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17 February 4:39 pm

Sports Radio 810 WHB host Nate Bukaty is on assignment in Orlando, Fla., bringing listeners all the latest news and notes from Sporting Kansas City preseason. Today, he was joined by defenders Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic during The Border Patrol to discuss their time in the U.S. Men's National Team January Camp, the outlook for 2014 as reigning MLS Cup champions, fitness and conditioning expectations and the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals among other topics.

Bukaty later joined The Program with Soren Petro to share his thoughts on the abbreviated offseason, the value of homegrown talent and the change in goalkeeper for Sporting KC this season. New starter Eric Kronberg sat down prior to the team's afternoon training and commented on lessons learned under Jimmy Nielsen.

Follow @Nate_Bukaty on Twitter and listen live to Sports Radio 810 WHB, an official radio partner of Sporting KC, throughout the week.

 

 

14 February 11:28 am


Photo by USA Today Sports Images

Sporting Kansas City departed for Orlando, Fla. today for the team's second and final phase of the 2014 pre-season. With three exhibition matches already completed during the Arizona leg, the team has seven more scrimmages scheduled. A quick summary of pre-season leaders thus far:

  • Total number of players to log minutes: 33 (8 guest trialists)
  • Most minutes played: Claudio Bieler, C.J. Sapong and Eric Kronberg (149)
  • Most goals scored: Sal Zizzo and C.J. Sapong (2)
  • Most assists: Claudio Bieler (2)

Check out the full stat sheet below...

# Name Pos GP GS MINS G A
2 Erik Palmer-Brown DEF 1 0 45 0 0
3 Ike Opara DEF 1 1 45 0 0
4 Kevin Ellis DEF 3 1 136 0 0
5 Matt Besler DEF 1 1 59 0 0
6 Paulo Nagamura MF 3 3 134 0 0
7 Chance Myers DEF 2 2 104 0 0
8 Graham Zusi MF 1 1 45 0 1
9 Teal Bunbury FWD 2 0 80 0 0
10 Benny Feilhaber MF 1 1 59 0 1
11 Sal Zizzo FWD 3 2 136 2 1
12 Mikey Lopez MF 1 0 45 0 0
13 Lawrence Olum MF 3 1 147 0 0
14 Dom Dwyer FWD 3 2 125 0 0
15 Seth Sinovic DEF 2 2 104 0 1
16 Claudio Bieler FWD 3 3 149 1 2
17 C.J. Sapong FWD 3 3 149 2 0
18 Adnan Gabeljic FWD 3 0 50 0 0
20 Oriol Rosell MF 1 1 59 0 0
22 Soony Saad FWD 3 0 94 0 0
23 Alex Martinez MF 3 0 76 0 0
24 Mechack Jerome DEF 3 0 136 0 0
25 Christian Duke MF 3 1 132 0 0
26 Don Anding DEF 1 0 19 0 0
27 Reinaldo Brenes FWD 1 0 19 0 0
28 Peter Schmetz DEF 3 1 136 0 0
31 Josh Gardner DEF 2 1 90 0 0
32 Trialist 1 DEF 3 0 96 0 0
33 Pablo Punyed MF 2 0 49 0 0
34 Dante Marini MF 2 0 47 0 0
37 Jacob Peterson FWD 2 0 91 0 0
78 Aurelien Collin DEF 3 3 137 0 0
               
# Name Pos GP GS MINS GA GAA
1 Eric Kronberg GK 3 3 149 1 0.60
30 Andy Gruenebaum GK 3 0 136 1 0.66

 

09 December 9:08 pm

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen announced his retirement on Monday evening with thousands in attendance at the MLS Cup celebration at Union Station. Within seconds, the tweets of support and congratulation started rolling in for the fan favorite and two-time MLS All-Star.

See a sample below and use the hashtag #ThankYouJimmy to join the conversation.

