 2. seed UConn in the semifinals on Friday in Frisco, Texas.
- Chris Arce (freshman midfielder at Neosho CC): Has made 15 appearances, including nine starts with one goal (Oct. 11 vs. Pratt) and one assist. The Panthers (11-6-1) season ended earlier this month in the Region 6 playoffs.
- Jovanny Bonilla (sophomore midfielder at Barton County CC): Has made 15 appearances, including 14 starts with one goal (Sept. 22 vs. Allen) and two assists. The Cougars (11-5-1) season ended earlier this month in the Region VI semifinals.
- Andrew Brown (sophomore midfielder at Bradley): Has made 18 appearances with two assists. The third-seeded Braves (10-6-2) host the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Soccer Championship beginning today and will face sixth-seeded Evansville.
- Paul Dean (freshman defender at Rockhurst): Has made 20 appearances, including eight starts with four assists. The Hawks (15-3-2) captured the Great Lakes Valley Championship and earned the third seed in Midwest Region of the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships. Rockhurst will play at second-seeded Tiffin (Ohio) in a second-round game on Saturday.
- Eric DeJulio (sophomore defender at Creighton): Has made 11 appearances, including seven starts with two goals (Oct. 30 vs. Drake, Nov. 12 at Providence). The Jays (9-8-2) fell to Providence 2-1 in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals on Tuesday.
- Brandon Fricke (junior defender at Butler): Has made 19 appearances, including 18 starts with three goals (Sept. 22 vs Brown, Oct. 1 vs Evansville, Nov. 8 vs Xavier). Fricke recently earned Capital One Academic All-District V University Division Men's Soccer Team honors and on Monday was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. The Bulldogs (11-7-1) face No. 2 seed Marquette on Friday at PPL Park in Philadelphia in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
- Daniel Hare (sophomore defender at Loyola): Has made 15 appearances on the year. The fifth-seeded Ramblers (6-10-2) open the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament against No. 4 seed SIUE today on the campus of Bradley Unviersity in Peoria, Ill.
- Eric Hymer (junior defender at Fort Hays St.): Has started all 19 games on the year. For the second straight year, Hymer was named to the All-MIAA Men's Soccer First Team and the Capital One Academic All-District Team. The No. 20 ranked Tigers (12-4-3) will play No. 1 ranked Lindenwood in the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships on either Nov. 21 or 22 at a site to be determined.
- Seo-In Kim (freshman midfielder at Duke): Has made 19 appearances, including nine starts with four assists. The Blue Devils (8-5-6) fell to Notre Dame 1-0 in the ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday.
- Raymond Lee (junior midfielder at Saint Louis): Has made 16 appearances with four goals (Sept. 11 vs Evansville, Oct. 19 vs Dayton, Oct. 27 vs Duquesne, Nov. 3 vs St. Joseph's) and one assist. The Billikens (12-4-2) won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title and have the No. 1 seed at this week’s A-10 Championship in Dayton, Ohio where they will face No. 8 seed UMassin the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
- Adam Lightner (freshman defender at Northern Illinois): Has made 15 appearances, including six starts on the year. The Huskies (4-13-1) season ended on Friday with a 3-3 draw against Buffalo.
- Andrew Lightner (sophomore defender at Dayton): Has made 15 appearances, including 13 starts with one assist. The Flyers (14-2-2) play La Salle in the opening round of the A-10 Championship on Thursday.
- Andrew Miller (sophomore defender at Baker): Has made 11 appearances, including six starts with two assists. The No. 3 seed Wildcats (13-5-2) will take on No. 1 seed MidAmerica Nazarene on Friday in Olathe, Kan. for the HAAC Conference Tournament championship.
- Michael Oakley (junior defender at UMKC): Has started all 18 games on the year and was named to the Capital One Academic All-district team. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Paul Oliver (junior midfielder at Cal Baptist): Has made 15 appearances, including 14 starts with two assists. The fifth-seed Lancers (10-5-1) take on fourth-seed Simon Fraser on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships.
- Nate Opperman (sophomore forward at Evansville): Has made 17 appearances with two goals (Oct. 1 vs Butler, Oct. 8 vs Kentucky) and one assist. The No. 6 seed Aces (10-7-1) open the Missouri Valley Conference Men's Soccer Championship on Wednesday against No. 3 seed Bradley in Peoria, Ill.
