Covitz accepting the Joe McGuff Sports Journalist of the Year Award in 2011
Congratulations and well wishes to Kansas City Star sports reporter Randy Covitz on his recent retirement.
During his 34-year career at the newspaper, Covitz's byline appeared next to many of the most memorable moments in the city's modern soccer history -- from covering the Comets and Attack at Kemper Arena to writing about the Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium to stories filed on deadline from Sporting Park.
He sat in the Soldier Field press box for the opening game of the 1994 World Cup and traveled to Detroit the next day for the United States first match at the Pontiac Silverdome. He delivered the news to Star readers that Kansas City was awarded a Major League Soccer team in 1995 and his preview piece ran on the day of the team's inaugural game less than a year later.
On this day in 1996, Covitz published an in-depth look at American soccer on the cusp of Major League Soccer's first season. The article included interviews with club owner/founder Lamar Hunt, as well as Ron Newman (the first coach in MLS history), on the return of professional outdoor soccer to Kansas City for the first time since 1970 when the Kansas City Spurs played in the NASL.
"Times have changed enormously," said Hunt. "...It won't be done overnight, but it's a different time, a different era."
Click here to read the full feature.
Covitz continued to cover the sport and it's local stars in recent years, from Peter Vermes being named manager in 2009 to his induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2013 -- after previously reporting on the Hall of Fame elections of Preki (2010) and Bob Gansler (2011) in the years between.
Prior to joining the Kansas City Star, Covitz served as the Columbia Missourian sports editor and spent seven years on staff at the Memphis Press-Scimitar in Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism in 1971.
Sporting Kansas City defender Jalil Anibaba was a guest on The Sporting KC Show last night, joining hosts Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine at Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen to discuss the team's draw against the Portland Timbers last weekend and to preview Saturday's match at New York City FC. Listen to the full podcast embedded below and available each week on 810whb.com.
Anibaba -- acquired in the offseason from the Seattle Sounders -- was one of three players to make their Sporting KC debuts in the scoreless draw along with Servando Carrasco and Soni Mustivar.
On the defensive end, he contributed to the club's first shutout of the season by winning seven of his nine duels (including all four aerials) with three clearances, two interceptions, two recoveries and one tackle won. Offensively, he led all players with three shots while also logging 66 touches, 29 successful passes and two dribbles completed.
His performance earned the praise of Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes and fellow defender Ike Opara.
Photos by Jamila St. Ann
Sporting Kansas City continued preparation today for the team's first-ever trip to Yankee Stadium, where they will take on Eastern Conference leaders New York City FC at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday live on SKCTV. Check out the slideshow above -- courtesy of Jamila St. Ann -- with images from today's training session at Swope Soccer Village.
Saturday's match will be the focus of tonight's Sporting KC Show from 7-8 p.m. CT on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Hosts Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine will be joined by Sporting KC defender Jalil Anibaba during the show, which will air live from Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen at the Legends (1859 Village West Parkway) in Kansas City, Kansas. Tune in on 810 AM, 810whb.com or via the station's free mobile app and join the discussion by calling 913-3-810-810.
Listen to the latest edition of The Sporting KC Show embedded below as hosts Dave Borchardt, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine were joined by Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury and Sporting KC assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin for last night's episode on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Once teammates in Kansas City, Jewsbury and Zavagnin previewed this Saturday's match-up at Sporting Park.
Jewsbury -- a Missouri native -- played his first eight professional seasons in KC after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. He is one of only six active MLS players to appear in more than 300 regular season matches and has been a member of the Timbers since their inaugural MLS season in 2011. Only Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe have more MLS appearances for the club.
A limited number of tickets remain available, including standing room only tickets, via Ticketmaster.com for Saturday and the first 10,000 fans inside the gates will receive Sporting KC flags courtesy of H&R Block.
A new edition of The Sporting KC Show aired on Sports Radio 810 WHB tonight as hosts Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine discussed Sporting KC's 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls and looked ahead to Saturday's match at FC Dallas. This week's episode was highlighted by interviews with defender Ike Opara -- who scored on Sunday in his return from a season-ending injury in 2014 -- and FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead.