 

 

06 December 7:25 am

MLS Cup 2013 has been the talk of sports radio in Kansas City leading up to tomorrow's championship match at Sporting Park between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake. Sports Radio 810 WHB -- the team's official radio partner -- aired a two-hour special edition of The Sporting KC Show on Tuesday and will continue their extensive coverage today as The Program with Soren Petro goes live at the Boulevard Members Club from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. CT during Road to Brazil. Immediately afterward, The Program with Kevin Kietzman will air from 2-6 p.m. CT live at Johnny's Tavern in the KC Power & Light District leading up to MLS Cup Last Night Out featuring Portugal. The Man.

Check out the audio clips below from interviews throughout the week on local sports radio...

Peter Vermes on Between the Lines (Sports Radio 810 WHB)

Jimmy Nielsen on The Drive (610 Sport Radio)

Matt Besler on The Border Patrol (Sports Radio 810 WHB)

Seth Sinovic on Fescoe in the Morning (610 Sports Radio)

Adrian Healey on The Border Patrol (Sports Radio 810 WHB)

05 December 6:05 pm

#SKCvRSL MATCH-UP

  • First time in MLS history for two former MLS players to meet as coaches in MLS Cup.
  • Both teams have won MLS Cup once before: KC (2000), RSL (2009).
  • Sporting KC is 8-5-3 all-time against Real Salt Lake in the regular season (no postseason meetings) and have lost at home only once in the series (2009).
  • Real Salt Lake has never scored at Sporting Park in two previous trips.
  • Saturday's match (Dec. 7) will be the latest in the year in MLS history.

SPORTING KC

  • Sporting KC in MLS Cup for third time in team history (2000, 2004, 2013). Sporting KC has played the third most postseason games (41) among all teams in MLS history behind the Chicago Fire (43) and LA Galaxy (64).
  • Since 1998, Sporting Kansas City has only one home playoff loss: a 2-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Championship in 2011. The team is 12-1-2 at home over that span.
  • Sporting KC has the second most regular season home wins (150) in MLS history behind only the LA Galaxy (166).
  • Sporting Kansas City has played 44 games in all competition this season (MLS, MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League). Sporting KC has lost only one match by more than one goal across 44 games in all competition.
  • Sporting KC has held opponents to a goal or fewer in 30 of the team's 38 MLS matches this season.
  • Sporting KC used 30 different lineups in 38 MLS matches this season due to injuries, international duty, etc.
  • Sporting KC was 15-2-3 with nine straight wins in the regular season in 2013 when scoring first and 11-1-1 with eight straight wins when leading at halftime.
  • Sporting KC was 13-0-1 in the regular season in 2013 when leading at the 75th minute and 0-9-0 when trailing at the 75th minute.
  • Paulo Nagamura leads all Sporting KC players with 13 postseason appearances and is only player on the team's roster to have played in an MLS Cup (2005).
  • Seth Sinovic and Jimmy Nielsen have started all 19 of the team's wins in MLS competition (including playoffs) this season, earning two more victories than any other player in MLS.
  • Seth Sinovic has started and played every minute in each of the team's last 20 MLS matches, the longest active games played streak on the team. Sinovic leads all Sporting KC players with 3,613 minutes played in all competition this season.
  • Six Sporting KC players to have started all nine of the team's playoff matches in the last three seasons: Jimmy Nielsen, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic and Graham Zusi.
  • Dom Dwyer has scored 26 goals across all competition, including goals in six different competitions: MLS regular season, MLS Cup playoffs, USL Pro regular season, USL Pro playoffs, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.
  • Saturday will be Dwyer's second league final in 2013.
  • Dom Dwyer leads all MLS players with six shots on goal in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Jimmy Nielsen's 0.86 goals against average in the postseason is fourth best in MLS history among goalkeepers with 300 minutes played.
  • Aurelien Collin (24) and Matt Besler (23) lead all players in the postseason in interceptions.
  • Oriol Rosell has won 19 of 20 tackles in the postseason, a success rate of 95%. His 20 tackles rank second most by any player in the postseason.
  • Graham Zusi has completed the most dribbles (9) of any player in the postseason.
  • Sporting KC is 17-0-2 when C.J. Sapong scores in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Peter Vermes became the second coach in MLS history to win 17 or more regular season games in back-to-back seasons in non-shootout era.
  • Vermes led the second youngest roster in MLS to a postseason berth for third consecutive season and within one point of Supporters' Shield.
  • Among the top six teams in 2013, Sporting KC was only team with a single Designated Player.