- Jordan Rideout (junior forward at UMKC): Has started all 18 games with a team-high seven goals (Sept. 21 vs Incarnate Word, Sept. 24 at Omaha, Oct. 5 vs Houston Baptist, two goals on Oct. 13 at Grand Canyon, Oct. 18 vs Air Force, Nov. 1 vs SJSU). For the third straight season, Rideout was named first team all-conference and moved into a tie for second place on the UMKC all-time goal scoring chart with 21 in his career. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Derek Schrick (sophomore midfielder at UMKC): Has made 17 appearances, including 12 starts with one goal (Aug. 31 vs Wisconsin) and two assists. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Alex Sweetin (senior midfielder at Saint Louis): Has made 18 appearances with seven goals (Sept. 21 vs Connecticut, Sept. 28 vs Central Arkansas, Oct. 2 vs Creighton, Oct. 13 vs George Washington, Oct. 27 vs Duquesne and two goals on Nov. 8 vs Rhode Island) and seven assists. The Billikens (12-4-2) won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title and have the No. 1 seed at this week’s A-10 Championship in Dayton, Ohio where they will face No. 8 seed UMass in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
- Chris Tuso (sophomore midfielder at Baker): Has made 20 appearances, including 14 starts with two goals (Sept. 24 vs Ottawa, Oct. 12 vs Benedictine) and two assists. The No. 3 seed Wildcats (13-5-2) will take on No. 1 seed MidAmerica Nazarene on Friday in Olathe, Kan. for the HAAC Conference Tournament championship.
- Taylor Vinnage (junior goalkeeper at Benedictine): Has played all 16 games with a 1.24 goals against average, 60 saves and 0.759 save percentage. The No. 9 ranked Ravens (11-4-1) fell 2-1 in overtime to Baker University of the HAAC Tournament Semifinals on Tuesday.
- Austin Wilcox (freshman midfielder at UMKC): Has made 13 appearances, including three starts on the year. The No. 7 seed Roos (4-10-4) will face No. 2 seed Bakersfield on Thursday in the WAC Men's Soccer Championship.
- Drew Wilson (freshman defender at Fort Hays State): Has started all 19 games on the year. The No. 20 ranked Tigers (12-4-3) will play No. 1 ranked Lindenwood in the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championships on either Nov. 21 or 22 at a site to be determined.
- Shane Woods (sophomore forward at Drury): Has made 20 appearances, including 11 starts with one goal (Sept. 17 vs Southwest Baptist). The Panthers (13-7-0) fell 3-2 to Indianapolis in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship men's soccer tournament semifinals on Friday.
The Sporting KC Show will air from 6-7 p.m. CT tonight on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine. They'll be taking listeners' calls at 913-3-810-810 and discussing all the latest around the world of soccer, including Major League Soccer's postseason and the upcoming FIFA fixtures.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura will join the show for a live interview. Nagamura has recovered from an ankle strain to start each of the club's last two playoff matches. On Saturday, he surpassed 17,000 minutes played in his MLS career (including postseason). Sound like a lot? No other active Sporting KC player has more than 10,000 minutes played in their MLS career.
Leg one in the two-game Eastern Conference Championship series between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo kicks off at 1:30 p.m. CT tomorrow on NBC/UDN (watch party in Boulevard Members Club at Sporting Park) and two MLSsoccer.com staffers share their tips on what to watch for in the match-up. The recent playoff history between these two sides may be grabbing the headlines, but Andrew Wiebe and Greg Lalas tell viewers there's plenty more storylines beneath the surface.
Such as? Two goalkeepers that played every minute in net this season for their respective clubs and lead defenses that combined to allow just three goals in the three games in the season series in 2013. Playmakers primed to perform? Graham Zusi for Sporting KC and Brad Davis for Houston. Key man-to-man match-up? Seth Sinovic's ability to slow down Boniek Garcia on the flank.
Check out those topics and much more in the preview package below. For more tactical talk, read the Opta Spotlight posted on MLSSoccer.com this afternoon.
Photo by Jamila St. Ann
The sixteen-year-old Lee's Summit, Mo. native signed as a Homegrown player in August and has traveled extensively with the U.S. youth national teams in 2013. He most recently returned from a trip to France with the United States Under-18 Men's National Team last month and scored his first international goal in a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.
Photos from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
The brand new championship field at the Swope Soccer Village (63rd and Lewis Rd.) in Kansas City, MO is officially open, hosting its kickoff event on Tuesday with several key stakeholders in attendance. Mayor Sly James, Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo, 5th District Councilman Michael Brooks, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and KC Parks Commissioners all participated in the ceremonial first kick on the natural grass surface.