Listen to the show in its entirety below...
In addition, Manager Peter Vermes was a guest on The Program with Sports Radio 810 WHB's Soren Petro on Monday. Vermes spoke in-depth about a variety of topics, ranging from the result against the Red Bulls to the debuts of Luis Marin and Krisztian Nemeth to the scouting work involved at the youth levels through the Sporting KC Academy.
Hear those comments and more in the 23-minute segment below...
— Track Sweeper (@TrackSweeper) March 8, 2015
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler (shown on right at Sporting EVOLUTION) joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB on Friday morning. Hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John welcomed the World Cup veteran in studio for a 25-minute interview, available for listeners below.
Besler enters his eighth professional season and leads all current Sporting KC players with 181 appearances across all competition for the club. The Overland Park, Kansas native has started each of the team's last five season openers and is set to his lead his side onto the field this Sunday when Sporting Kansas City welcomes the New York Red Bulls for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff at Sporting Park.
Later on Friday, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman was a guest on Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman. The two discussed the team's 20th season including developments on and off the field, as well as the recent agreement reached with the MLS Players Union for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A limited number of tickets are available for Sunday via Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices on gameday. The match will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes with radio coverage available locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).
— Matt Besler (@MattBesler) March 6, 2015
The SKC Academy U16s finished the second phase of the 2014-15 Generation adidas Cup with a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas on Monday. Despite heavy wind and rain, Sporting KC held Dallas scoreless through the first half. A second half penalty kick, however, sealed the win for the Texas squad, who is currently in first place in the USSDA U-15/U-16 Central Conference with a 10-1-2 record.
The Sporting KC Academy U-16s entered Monday following a two-goal victory over an MLS opponent on Saturday at the Houston Sports Park. The win secured a top-two finish in the Central Region standings, qualifying for the coveted GA bracket at the national event to be held in Dallas in April.
The Sporting KC U16's prevailed 2-0 over the Colorado Rapids with goals from Fernando Borges and Chase Bromstedt. Goalkeepers Steve Tekesky and Dakotah Bainter combined for the clean sheet as the squad increased their goal difference to +9 in the competition (11 goals scored, two goals allowed) thus far.
The Sporting Kansas City Academy U16's opened "Event 2" of the 2014-15 Generation adidas Cup with a 3-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Friday at the Houston Sports Park. The victory keeps Sporting KC atop the Central Region standings with a perfect 3-0-0 record and a +7 goal difference (nine goals scored, two goals conceded).
The 2014-15 GA Cup features 18 academy teams affiiliated with MLS teams, divided into three regions (East, Central and West). The top two teams from each group will qualify for the "GA" bracket at the national event in April, while the remaining teams will qualify to the "ESP" bracket.
Sporting Kansas City added four match times -- all originally announced as TBD -- to the team's 2015 schedule this week. The below matches will kick off at the following times based on local, regional and national television broadcast agreements:
- March 28 at New York City FC: 6 p.m. CT
- May 23 at Seattle Sounders FC: 9 p.m. CT
- July 12 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 8 p.m. CT
- Aug. 8 at Toronto FC: 3 p.m. CT
In addition, a change was made last month to move the start time for Sporting Kansas City's home match on Aug. 15 against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC to an 8 p.m. CT kick off -- 30 minutes later than previously scheduled, in order to accomodate TSN and RDS (Major League Soccer's national broadcast partners in Canada).
Match times are now set for all 34 regular season matches (subject to change) during Sporting Kansas City's 2015 MLS season. Visit SportingKC.com/schedule for additional information and click here to download the team's matches to your personal calendar(s).
The first 10,000 fans at Sporting Kansas City's home opener on March 8 will receive the team's 2015 schedule magnet courtesy of Dairy Farmers of America. A limited number of tickets remain available via Ticketmaster.com.