REAL SALT LAKE

  • Real Salt Lake is in MLS Cup for second time in team history (2009).
  • Seven current members of Real Salt Lake were on the 2009 MLS Cup winning squad, with six in the starting lineup (Nick Rimando, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Robbie Findley, Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales).
  • Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando have played every minute of all 18 playoff games in Real Salt Lake team history.
  • Real Salt Lake is 7-8-4 (.474) on the road in 2013 in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Jason Kreis' three wins and .750 winning percentage are best among coaches in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Robbie Findley has scored in back-to-back postseason matches for Real Salt Lake. He is RSL's all-time leading scorer in the postseason with six goals.
  • Real Salt Lake is the top scoring team in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs with 1.75 goals per game and the top defensive team in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 0.69 goals against average.
  • Real Salt Lake has won each of their last three MLS Cup Playoffs games this postseason. Their road win on Nov. 24 snapped a seven-game road winless streak in the postseason dating back to 2009.
  • Javier Morales' nine postseason assists ranks him eighth on the MLS all-time chart. His four game-winning assists in the postseason are fourth most in MLS history, one shy of the all-time record held by Marco Etcheverry, Cobi Jones and Brian Mullan.
  • Javier Morales has created 21 chances in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs, the most by a player in the postseason in the last three years.
  • Nick Rimando's 0.69 goals against average is best among all goalkeepers in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Nick Rimando's 30 postseason games played, 106 saves, 13 wins and 12 shutouts are third most in MLS history. His next shutout will tie Zach Thornton for second most on the MLS all-time chart.
  • Kyle Beckerman's nine postseason cautions ranks him fourth on the MLS all-time chart.
  • Nick Rimando led MLS with two penalty kicks saved in the 2013 regular season.

SPORTING PARK

  • Sporting KC is 11-5-3 (.658) at home in 2013 and 32-11-13 (0.688) at Sporting Park since the stadium opened in 2011 in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • MLS Cup is being held in Kansas City for the first time. Sporting Park is the first stadium to host the MLS All-Star Game, U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS Cup in the same year.
  • Sporting Park is the only venue to host the U.S. Men's National Team each of the last three years.
  • Saturday's match will be the 36th consecutive MLS sell out at Sporting Park dating back to 2012.
  • Sporting Kansas City set a new club attendance record of 335,058 (19,709 per match) for the 2013 Major League Soccer regular season. The number improves on last season’s record attendance average of 19,404.

LEAGUE LEADERS

Real Salt Lake

  • Real Salt Lake leads MLS with 64 goals in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013, including a league best 58 goals from inside the penalty area and 37 right footed goals.
  • Real Salt Lake leads MLS with 187 shots on goal in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Real Salt Lake leads MLS with 16,855 passes and 13,442 successful passes in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013. RSL led MLS with 9,925 passes in their opponent's half in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Real Salt Lake leads MLS with 25,221 touches in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Since 2011, Real Salt Lake leads MLS with 43 clean sheets in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Since 2011, Real Salt Lake leads MLS with 19 penalties conceded in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Since 2011, Real Salt Lake leads MLS with 19 goal assists from dead ball in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Since 2011, Real Salt Lake leads MLS with a 71.94% passing accuracy in their opponent's half in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • The club's 79.75% passing accuracy was also best in MLS, including a 91.08% passing accuracy in their own half, in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Additionally, the team's 66.55% passing accuracy in the final third was best in MLS during the 2013 regular season.
  • Real Salt Lake had the highest save percentage (93.02%) in MLS for shots from outside the penalty area in 2013.
  • Since 2011, Real Salt Lake has the highest save percentage (72.62%) in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Real Salt Lake had the most penalty kick goals (6) among all MLS teams in the 2013 regular season.
  • Javier Morales' 118 chances created (incl. assists) in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 are most in MLS. Graham Zusi ranks third with 94.
  • Javier Morales' 77 chances created from open play in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 are most in MLS.
  • Javier Morales' 1,462 passes in the opponent's half and 941 passes in the final third in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 are most in MLS. His 1,153 successful passes in the opponent's half in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 also lead the league.
  • Javier Morales' 2,677 touches are the most in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Kyle Beckerman's 2,068 passes in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 are most in MLS, followed by Javier Morales with 1,946. Beckerman's 1,700 successful passes in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 also lead the league.

