Photo of @KCCauldron tifo by Graham Green
Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara and midfielder Peterson Joseph will be making a special appearance at Village West Discount Liquors (11010 Parallel Parkway) in Kansas City, Kan. from 5-6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The duo -- who have each started 11 games for Sporting Kansas City this season -- will be meeting fans, signing autographs and taking photos with customers throughout the event.
VWDL -- an official sponsor of Sporting Kansas City -- opened in October 2009 and is a family-owned business featuring over 8,000 square feet of wine and liquor, as well as 29 cooler doors of beers from all across the world. Their party shop includes a walk-in humidor with premium cigars and cigar accessories, non-alcoholic beverages, mixers, wine accessories and gifts. Follow @VWDLiquors on Twitter and Facebook for more.
This month's episode of Off the Pitch with Sporting Kansas City aired on KSMO-TV last night, bringing fans an inside look into the team's last month of matches as Sporting KC competed in both the CONCACAF Champions League and Major League Soccer. Check out the popular Vantage Point series in the video above for a game-by-game breakdown, as well as interviews with forwards C.J. Sapong and Jacob Peterson in the Boulevard Members Club below.
Sporting Park continues to be recognized as one of the very best venues in the industry. The state-of-the-art, $200+ million stadium in Kansas City, Kan. was this year's recipient of the Gold Award for Best Sports Event to Entertain Clients in Ingram's Best of Business Kansas City.
The annual competition is in its 25th year of honoring readers' selections in more than 100 categories which highlight the best businesses across the local metropolitan area. All award winners were featured in the August edition of Ingram's magazine and the publication hosted the 2013 Best of Business Kansas City awards celebration on Thursday to hand out the engraved walnut plaques (shown on right).
Click here for a full list of awards and accolades received by Sporting Club, Sporting Park and Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting KC captain and radio talk show favorite Jimmy Nielsen joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning with hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. The White Puma talked American football, raising his family in Kansas City and Friday's match-up with the Philadelphia Union.
"They've been struggling a little bit lately but they're still in the playoff race so I expect a very, very tough game," Nielsen said. "I expect Philadelphia to come here to try to get the three points. I hope and I think they'll come here and attack a little bit. I'm pretty sure, if that's the case, it's going to be a very, very interesting and very, very entertaining game. It's going to be very exciting. We're one of three teams battling for first place. It's a huge game for us tomorrow to pick up those three points."
Hear the full interview embedded below...
This summer, The Victory Project honored six-year-old Jasmin Booth in the Victory Suite at Sporting Park and raised more than $1,000 at the game to support her charity, Operation Jammies, in its mission to provide pajamas for youth undergoing treatments at local hospitals. Which brings us to Tuesday...
Booth -- diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year -- teamed up with Sporting KC All-Star and fashion guru Aurelien Collin for a one-of-a-kind shopping spree at an area Target location to pick out and purchase more than four carts full of apparel for boys and girls of all ages. The pajamas will soon be donated to patients at Children's Mercy Pediatric Hematology/Oncology department.
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes was a special guest on The Program with Soren Petro on Sports Radio 810 WHB earlier this afternoon. Vermes gave his thoughts on the team's 2-1 victory in Toronto on Saturday, as well as his approach to the final five games ahead on the MLS regular season schedule.
On the team's progress this season...
"The group is interesting. We've evolved over the course of the season. And most of the evolution has been becoming very mature in certain aspects of how we manage games."
On C.J. Sapong scoring three goals in last two games...
"C.J. has a lot of talent. He was a little out of form this year, especially in the mid-way point of the season. Credit to him...he's done a good job in trying to get himself back into it."
On the team's affiliation with Orlando City SC...
"Our guys going in and gettting consistent games that really mean something on a consistent basis has been really good for them. And when they come back to us, not only are they 90 minutes fit, but they also have a routine...That partnership has been fantastic thus far."
On Friday's match-up with Philadelphia...
"Everybody's mind is focused on this home game. We need to get the points at home...We're going to have to be really concentrated and alert for 90 minutes. And we're going to have to make sure that we impose our game on them."
Listen to the full 18-minute interview embedded below...
Tuesday is the final day to cast your ballot in the 2013 Best of Kansas City Awards, presented by The Pitch. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. so the clock is ticking to hit the polls in support of the following Sporting KC nominations:
- Best Place to Watch KC Pro Sports: Sporting Park, Kauffman Stadium, 810 Zone
- Best Soccer Field: Sporting Park, Swope Park, Overland Park Soccer Complex
- Best Sporting KC Player: Graham Zusi, Jimmy Nielsen, Kei Kamara
- Best Stadium: Sporting Park, Kauffman Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium
- Best Local Hero: Matt Besler, George Brett, Lazlo
Winners will be revealed in the Best of Kansas City issue of The Pitch on October 10. Only registered users can take the survey and participants must answer at least 20 (of the 351) questions in order for answers to be counted.
Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown is one of 36 players currently with the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team in Carson, Calif. for a week-long training camp at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center. Head coach Javier Perez will oversee the roster in an intrasquad scrimmage on Wednesday and a pair of matches against local club sides on Saturday.
Palmer-Brown, 16, signed with Sporting KC as a Homegrown Player last month and attened the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. for the spring semester earlier this year. He remains eligible to play for the Sporting KC Academy U18's in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and started in their 3-1 season-opening victory over Lonestar SC on Friday at the Sporting Club Training Center.
The U18's will next convene for a four-team tournament in Limoges, France from Oct. 6-14. Follow @ussoccer_ynt on Twitter for all the latest.
Photo via @vicpace10 on Twitter
The Sporting KC U-16 and U-18 Academy teams successfully started their 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy seasons this weekend at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Against Lonestar SC on Friday, the U16's earned a scoreless draw with a shutout from Ryan Krutz and the U18's were 3-1 winners on a hat trick from Andy Lopez -- the younger brother of Sporting KC rookie Mikey Lopez -- against his former club. Sporting KC Homegrown Player Erik Palmer-Brown featured for the U18's before departing KC to join the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team in Carson, Calif. for a weeklong training camp.
On Sunday, both Academy teams welcomed the San Antonio Scorpions Youth Academy. The U16's earned their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory on two goals from Absalom Solorio, playing in his first Development Academy game. For the second straight match, the U18's struck for three goals in a 3-0 triumph. Austin Williamson kept the clean sheet in net and Tucker Stephenson, Cole Stevenson and Zach Wright provided goals on the opposite end of the field.
Thierry Henry isn't on Twitter. But the #Henrying hashtag (H/T to @TheOffsideRules) was trending today and was the talk of NBC Sports, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated and FOX Soccer to name a few.
While KC is yet to witness the viral #TH14 goal celebration (he's been held scoreless in seven career matches against Sporting KC), there has been a bit of #Henrying history to highlight in today's TGIF.
A 2011 run-in(to) with Roger Espinoza...
And a 2012 run in(to) with Kei Kamara...
Henry was suspended following both incidents.