The Sporting KC Show aired live on Sports Radio 810 WHB from the 810 Zone in Leawood last night with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards getting listeners ready for tonight's mid-week match-up with the Seattle Sounders FC at Sporting Park. Cal spoke with the man of the moment, Kei Kamara, upon his return to Sporting KC on Monday, as well as Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson. Listen to those interviews and the full show online at 810whb.com.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will simulcast tonight's showdown -- a rematch of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final -- and will also air The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show live from the Boulevard Members Club immediately after the match. Call 913-3-810-810 to join the discussion and share your thoughts on all the action.
Kamara, who may be available for selection tonight in his first game back, was also a guest on SiriusXM Sports yesterday with JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola. Listen to the "Counter Attack" segment below...
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes was a guest on Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis on Tuesday night, discussing Kei Kamara's return and the evolution of Sporting Kansas City he became head coach in 2009. Click here to listen to the segment on ESPN 97.5 Houston ahead of the team's trip to take on the Dynamo this Sunday.
With the Sporting's 4-0 win over Chivas USA on Sunday, Vermes recorded his 50th regular season victory as KC's manager to tie Ron Newman for the second most in club history. Vermes, who will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame later this year, also moved into the Top 20 for wins among MLS coaches all-time...
Former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza scored his first goal in the English Premier League on Tuesday, striking in first half stoppage time for Wigan Athletic in a 3-2 loss to Swansea City. Check out the volley below...
Espinoza was selected by Kansas City in the first round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft out of Ohio State University and played five seasons in KC before leaving for England in January. The Honduran international appeared in 120 MLS matches for Sporting KC and was a 2012 MLS All-Star.
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 7, 2013
Graham Zusi was named MLS Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in Sporting Kansas City's 4-0 win against Chivas USA. While his goal and game-winning assist garnered the votes, Opta shows that it was his playmaking ability that stood out on Sunday.
In 67 minutes of action, Graham Zusi logged five key passes against the Rojiblancos. No other player on the field was credited with more than one key pass, which Opta defines as "The final pass or pass-cum-shot leading to the recipient of the ball having an attempt at goal without scoring." In fact, Chivas USA only recorded one key pass as a team for the entire match (to Sporting Kansas City's 13).
The chalkboard shown on right illustrates Zusi's 26 successful passes, three headers, two set pieces and his goal on Sunday at Sporting Park. On the season, Zusi now has 34 chances created (including assists) which ranks most in MLS. He also led the League in this category in 2012 as an MVP finalist.
Major League Soccer 2013 Leaders (as of May 7)
|1. Zusi, Graham||34|
|2. Higuaín, Federico||29|
|3. Salinas, Shea||19|
|3. Kobayashi, Daigo||19|
|5. Ferreira, David||18|
|5. Henry, Thierry||18|
|7. Morales, Javier||17|
|7. Powers, Dillon||17|
|7. Mullan, Brian||17|
|7. Lee Young-Pyo||17|
On his first day back from the English Premier League on Monday, it's hardly a surprise that Sporting KC forward Kei Kamara made a visit to chow down some long-coveted Chipotle. It was the entourage that accompanied him to Chipotle on the Plaza that has people talking as Kamara invited all his Twitter followers to join him for free burritos and then surprised them even further with Sporting KC tickets to his first match back at Sporting Park on Wednesday.
The video below captures the sights and sounds...
...and this Storify slideshow captures all the chatter as it unfolded on Twitter today.
Ike Opara started his second match of the season on Sunday for Sporting Kansas City and all in attendance got to know the fourth-year pro a little better thanks to the newest episode of On the Spot presented by The Parking Spot. The video (shown below) played at halftime on the Sporting Park videoboard -- which if you haven't been paying attention, is continuing to produce some of the best videos in Major League Soccer. Check out their YouTube channel here.
Still want to know more? Well, from the soccer side of life...
- Opara is 8-0-3 in his last 11 MLS regular season starts. The last time a team lost a regular season game with him in the starting lineup was April 16, 2011.
- Sporting KC has not allowed a goal or even a shot on goal in Opara's two starts this season. In fact, you have to go back six regular season appearances for Opara to find the last time a shot on goal was conceded with him on the field -- a span of 238 minutes.
TopDrawerSoccer.com released their updated Top 150 rankings today for players in the Class of 2016 and the Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy's John Leisman (115) remains among the nation's elite. Leisman has played in 17 games during the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season with one goal and two assists.
TDS tracks and compiles the top players nationally in several age groups. The site provides coverage of college and high school soccer, promoting the game and the players who play it.
Photo courtesy of @nickbarbir
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown was in the starting lineup for the United States Under-15 Boys' National Team for their fourth straight match on Saturday at the Tournament Delle Nazioni. The U.S. fell 2-1 to Croatia in the semifinals, held in Kotschach, Austria. The Yanks lone goal came from Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) from the penalty spot in the first half.
Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit resident, will now return to Bradenton, Fla. where he is a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program. Croatia advances to the final and will play the winner between Japan-Mexico.
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes was a guest on SiriusXM FC's Counter Attack last night, joining fellow Hall of Famers Tony Meola and John Harkes. Vermes discusses his team's upcoming two games in a four-day stretch, as well as the latest developments around Kei Kamara's loan to Norwich City in the English Premier League. Listen to part of the interview below...
Vermes also spoke with local media on Friday at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park as part of the team's weekly press conference. Check out the video below for his comments ahead of Sunday's match against Chivas USA at Sporting Park:
In the starting lineup for the third straight match, Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown helped the United States Under-15 Boys' National Team to a 2-0 win over Slovenia today at the Torneo Delle Nazioni in Grandisca, Italy. The U.S. secured their second clean sheet of the tournament and got goals from Joshua Perez and Christian Pulisic to move past Slovenia in the Group A standings.
- USA 5pts
- Slovenia 4pts
- Chile 3pts
- Italy 2pts
The United States advances to the semifinals to face the winner of Group B (likely Croatia) on Saturday. Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit resident, is currently a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. and is one of 19 players chosen by head coach Tony Lepore for the 12-team international tournament. He started in the team's 0-0 draw with Italy on Tuesday and again in a 1-1 draw against Chile yesterday.