Sporting Kansas City

  • Sporting KC led MLS with a 29.94% accuracy rate on crosses/corners in the 2013 regular season.
  • Since 2011, Sporting KC led MLS with 622 crosses/corners in the regular season.
  • Since 2011, Sporting KC led MLS with 214 successful corners into the penalty area in the regular season.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 431 chances created (incl. assists) in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 98 chances created from set play in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Since 2011, Sporting KC leads MLS with 32 goal assists from set play in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Since 2011, Sporting KC led MLS with 896 chances created from open play in the regular season.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 575 shots in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 4,573 duels and 2,315 duels won in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 1,441 aerials and 798 aerials won in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 814 tackles and 626 tackles won in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 1,272 clearances (incl. punches) and 808 headed clearances in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 917 interceptions in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC led MLS with the fewest corners conceded (134) in the 2013 regular season.
  • Sporting KC led MLS with fewest goals conceded (30) in the 2013 regular season, including a league low 25 from inside the penalty area.
  • Sporting KC led MLS with the fewest shots conceded (301) and shots on goal conceded (100) in the 2013 regular season.
  • Sporting KC led MLS with 92 headed shots and 14 headed goals during the regular season. Sporting KC leads MLS with 38 headed shots on goal in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 565 fouls conceded and 488 fouls won in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 71 cautions in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Aurelien Collin leads MLS with 14 cautions in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013. Oriol Rosell ranked second with 10.
  • Since 2011, Sporting KC has the fewest goalkeeper drops (4) in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Aurelien Collin's 342 clearances, 284 duels won, 256 headed clearances and 159 aerials won are most in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.
  • Oriol Rosell's 149 interceptions are most in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013. Aurelien Collin ranks second with 141.
  • Graham Zusi's 145 corners in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 are most in MLS, including a league high 53 successful corners into the penalty area.
  • His 90 successful crosses/corners in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013 also lead the league.
  • Graham Zusi leads MLS with 57 chances created from set play in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013.

TOP TWO

  • Sporting Kansas City was second in possession with 55.22% in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013, trailing only Real Salt Lake (55.59%).
  • Since 2011, RSL (54.75%) and Sporting KC (53.05%) rank first and second in possession in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Sporting KC (17) and Real Salt Lake (16) lead all playoff teams in headed shots in the postseason. No other team had more than 10.
  • Real Salt Lake had the second most road wins (7) in MLS competition (including playoffs) in 2013, behind only Sporting KC (8).
  • Since 2011, Sporting KC led MLS with 229 chances created from set play in the regular season. Real Salt Lake ranked second with 185.
  • Since 2011, Real Salt Lake and Sporting KC are tied for the MLS lead with 180 cautions in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Since 2011, Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City have had the two best defenses in Major League Soccer among teams that competed all three seasons. Sporting Kansas City (105) and Real Salt Lake (121) have allowed the fewest goals in MLS competition (including playoffs). Sporting KC (1,028) and Real Salt Lake (1,150) also had the fewest shots faced in the regular season.
  • Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake have won the most MLS matches (including playoffs) of all teams in 2013 with 19 victories each.
  • Sporting Kansas City leads all 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs teams with 74 shots in the postseason. Real Salt Lake is second with 55.
  • Benny Feilhaber's 13 chances created in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs are second most behind Javier Morales (21).
  • Javier Morales leads all players with three assists in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs. Sporting Kansas City's Benny Feilhaber is second with two.

