Sporting Kansas City homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown started and played 62 minutes for the United States Under-20 Men's National Team on Thursday in a 2-0 victory over Racing Club Reserves in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Palmer-Brown and the United States defense limited Racing to only one shot on goal in the shutout, while the U.S. received goals from Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union) and Romain Gall (Columbus Crew).
At age 17, Palmer-Brown is the youngest of 19 players selected by head coach Tab Ramos for the international trip after an impressive showing with the U20's at the 2014 Dallas Cup in April.
“He’s really a U18 player but I talked with Peter Vermes a few months ago and he said Erik had been showing well," Ramos told American Soccer Now. "I decided it didn’t make sense to leave him at the 18's and he was ready to move up to this level. He’s up for the challenge.”
The United States Under-20's will next face the Defensa y Justicia Reserves on Saturday before the final friendly on Tuesday, Sept. 9 against the Argentina Under-20 Men's National Team.
Carlos Bocanegra (right) celebrates scoring at Sporting Park | Photo by Jamie Squire (Getty Images)
No defender in U.S. Men's National Team history scored as many goals as Carlos Bocanegra and he set the record with the final goal of his international career on Oct. 16, 2012 at Sporting Park in a 3-1 victory over Guatemala. The two-time FIFA World Cup veteran announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season, concluding a 15-year professional career in which he captained the United States in 64 of his 110 appearances.
Bocanegra -- who also captained the United States to a 1-0 win over Guadeloupe at Sporting Park during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup -- spent six seasons in Major League Soccer, beginning his career in Chicago. He earned Rookie of the Year honors and helped the Fire reach the 2000 MLS Cup, where they fell 1-0 to Kansas City at RFK Stadium.
His MLS career saw him make only two appearances in Kansas City with cameos coming in 2002 and 2003 - both seasons in which he was named MLS Defender of the Year. He scored Chicago's lone goal in his KC debut on Aug. 31, 2002 in a 2-1 loss but returned the following year and led Chicago to a 3-2 victory at Arrowhead Stadium on April 26, 2003.
Now 35, Bocanegra captains Chivas USA but has been sidelined since July with concussion symptoms. Sporting KC will take on Chivas USA next Friday, Sept. 12 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi are two of 20 Major League Soccer stars in the running for this year's FIFA 15 custom cover. Fans can choose the World Cup duo to be among the four players that will appear on the downloadable MLS cover and all who cast votes will be entered to win a VIP package for two to MLS Cup 2014.
VOTE NOW: Cast your ballot
Voting is unlimited and runs through Sept. 9. The league's official FIFA 15 custom cover, as well as a Sporting Kansas City custom cover, will be unveiled on the MLS Facebook page on Sept. 19. FIFA 15 hits stores on Sept. 23 in North America and is currently available to pre-order on EASports.com.
This week, The Pitch has revealed the finalists from their Best of Kansas City 2014 ballot and Sporting KC is nominated in multiple categories.
Best Place to Watch KC Pro Sports
Best Sporting KC Player
Best Local Hero
Lazlo, 96.5 the Buzz
Best Thing That's Changed in KC in the Past Year
Additionally, Buzz Beach Ball -- which returns to Sporting Park on Friday, Sept. 5 -- is up for "Best Concert" and "Best Music Festival" in this year's awards.
Voting is open until September 17 with the winners to be revealed in their annual Best of KC issue on October 9. Users must have a registered account to complete the survey and must answer at least 20 of the 279 questions.
Photo by USA Tooday Sports Images
Since returning from Nicaragua after Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League opener, Sporting Kansas City has turned the team's attention to a top of the table clash with D.C. United on Saturday at Sporting Park. Two points separate the last two U.S. Open Cup champions in the Eastern Conference standings with two months remaining in the regular season.
Ahead of the 2004 MLS Cup rematch, listen to this week's interviews as heard on local sports radio.
Sporting KC Show on 810 WHB feat. Dom Dwyer and Kerry Zavagnin (Aug. 20)
The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB feat. Peter Vermes (Aug. 21)
Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio feat. Jon Kempin (Aug. 22)
Four years ago this month, Jon Kempin became the club's first homegrown player and the youngest signing to that point when he turned pro at age 17.
"This is a great day for our organization," Peter Vermes said at the time. "We had the opportunity to identify a talented player in the area, bring him into the (Academy) program and develop him to the point where we could sign him to a professional contract. Jon has incredible talent and now he has the opportunity to continue his development at a professional level and not have the pressure to perform on the field right away.”
