Sporting KC's training facility is less than a mile from the Kansas City Zoo and on Sunday, the two Swope Park destinations teamed up for "Sporting KC Day at the Zoo." Benny Feilhaber, Roger Espinoza, Tim Melia and Chance Myers were all in attendance to interact with fans and zoo animals alike.
In addition, The Victory Project's portable futsal court was set up behind Tropics for free use by guests of all ages. Check out a photo slideshow above, as well as video for sights and sounds below.
All eyes in Major League Soccer will be on #SKCvDAL on Friday night at Sporting Park in the Week 13 "Viernes de Futbol" match-up. It kicks off a three-game homestand for Sporting Kansas City featuring back-to-back matches against the top two teams in the MLS power rankings followed by a highly-anticipated I-70 showdown with St. Louis FC in the U.S. Open Cup.
The best place to see all the action? Sporting Park of course. Standing Room Only tickets are available for tomorrow night's rematch with FC Dallas and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the stadium box offices on gameday.
But if you can't make it to the match, take advantage of the guide below so you don't miss a moment thanks to television, radio and online coverage.
Local TV: KMCI-TV 38 the Spot
Local Radio: Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
Sporting Kansas City's flagship station KMCI-TV 38 the Spot will be providing a live three-hour broadcast for local viewers with the commentary from Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum, Jake Yadrich and Kacie McDonnell available throughout the duration of the match. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. CT for a 30-minute pre-game show leading up to kick off at Sporting Park.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will simulcast the KMCI-TV call on 810 AM, 810whb.com and through the station's free mobile app before going live from the Boulevard Members Club with The Final Whistle postgame show hosted by Dave Borchardt and Carter Augustine. In addition, La Grande 1340 AM will air the match live for Spanish listeners through the voices of Enrique Morales, Raul Villegas and Alejandro Cabero.
National TV: UniMas and Unvision Deportes
National Radio: SiriusXM FC (Channel 94)
Online: MLS LIVE, UnivisionDeportes.com
Friday's match is the first of three Sporting KC matches in 2015 to be nationally televised on UniMas/UDN -- and streamed online at UnivisionDeportes.com -- as part of the new "Viernes de Futbol" national TV window. Raul Guzman (play-by-play), Marcelo Balboa (analyst) and Jorge Calvo (sideline reporter) will be on-site at Sporting Park for live Spanish commentary, while Paul Caligiuri and Ramsés Sandoval will be the talent for the English-language broadcast available through SAP functionality.
In addition, SiriusXM FC (Channel 94) will carry #SKCvDAL coast-to-coast on Friday for satellite radio subscribers in the U.S. and MLS LIVE users in Canada or Mexico will also have access to the broadcast in real-time on all supported devices. Please note: Friday's match will be blacked out for MLS LIVE users in the United States and made available in the archives 48 hours after the match.
Finally, Friday's encounter will be broadcast well beyond North American borders through the following MLS rights holders:
The Sporting KC Show cast of Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine was joined by ESPN commentator Taylor Twellman for tonight's hour-long episode on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Twellman, who was once offered a contract by the Kansas City Royals as a high school shortstop, will be in the broadcast booth at Sporting Park on Wednesday night alongside Glenn Davis when Sporting Kansas City hosts 2014 MLS Cup runners-up New England Revolution at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
Twellman ranks seventh on Major League Soccer's all-time goal scoring chart with 101 regular season goals, five of which came against Kansas City (e.g. this bicycle kick in 2002). His nine-year MLS career with the Revolution included MLS Best XI (2002, 2005) and MLS MVP (2005) honors, while also earning 30 appearances with the U.S. Men's National Team.
Listen to the full show embedded below and tune in every Tuesday for a new episode discussing all the latest news around Sporting Kansas City.
Photo via @DorseyRocky on Twitter
Sporting KC's 100th match at Sporting Park will have to wait until Wednesday after inclement weather forced the postponement of last night's game against the Colorado Rapids. It was the first such ocurrance in the stadium's four years of operation, though by no means the first time Mother Nature impacted the outcome of a matchday.