MILESTONES

  • Peter Vermes could become the second individual in league history to win MLS Cup as player (2000, KC) and coach.
  • MLS Cup 2013 could be C.J. Sapong's 100th game played in MLS competition (including playoffs).
  • Chance Myers will celebrate his 26th birthday on the day of MLS Cup (Dec. 7).
04 December 11:22 am

When MLS Cup 2013 kicks off at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday at Sporting Park, ESPN will nationally televise Major League Soccer's championship match for the fifth straight year. Today, the worldwide leader in sports unveiled the network's extensive programming plans ahead of the marquee match, which will also air on Watch ESPN, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPN International. Check out the highlights below:

Commentator Adrian Healey, analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Mónica Gónzalez will call the action with host Max BretosAlexi LalasKasey Keller and Alejandro Moreno providing studio coverage from site.

MLS commissioner Don Garber will be interviewed on the ESPN set at halftime.

Kenneth Garay (play-by-play), Elmer Polanco (analyst) and Diego Cora (sideline) will be the commentary team for ESPN Deportes Radio, whose coverage starts with a one-hour pre-game show at 2 p.m CT.

ESPN International will televise MLS Cup 2013 on ESPN networks in 59 countries and territories covering more than 22 million television homes. Richard Mendez and Giovanni Savarese will call the game for ESPN International networks in Spanish.

ESPN FC previews MLS Cup on Wednesday with Omar Gonzalez, on Thursday with Twellman joining from KC and on Friday with Twellman/Keller reporting from Kansas City. All episodes air at 4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

Beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT through kickoff on Saturday, all editions of ESPN’s flagship news program SportsCenter (ESPN and ESPNEWS) will feature MLS Cup 2013 segments including reports and analysis from Kansas City.

Jeff Carlisle will report from Kansas City beginning Wednesday. His work for ESPNFC.com will include an interview with Garber, player-focused pieces and a preview of the match.

ESPNFC.com will host a Boot Room chat during the match and a Boot Room Extra post-game show.

02 December 6:12 pm

MLS Cup week kicked off on Monday as Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes and forward Dom Dwyer participated in Major League Soccer's media conference call to preview the match. The duo touched on a wide variety of topics as they responded to questions from the likes of Michael Lewis (Newsday), Kyle McCarthy (FOX Soccer), Arch Bell (Marca), Adam Jardy (Columbus Dispatch), Liviu Bard (Soccer Wire) and Steve Brisendine (MLSSoccer.com). Check out the transcript below...

Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match-up with Real Salt Lake…
They're a very good team. We have the utmost respect for them. They're good in all three phases of the game. They're very good with the ball, they have a lot of movement off the ball when they have it. When they don't have it, they are very competitive. Their guys are committed to winning the ball back quickly. And finally, they're a team that is very dangerous on set pieces and have a strong commitment to making sure they don't give up goals on those, as well. Just a very good team, always prepared and ready to play. It will be a huge challenge for us this weekend.

On overcoming the loss of Kei Kamara…
We spent most of the year, based on the fact that he went out on loan early on, with Kei not being here. Obviously the sale was a permanent thing. It was probably more closure for everyone. I would say for him, to figure out where he was going to land; whether he was going to stay here or go abroad. And then for us, to know whether he was going to stay here or go abroad. It was important for the team to know as well. Since that transpired, I think many different guys have filled in and done a very good job over the course of the season. Obviously, Kei brought a set of qualities to our team, just as the other guys that have played in that position whether it's C.J. Sapong or Soony Saad or Jacob Peterson. They all bring something different. Over the course of the season, they've all had an impact one way or another and have definitely helped us accomplish results in many different matches. We've lost quite a few guys from a year ago, realistically, in Roger Espinoza, Julio Cesar and also Kei. But there's a strong belief from our staff in that we have a group of guys that are very committed to the philosophy of our team. When there's one man's absence is another man's opportunity. A lot of guys have stepped up this year. We've had a lot of rotation of our roster with the multiple competitions we've been in. Most guys have had a real positive contribution to the team.