Pressure to perform, like being told at halftime to warmup for your MLS debut and then facing a penalty kick for your first shot on goal faced.
Or lining up across from the League's top paid player, U.S. Men's National Team star Michael Bradley, in your first career MLS start.
Or following that with a 2,000+ mile trek to Central America three days later for a Champions League encounter in Nicaragua.
Kempin aced all three tests since being summoned back from his loan to USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC in the aftermath of an injury to starting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg and then stepping into the spotlight when Andy Gruenebaum was sidelined with a strained shoulder. Now 21, Kempin is the youngest goalkeeper to start an MLS match in team history and the youngest at his position to appear in MLS this season.
To quote Kempin on his first day as a professional, "Now is when the fun starts."
A week ago, it was Sporting KC captain Matt Besler. Last night, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman took his turn. Today, Manager Peter Vermes and four more of the MLS Cup champions joined in on the nationwide movement.
Check out the video playlist below to see Dom Dwyer, Jon Kempin, Jacob Peterson and Erik Palmer-Brown follow their coach's lead after the team's training on Thursday at the Swope Soccer Village.
In addition to raising awareness for the disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge has led to $7.6 million in donations for The ALS Association since July 29. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that currently has no cure. Click here to learn more about ALS and to find out how you can support the cause.
Landon Donovan's illustrious career -- a career that has spanned 299 MLS regular season starts, the first of which came right here in Kansas City -- will come to a close at the end of the 2014 season. The LA Galaxy and U.S. Men's National Team star revealed the news on Thursday, one day after scoring the game-winning goal in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game and collecting MVP honors.
As such, today's Throwback Thursday turns back the clock to April 28, 2001. Just three days after riding the bench for the United States in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at Arrowhead Stadium, a 19-year-old Donovan was in the San Jose Earthquakes starting lineup for the first time in his 14-year MLS career to face the reigning MLS Cup champions on their home field.
"I specifically remember that game because it was Landon's first (start) and there was a lot of hype coming into it," teammate Ian Russell recalled in 2005. "And we got a glimpse of Landon, seeing how dangerous he can be up front for us."
While the game ended in a scoreless draw, Donovan had no shortage of success against Kansas City over the course of his career. His 13 goals and 12 assists in the regular season versus KC make him the only player in MLS history to put up double digits in both goals and assists against Kansas City. And there's also his lone postseason strike in the series: a 117th-minute golden goal in overtime of the 2003 Western Conference Championship en route to his second of five MLS Cup championships.
Then Kansas City Star sports writer Joe Posnanski penned a column dedicated to Donovan back in April 2001 amidst the interest surrounding Donovan's first visit to KC for the dose of club and country double duty. Under the headline "Donovan May Be The Man," he wrote…
What U.S. men's soccer needs is a hero. A goal scorer…Maybe it's Landon Donovan.
Delaware North Companies (DNC) is hiring for all food and beverage positions during a job fair from 2-6 p.m. CT on Thursday at Sporting Park (1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, KS). Available positions include beer vendors, stand attendants, utility workers, porters/barbacks, cooks, bartenders and concession supervisors.
Interested candidates must be at least 18 years of age to apply and must be 21 years of age to sell alcoholic beverages. Parking for Thursday's job fair is available in Lot D (click here for map/directions) and all attending should enter through the security entrance on the east side of the stadium across from Best Western. Those unable to attend the job fair are encouraged to apply online.
DNC is a global leader in hospitality and food service with 55,000 associates across the United States and around the world. For more information, contact Brianna Loy at (913) 912-7578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without a few of the team's top players on the eve of the 2014 MLS All-Star Game, Sporting Kansas City welcomed a star from another sport to their training session on Tuesday at the Swope Soccer Village. NASCAR driver Joey Logano paid a visit to the MLS Cup champions while in Kansas City for a media tour to promote the Hollywood Casino 400 race weekend at Kansas Speedway from Oct. 3-5.
Logano led the first 30 laps and finished third on Sunday in the GoBowling.com 400. His eighth top-five finish of the year moved the 24-year-old up to eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver standings and he is one of only seven drivers to have clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with five races remaining until the field is set.
For all the sights and sounds from Tuesday's training, check out the video above and photo slideshow below. Plus, click here to see the social media chatter captured from the festivities.