In fact, Kansas City played a part in the first abbreviated ending in MLS history in what is now one of five games for the club all-time that failed to be played in its entirety on the originally scheduled date:
- June 20, 1998: KC vs. D.C. United was cancelled in the 53rd minute due to severe weather at Arrowhead Stadium and was later replayed on Aug. 26.
- June 10, 2000: KC at D.C. United was suspended at halftime due to the lights failing at RFK Stadium. The 0-0 scoreline stood and Kansas City returned to RFK for MLS Cup 2000.
- September 16, 2001: The team's regular season finale against Colorado at Arrowhead Stadium was amongst 10 games cancelled league-wide in the aftermath of 9/11.
- Aug. 2, 2006: Thunderstorms postponed this fourth round U.S. Open Cup match between KC and the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois until Aug. 14.
- May 16, 2015: Severe weather prevented kickoff between Sporting KC and the Colorado Rapids with a rescheduled date to be determined for later in 2015.
While Saturday's match ultimately succumbed to a storm system which delivered flash flooding, tornado warnings and heavy lightning throughout the Kansas City area (resulting in more than 10,000 homes losing power), the initial weather delay was the fourth interruption at home since 2011:
- July 12, 2011: An 81-minute delay spelled trouble for Sporting KC in the team's first-ever loss at Sporting Park, a 2-0 defeat to the Richmond Kickers (USL) in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.
- Aug. 8, 2012: Just over a year later, Sporting KC withstood a 43-minute delay en route to the team's U.S. Open Cup championship over the Seattle Sounders FC in a penalty shootout.
- Aug. 29, 2014: Sporting KC lost back-to-back matches at Sporting Park for the first time after dropping a 3-1 decision to Houston in a match that featured a 75-minute delay.
- May 16, 2015: After delaying kick off for nearly 75 minutes, MLS determined in its discretion to postpone the match after considering all relevant factors and circumstances.
In the end -- which came close to 8:45 p.m. CT in a break between two patches of storms -- Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman took to Twitter to look ahead to the rescheduled fixture with all options open.
Hey...I'm sorry that happened. We'll make it up 2 u. Any ideas how? #winning obviously...but any others welcome
— Robb Heineman (@RobbHeineman) May 17, 2015
— Robb Heineman (@RobbHeineman) May 17, 2015
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza -- who contributed the game-tying assist on Dom Dwyer's goal in last weekend's 1-1 draw at D.C. United -- was a guest on The Sporting KC Show last night with hosts Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Listen to the full podcast embedded below for their thoughts on the road result and the club's form heading into an important stretch on the schedule with four of the next five games at home...
Now 27 (in jersey number and age), Espinoza moved to Denver from his native Honduras as a 12-year-old and will play a key role as Sporting Kansas City hosts the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at Sporting Park. The 2010/2014 World Cup veteran and former MLS All-Star has earned Team of the Week recognitions on three occasions this season since returning from England, where he won the 2013 FA Cup with Wigan Athletic two years ago this week.
This week's edition of The Sporting KC Show aired last night on Sports Radio 810 WHB with goalkeeper Tim Melia joining hosts Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine inside Jazz, A Lousiana Kitchen. Listen to the podcast below as the trio discussed Melia's club debut in the 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday and the team's upcoming match at D.C. United on Saturday (6 p.m. CT on 38 The Spot and SKCTV).
Melia is one of five finalists for Major League Soccer's Save of the Week. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. PT tonight on MLSsoccer.com.
Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning to discuss his team's 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire last night at Sporting Park. Besler led all players on Sunday with 13 clearances, six aerial duels won and five interceptions as Sporting KC recorded the team's fourth clean sheet of the season.
Among the excerpts from the 20-minute interview:
On Paulo Nagamura's goal...
"We talked about that at halftime, as well, about being patient. I think you saw it on that goal. There were 12 passes in a row. I think if you look at the replay again, once we finally do get the ball wide after we've played it around and allowed our team to get higher up the field, there's 5-6 players in the box. I think that's why Paulo found some space and obviously the header finish was unbelievable."
On the play of Benny Feilhaber...