Today, the Big 12 Soccer Championship begins with the following four quarterfinal match-ups:
No. 4 Iowa State vs. No. 5 Baylor at 11:30 a.m.
No. 3 Texas vs. No. 6 Oklahoma State at 2:00 p.m.
No. 1 West Virginia vs. No. 8 Kansas at 5:30 p.m.
No. 2 Texas Tech vs. No. 7 TCU at 8:00 p.m.
All four matches today, as well as Friday's semifinal rounds, will be streamed live online by the Big 12 Digital Network on Big12Sports.com. Tickets are available online via Ticketmaster.com and fans can purchase $9 day passes or a $14 tournament pass that provides access to all seven matches.
Two local standouts return to Kansas City for the postseason competition. Overland Park, Kan. native and Blue Valley North alum Frances Silva was named the Big 12 Conference's Offensive Player of the Year after leading the league in points (37), goals (12) and assists (13) in her senior year for regular season champions West Virginia. Lee's Summit North alum Allie Stephenson earned All-Big 12 Second Team recognition in her sophomore season at Oklahoma State with six goals and three assists.
The conference's top ranked team in the national polls is No. 11 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders went unbeaten in Big 12 play (6-0-2) and are 16-1-2 overall in 2013. The winner of the Big 12 Soccer Championship earns an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Check out some of the local media coverage below and follow @SwopeSoccer on Twitter for all the latest.
- New Soccer Field Opens at Swope Park (KSHB)
- Fans get a kick out of Kansas City's new soccer field (KSHB)
- Kansas City's new soccer village kicks off (KCTV)
- Complex meant to boost soccer in urban core (WDAF)
- Swope Park Soccer Village expansion nets Big 12 tournament (KC Business Journal)
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
The buzz is getting #Louder for Sporting Kansas City's home playoff match at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Sporting Park and that includes plenty of soccer chatter on the local radio. U.S. Men's National Team players Matt Besler and Graham Zusi were guests during the morning drive time while the afternoon airwaves awaited Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman.
Heineman joined The Day Shift with Henry Lake and Jay Binkley on 610 Sports Radio to discuss the MLS Cup Playoffs format, the team's support both home and away, as well as the prospect of bringing the National Soccer Hall of Fame to Kansas City.
Besler was a guest on The Border Patrol with Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty on Sports Radio 810 WHB to talk about tomorrow's decisive second leg, the controversial offside call in Saturday's match and the team's approach to the aggregate goal series.
Afentra's Big Fat Morning Buzz welcomed Zusi on 96.5 the Buzz to discuss the team's postseason run, rivalries between fan bases and the atmosphere at Sporting Park from the recently announced Sporting KC studios presented by Boulevard.
For more Sporting KC talk on the radio dial, tune in to The Sporting KC Show from 7-8 p.m. CT tonight on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine. Tonight's show includes an interview with New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves and fans are encouraged to join the discussion by calling 913-3-810-810.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber's 33rd minute goal against the Colorado Rapids in Week 27 (video below) is nominated for MLSSoccer.com Goal of the Year. Feilhaber's right-footed strike -- already named Sporting Kansas City's Goal of the Year -- is one of 64 total goals in contention for the MLS Goal of the Year title and one of four candidates in Group O alongside goals from Kalif Alhassan (POR), Tim Cahill (NY), and Federico Higuain (CLB).
Voting is now open online at MLSSoccer.com and will continue through 1:59 a.m. CT on Nov. 7. The top two goals in Group O, as voted on by fans, will advance to the second round (Nov. 8-11) where the field is narrowed to 32.
Visit MLSSoccer.com for more information on the contest and to see the other nominees, including Graham Zusi in Group A (voting closed).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Sporting Kansas City forward Claudio Bieler is a candidate for FutbolMLS.com's Latino del Año 2013. Earlier today, El Taca was revealed as a Group F nominee alongside Osvaldo Alonso (SEA), Michel (DAL) and Hendry Thomas (COL).
A total of 32 MLS players will compete for the fourth annual Latino del Año award. Voting begins on November 4, with the group stage winners announced on Nov. 7.
Bieler, 29, led all MLS newcomers with 10 goals this season and also added four assists in 28 appearances. He became the fourth player in team history to score 10 goals in his debut season (Takawira, Preki, Molnar) and first since the 2000 season. His 10 goals are also most by a Designated Player in team history, one more than Omar Bravo scored in 2011 when he won the Latino del Año.