On how his time in Spain influenced him as a head coach…
A tremendous amount. Actually, last year at this time, I was in Spain looking at some players and doing some education, if you will, for myself. I met up with my old coach. He was a major influence on me. He had an incredible attention to detail in all phases, whether it was edification of players, the breaking down of the opponent to the preparation of your team. He was very, very good. The biggest thing I take away from it is the passion for the game was second to none. It was a great experience for me there and it's definitely had an influence on me as a coach.

On juggling roles as technical director and head coach…
For me, when I first became the interim head coach and I was still doing the technical director responsibilities, I have to say that it was a very difficult time for me. Trying to figure out how to manage both and how to prioritize the important aspects of each of the positions was very difficult for me in the beginning. I would say that as I got half way through the next season is when I started to really get a foothold on being able to deal with both positions. That was really only accomplished because I have such a great staff here. The other coaches on my staff, Kerry Zavagnin and Zoran Savic, were instrumental and they have been ever since for me being able to delegate responsibilities to them that ultimately help us in all aspects of the team whether it's preparing for the next game or whether that's looking at the next player that may become a Sporting player in the future. Obviously, it's much easier today because I've got a pretty good handle on it and we have a great staff. In the beginning it was a monumental task, for sure. My philosophy in that respect has always been to hire people that are better and smarter than myself. I think you have to surround yourself with the best people you can. When you do that, you just have better minds in the room. You make better decisions ultimately at the end. That's always been my philosophy and it's something I would always stick with for sure.

On the club's transition with re-brand and new stadium...
It's obviously been a tremendous experience to live through, for sure. You've seen a club go from 19th on the list in most categories and I don't mean just on the field type things but I mean off the field, as well, whether it's merchandise or what have you. We've made a significant turnaround in all aspects of the club. So from that point of view, it's been a great experience no doubt. So much of it has to do with the ownership group and their vision and commitment, and not just commitment from a financial aspect but it's also their influence and their participation within the community of Kansas City. That's been a major impact into our team. The one thing I take away from this is that there are soccer fans in every city. It's really about finding out how, number one, to tap into them. Number two is providing them with a product on the field that they themselves, one, can be proud of. A couple years ago our stadium won stadium of the year in the world. That's great and there's a lot of people that want to come to our stadium to see a game there. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to come back. I think what keeps bringing them back is when they see the players on the field and the way they play. Their commitment to the team, to the game and trying to entertain. I think, because of that,  it's really changed our place in the sports community here in Kansas City which obviously has been massive.

On where MLS Cup 2013 ranks in Kansas City's soccer history…
The significant thing I think about this game is that it's the first time MLS Cup will be held here in Kansas City. I think that gives it some more importance, even then the prior championship in 2000 just because it was at a neutral site away from home. I think that brings a little more significance to it.

Forward Dom Dwyer

On his 2013 season…
It's been a crazy season. Very up and down but definitely on the up right now. It's going good. I enjoyed my time down in Orlando. I learned a lot and got some consistent playing time. Now being back in Kansas, obviously it's been going well. I've been getting lots of opportunities and I've been taking them okay. Obviously scored the winner last game, but more importantly I helped the team win. I haven't been pushing myself to have to score. It's been more as long as we win, then the goals will come. It's been going good.

On his confidence gained…
I've always been a very confident player. The biggest thing going down to Orlando was just to get me regular playing time. I had to go down there and do well consistently. That was one of the main things, just kind of getting used to playing week in and week out, and getting back into the flow of things. It worked out perfectly and it benefited both sides.

On his time at Tyler Junior College…
It was a fun experience.Obviously it was very different being from England and then coming to Texas. There was a company called Soccer Icon in England. I went for a trial there, not really a serious thing -- more of a kickabout. Someone saw me and a couple of my friends and said I can get you guys out to America in a month and a half to Texas. We kind of floated around the idea and weren't real sure. We just jumped at it and it went from there on. It was kind of a leap of faith. It came to work out pretty well.