"It's really exciting to see him play at this level. This is the Benny that we all know and that we all hope for. When he's playing at this level, he's a different player. He's just fun to watch, even as a player on his own team, he's fun to watch."
On Tim Melia's debut for Sporting KC...
"He was excellent. He's had the right mentality from day one, even in preseason...He's challenged that position from day one and he's done it in the right way. He's been encouraging and he's been committed. He's given everyone on the team confidence. I think I speak for everyone in saying we're all very happy for him. He was strong and he was commanding. I think he should gain a lot of confidence out of that performance."
On moving up to fourth in the West...
"We believe that we're a team that can be at the top of the standings when the season's over. All it takes is a run. Everything is so tight right now in the standings that if you get on a decent run -- 3, 4, 5 games unbeaten -- you can find yourselves right at the top...We've got to enjoy the win, it was a great, great team win. But we've also got to improve. We've got to continue to get back to work and get better."
On playing Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United...
"I am looking forward to it. It will be a little different this year since we moved over to the West. In years past, it's always been an extremely big game because we're always fighting with them in the East...I think we always go to D.C. and play well. I think we've gotten some decent results in years past. We respect them a lot, that's probably why we always come out and play well because we don't take them lightly. They are playing well so it's going to be interesting."
Listen to the full audio archive embedded below and tune into Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT on Tuesday for a new episode of The Sporting KC Show live from Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen in The Legends.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber and assistant coach John Pascarella were guests on this week's edition of The Sporting KC Show on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Coming off a thrilling 4-4 draw in Houston last weekend, the club now returns home to host rivals Chicago at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday at Sporting Park in a nationally televised match-up on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
Feilhaber scored twice in the comeback, including a 95th-minute game-tying goal that is nominated for MLS Goal of the Week. Voting is open on MLSsoccer.com until 1:59 a.m. CT tonight.
Today is also the final opportunity for fans to participate in Feilhaber's "Master the Mane" initiative. The World Cup veteran is helping to raise money for The Victory Project by allowing fan donations to determine his hairstyle for Sunday's match. To cast a vote for The Mullet, The Bieber or The Mohawk, visit SportingKC.com/Benny and make a minimum $10 donation.
Ike Opara scores game-winning goal against New York City FC on March 28 (VIDEO)
Sporting Kansas City defender (and H&R Block tax pro) Ike Opara -- fresh off appearances on The SBI Show on Monday and MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio on Thursday -- was a guest on Sports Radio 810 WHB earlier this morning with The Border Patrol hosts Steven St. John, Nate Bukaty and Jake Gutierrez. Listen to the full podcast embedded below as Opara discusses his return from a season-ending injury in 2014, his thoughts on the Final Four and a debate over his own basketball abilities.
What are the chances we can get Ike Opara in next years Slam Dunk contest?
— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) March 30, 2015
Opara is off to a hot start to his 2015 campaign, scoring two goals and anchoring a backline that has posted back-to-back shutouts. He was named the SBIsoccer.com Player of the Month for March after securing a spot on MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week in three of the first four opportunities.
The 26-year-old leads MLS in interceptions (25) and aerial duels won (23), while ranking second among all players in total clearances (36).
FOX Sports 1 returns to Sporting Park this weekend as Sporting Kansas City hosts the Philadelphia Union at 6 p.m. CT on #SoccerSunday. Check out their interview above with Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer, which was conducted by Grant Wahl and aired during America's Pregame in the buildup to the U.S. Men's National Team's 1-1 draw in Switzerland on Tuesday.
The first 10,000 fans inside Sporting Park on Sunday will receive a commemorative Dom Dwyer poster -- painted by Kansas City's own John Bukaty -- courtesy of match sponsor adidas. A limited number of tickets remain available via Ticketmaster.com and can also be purchased at the Sporting Park box offices on gameday while supplies last.
Dwyer scored in two of the team's three matches against Philadelphia last year en route to breaking the team's single-season scoring record with 22 goals. In 2015, the MLS All-Star is one of two Sporting KC field players to have played every minute this season and he leads MLS with 15 fouls won after four games.