It's not every day you get invited to sit in the Victory Suite at Sporting Park. So when eight-year-old Joseph -- a local soccer player diagnosed with leukemia in December -- was the Victory Suite's special guest last week for Sporting Kansas City's match against the Seattle Sounders, he made the most of his moment.
Check out Joseph showing off for the cameras during his pre-game recognition on the videoboard...
Visit VictoryKC.org for more information on The Victory Project, a new community-driven foundation to impact children with cancer in the Kansas City region. Follow @VictoryKC and @SportingCares on Twitter.
Suds and summer with a splash of Sporting KC.
For the second straight year, Sporting Kansas City is proud to present the annual Summer Beer Festival, a tribute to craft beers and benefit for AIDS Walk Kansas City. The event will take place on Saturday, June 15th from 5-9 p.m. CT on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of McCoy’s in Westport.
Over 30 breweries from around the world will be highlighted during the event and all in attendance -- including Sporting Kansas City's Jimmy Nielsen, Benny Feilhaber and Seth Sinovic -- will receive a commemorative Sporting KC tasting glass, have the chance to sample more than 70 exclusive beers and enjoy the opportunity to mingle with the creators of the beers being poured. Visit BeerKC.com for a list of participating breweries.
Sporting Park had a few special guests on Wednesday night. Players from the Kansas City Chiefs showed up ready to enjoy the evening and cheer on their fellow Kansas City athletes.
From corner back Brandon Flowers to safety Eric Berry, several Kansas City Chiefs were among the stadium’s sold out crowd.
“It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun,” Chiefs’ safety Tysyn Hartman said of his first game in Sporting Park. “I’m enjoying it so far and learning a lot. I’ve been playing a lot of FIFA video games and started watching it on TV, so I’ve been learning more and more. It’s nice to come here and see it in person.”
Though considerably smaller in size than Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs thought the Sporting Park atmosphere was impressive and they had an extra special appreciation for the Cauldron.
“This is a great stadium,” defensive tackle Anthony Toribio said. “The fans are awesome, and, what do you call that? The ‘Blue Hell?’ Those fans are awesome. I want to be a part of that, seriously. It’s a really nice venue, good atmosphere, great night – I love it.”
The first time Toribio saw Sporting KC play was Sunday afternoon when Sporting defeated Chivas USA 4-0.
“Last Sunday was my first game here,” Toribio said, “and I said, ‘I have to come back.’ it’s pretty sweet.”
When it comes to favorite players, there were a few guys on Sporting KC’s squad that really stood out to these football pros.
“I’ve been told Zusi is the man, so I’ve been trying to watch him as much as I can,” Hartman said, “but number 3, Ike Opara, I’ve been watching him and he’s been playing really well.”
Defensive back Jalil Brown said he’s been to quite a few Sporting KC games, and when it comes to choosing a favorite player, picking just one isn’t easy.
“They’re all pretty exciting to watch,” Brown said. “C.J. (Sapong) is pretty cool, I’ve seen him play a couple of times, but I’d say all of them, as a whole, they’re a great team.”
After two good experiences at Sporting Park, Toribio said he’s officially become a fan of MLS.
“I don’t know a lot about Sporting KC since I follow the EPL a lot, Liverpool is my favorite team,” Toribio explained as he pointed down to the Liverpool jersey he was proudly wearing. “So I’m just now starting to get into MLS. It’s pretty exciting, and these guys are really good.”
Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen attended the Visitation Athletic Banquet in Kansas City on Monday. As the special guest speaker of the event, Nielsen addressed the middle schoolers and explained to them why he was such "a lucky man." The story touched on Nielsen's background as a soccer player and how he was asked to move to a new country (from Denmark to the United Kingdom) at the age of only 12 to play soccer.
The Sporting KC captain’s career may have started off quite fruitfully, but has had its share of turbulence along the way. Nielsen admittedly had one poor performance for Millwall after a handful of standout performances. After the match, Jimmy headed out to the bus only to notice it had left without him.
Nielsen went on explaining that it is the ups and downs of sport that help athletes recognize a good situation. And, according to Jimmy, that is exactly what he has in Kansas City.
Nielsen asked the audience questions about himself and Sporting KC throughout his presentation, providing tickets to Wednesday night's match against the Seattle Sounders for all correct answers. And, after he wrapped up the presentation, Jimmy signed autographs and took photos with all in attendance.
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.
Kei Kamara is back in Kansas City (video below) and he's celebrating his return with Sporting KC fans at Chipotle on the Plaza (4851 Main Street, Kansas City, MO) at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
Thanks to Sporting Kansas City partner Chipotle, the burrito bill is covered for the first 100 fans to the party so come early and you’ll leave happy. SKC nation won’t want to miss out on this.
Dinner party at Chipotle on the plaza tonite 6:30pm. Leave you piggy bank at home and bring ya empty belly. #ChipotlePartyWithKei
— KEI KAMARA (@keikamara) May 6, 2013
After arriving in KC late last night, Kamara met with local media today at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Check out the video below and hear from Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes here:
Sporting Kansas City’s first Victory Project honoree, Xander Reynolds, is one happy kid. Thanks to donations from Sporting KC fans, Xander recently received a very special gift.
Eight-year-old Xander has a brain tumor that is causing blindness in one eye and severely diminishing vision in the other. On April 5th, he was the guest of honor at Sporting’s match against D.C. United. That Friday also marked the launch of the Victory Project, a new community-driven foundation that gives owners and fans the chance to donate directly to a child affected by cancer. The project was a huge success that made a lasting impact on Xander and his family.
A month since his memorable night at Sporting Park, Xander now has a device at home that helps him see. The donations allowed him to purchase the TOPAZ CCTV, a special desktop monitor that enlarges information on a screen. Xander can now read and complete schoolwork at home like his classmates.
For more information about The Victory Project, visit VictoryKC.org.
UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the Cancer Battler Cup IV festivities have been postponed until Monday, May 6.
Sporting KC defenders Lawrence Olum and Aurelien Collin will attend Blue Springs High School's Cancer Battler Cup IV on Thursday at Blue Springs High School's Billy Peve Stadium. The pair will participate in pre-game activities and will also be available for a meet-and-greet to sign autographs and take photos with fans until 7:30 p.m. CT.
The Cancer Battler Cup IV is a community fundraising event that will benefit the nonprofit Jennifer Ireland Foundation and is hosted by the Blue Springs High School Soccer Alumni Association. The night will center on a varsity girls' soccer match between the Blue Springs Wildcats and the Blue Springs South Jaguars at 6:30 p.m. CT. Jennifer played and managed soccer at Blue Springs in the years before she succumbed to colon cancer in 2007 at age 27.
At halftime, a 15-minute match between alumni from the two schools and local soccer coaches, including Sporting KC assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin, will take place. For more information, visit the CBC IV page on Facebook.
Sporting KC is teaming up with ArtBra KC for a special VIP Experience prior to their annual runway show and auction this Friday at Signature Flight Support (10 NW Richards Road, Kansas City, MO) in the TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport. Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Michael Thomas and Graham Zusi will join players from the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas State Wildcats to mingle with VIP ticket holders, who get a first look at auction items, small bites from Guadalajara Cafe, wine tastings, a performance by the MoonDrop Circus Aerial Artists and a chance to meet the ArtBra KC 2013 models.
VIP tickets are available for $150 and general admission tickets are on sale for $75. Purchase them online at kumed.com and !
All proceeds benefit the Patients in Need Fund at Missy's Boutique, an accredited appearance center at The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion. The fund ensures access to Missy's services for eligible uninsured/underinsured individuals.
Friday's event showcases approximately 70 work-of-art bras, designed and created by family and friends of breast cancer survivors, local artists, celebrities and volunteers. The "Top 25" bras are modeled by breast cancer survivors to celebrate their triumph over cancer, complete with runway costumes coordinated to the theme of the Art Bra they model.
Last year, Besler and Thomas were in attendance with Michael's aunt, Cindy Whittman, a breast cancer survivor. The bra (shown above) raised $1,700.
UPDATE: Listen to the podcast here.
The Sporting KC Show will air live from La Bodega: Tapas & Lounge (703 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, MO) in the Crossroads Arts District on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT tonight. Hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards will be joined by Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic, who will meet and greet fans in attendance for autograph/photo opportunities throughout the show.
The weekly show airs every Tuesday on Sports Radio 810 WHB to bring all the latest discussion around Sporting Kansas City, Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer. Listeners can call 913-3-810-810 to join the conversation and share their thoughts on the 2013 season.
Sports Radio 810 WHB, the official broadcast radio partner of Sporting Kansas City, will simulcast Sunday's home match against Chivas USA at Sporting Park. The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame show will air immediately after the match, live from the Boulevard Members Club with hosts Dave Borchardt and Andy Edwards.
Tickets are still available for the Cinco de Mayo match-up with Chivas USA and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.