On the significance of MLS Cup at Sporting Park...
It's huge for the city. I've only been here two years but I've already seen it grow in that short space of time I've been here. It's grown so much. There's more and more hype, there's more and more attention about it. I'm starting to get noticed out around the city a lot more which just shows how much it's grown. A lot of people are talking about it, too. It's not just the Chiefs or the Royals. It's Sporting, too. It's very cool.

On playing in two league championships…
It's exciting. I've been lucky enough to have two opportunities now. I didn't do too well in the first one in Orlando - I'm just kidding. It was good to have that opportunity in the final in Orlando. It's nice to get another one and obviously this is a bigger stage now. I'm really looking forward to it. Two quality teams. It's a big match-up. This is what we've been working for since January or before January since we started offseason training in December. We've been working hard up to this moment and ready to finish it off the right way. I think I'm more excited about experiencing this with everyone else. That's the nicest thing about being on a team. You get to celebrate with everyone else. If you do something good, you get to see everyone else happy. That's the most rewarding feeling. It was nice after the Orlando game, I sat back and watched those guys celebrate. I knew I had a bigger job to do. I knew I had to come back to KC and finish this season off right. It was nice to see all of them happy. It was a big buzz around here two weekends ago when we beat Houston. That was really nice. Now I'm looking forward to more of that feeling. Whenever you feel that taste of something good, you want more of it. I want more.
 

26 November 2:06 pm

The Tuesday night trio of Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine will be back in the Sports Radio 810 WHB studios tonight for The Sporting KC Show from 7-8 p.m. CT. On the agenda for this week's episode are interviews with Sporting KC assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin and Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerway to look ahead to MLS Cup 2013 at Sporting Park, along with a wrap-up of Saturday's Eastern Conference Championship victory over the Houston Dynamo.

Join the conversation by calling 913-3-810-810 and listen live locally on 810 AM, online at 810WHB.com or via the station's free mobile app. You can also tweet your questions to @CalWilliamsSKC, @AndyEdMLS and @ElJefeAugustine.

And there's plenty more audio coverage of Sporting Kansas City availalble. Check out the following interviews:

22 November 2:26 pm

Psst, we're almost 24 hours away from the game we've all been waiting for...a postseason rematch with the Houston Dynamo, on our home field, with an MLS Cup berth awaiting the winner. It all kicks off at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday night at a sold out Sporting Park. Check out the videos below to get ready for leg two in the Eastern Conference Championship.

Start it off with the hype: One Game. 90 Minutes.

And a :15 teaser for NBC Sports national TV broadcast...

Molly Dreska serves up gameday info in our Matchday series...

Dan Haiek and Matt Doyle give us their thoughts from MLS HQ...

And a little MLSsoccer.com love for All-Star Graham Zusi...

Still need more? Check out videos from Thursday's press conferences with Manager Peter Vermes and Matt Besler. And keep an eye out on the video page at MLSsoccer.com for four more videos coming to preview #SKCvHOU through the eyes of Besler, Benny Feilhaber, Kerry Zavagnin and Kyle Martino.

19 November 3:57 pm

Four days out from Sporting Kansas City's biggest game of the season to date, how will this week's Sporting KC Show rise to the occasion? With a special two-hour episode from 7-9 p.m. CT tonight on Sports Radio 810 WHB.

Hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine will be joined by special guests Jimmy Nielsen and Sebastian Salazar (CSN Houston) to preview Saturday's match-up. They'll also discuss all the latest developments from an extremely eventful day in the world of soccer: six of the final eight 2014 FIFA World Cup berths at stake, the U.S. Men's National Team's final fixture of 2013 and a major announcement coming from our USL PRO affiliate Orlando City SC.

Join the conversation by calling 913-3-810-810 and listen live locally on 810 AM, online at 810WHB.com or via the station's free mobile app. Additionally, audio from the show will be archived on the podcast page at 810whb.com.

Can't get enough of Cal? The voice of Sporting Kansas City will be all over the airwaves this week: