On Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field, the Major League Soccer season will kick off with Sporting Kansas City traveling to face the Seattle Sounders. It's one of the marquee matches of the weekend which features USMNT stars Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Clint Dempsey, and Brad Evans.
To get you ready for the match, check out the video below as MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Scouting Report break down the key factors.
Peter Vermes addresses crowd at Sporting Takeoff on Tuesday | USA Today Sports Images
Manager Peter Vermes and his Sporting Kansas City squad depart for Seattle on Thursday afternoon, 48 hours before taking the field against the Sounders on Saturday live on NBCSN. Prior to leading the team through one last training session in Kansas City at the Swope Soccer Village, Vermes joined Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio to share his thoughts on the season opener and the 2014 campaign ahead.
"The big thing in this season is that we have a lot of variables to deal with, moreso than we did last year, when you pick and choose who are going to be the guys playing in the upcoming game. It's definitely not going to be easy from the coaching staff's perspective when you look at league play, you look at Champions League which we start next Wednesday here at home, you have U.S. Open Cup, and then we have Champions League again starting in August...and then we have World Cup with some of our guys. There are going to be so many challenges over the course of this season and there are going to be guys that are getting a lot of playing time...and they're going to have to step up and take advantage of those opportunities. They're going to have to be good. That's going to be the biggest challenge for us this year."
Throughout the 10-minute interview, Vermes continued to comment on the team's goals -- both short term and long term -- and the importance of staying "hungry and motivated" after winning MLS Cup. Listen to the full podcast below...
Sporting Kansas City supporters filled the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport on Tuesday night as Sporting Takeoff, presented by Ivy Funds, took over Hangar 1. The team's brand new secondary jerseys were unveiled -- and are now available to buy at shop.sportingkc.com while supplies last -- and Matt Besler was introduced as the 2014 team captain.
The Victory Project held a silent auction to raise funds in its mission to help children thrive through challenges, Recycle Your Game collected gently used soccer equipment donations and a handful of fans walked away with once-in-a-lifetime prizes, including a day with the MLS Cup trophy and authentic MLS Cup champions medallions.
Check out all the sights and sounds in the photo slideshow above, as well as the video features below:
Sporting KC unveils new secondary kit
Matt Besler named captain
Peter Vermes addresses the fans
The Sporting KC Show will air tonight on Sports Radio 810 WHB live from #SportingTakeoff. Hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards will be joined by Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg and Seattle Sounders broadcaster Ross Fletcher. Both guests will preview the upcoming season along with Saturday's season opener against the Sounders (2 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network).
Tonight's show will air from 7-8 p.m. CT on 810 AM, online at 810WHB.com, and through the 810 WHB App (Android, iOS). You can join the conversation for tonight's show by calling 913-3-810-810 or tweeting your questions to CalWilliamsSKC and @AndyEdMLS.
Sporting Takeoff, presented by Ivy Funds, is taking over Hangar 1 at the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport from 5:30-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4 and today we're giving fans a sneak peek at the food and beverage options that will be available at this one-of-a-kind, free event. Attendees can choose from three different meals on the menu, in addition to a discounted kids meal:
MEAL 1 ($8): 1/4 lb. pulled pork sandwich on egg bun with pickle spear, corn cobbette and cookie
MEAL 2 ($8): Three Chipotle chicken street tacos with avocado crema, pickled red onion, cojita corn cobbett (Mexican street style) and cookie
MEAL 3 ($8): Roasted vegetable wrap, herb whipped goat cheese, corn cobbette and cookie
KIDS MEAL ($4): Grilled hot dog, potato chips and cookie
The beverage options will include Boulevard Beer, red or white wine, a specialty signature drink, soda and water. All alcoholic drinks will cost $5 and are available to fans age 21 and up; soda and water will be available for $2 each. Cash and credit card will be accepted at all vending locations.
All supporters planning to attend Sporting Takeoff must reserve a boarding pass online (limited availability). Fans can also take advantage of the Sporting Takeoff Special, which includes two drink vouchers, a $5 merchandise voucher to be used at the event and a free picture with the MLS Cup trophy. The package is available for adults ($12 in advance online, $15 day of event) and youth ($6 in advance online, $10 day of event).
Sporting Kansas City's new secondary jersey will be unveiled at the event, along with the introduction of the 2014 roster and the announcement of the team captain. All who attend will be entered into a raffle to win the MLS Cup trophy for a day, along with other prizes, and there will be a silent auction with proceeds going toward The Victory Project in its mission of helping kids thrive through challenges.
On the field, the Kansas City Blues Rugby Club are one of the top teams in the country as they compete in Division 1 and qualified for the National Championship in 2010. Off the field, the Sporting Club Network members are also making news thanks to their extreme fundraising stunt scheduled for this spring in conjunction with local nonprofit River of Refuge.
The KC Blues Rugby players will camp out in tents (rain, snow or shine) on the roof of the River of Refuge transitional living center until they raise $25,000 to help open the city's first-of-its-kind, comprehensive housing dedicated solely to homeless working families living in motels. Fifteen teammates will live in tents on the roof of the three-story building, beginning on March 6, and a web camera will live broadcast the activities of the Blues teammates to spread awareness for their fundraising efforts.
Funds will be raised through donations made at the website www.rooftopblues.com and this inaugural Rooftop Blues event will aid River of Refuge to open its first 11 apartments. This housing will offer free temporary refuge for working parents and their children as part of the organization's mission to help working families get out of motels, teach them to live independently and find permanent homes they can afford.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber was a guest a Monday's edition of MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio. Feilhaber discussed his time with U.S. Men's National Team during the January camp, winning MLS Cup, his time at UCLA, and the upcoming 2014 season. Monday's episode also features an interview with Columbus defender Michael Parkhurst and discussion of the USMNT's roster for Brazil.
You can listen to Benny's interview on ExtraTime Radio below, which starts around 21:15 of the episode.
Sports Radio 810 WHB host Nate Bukaty is embedded in Sporting Kansas City's preseason training camp in Orlando, Fla. this week. Prior to Wednesday's doubleheader (Sporting KC picked up shutout victories over Eastern Florida State College and the New York Red Bulls), Bukaty sat down with Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes, central defender Ike Opara and winger Sal Zizzo in his latest round of interviews. For previous podcasts and all the latest from Sporting Kansas City's official radio partner, visit 810whb.com and download the station's free mobile app.
Who are the top 20 goalscorers of all-time in MLS and how many can you name in one minute? During preseason, MLSsoccer.com caught up with several players and coaches to test their knowledge on MLS history. One of these players is Matt Belser, who correctly answered nine of the 20 in one minute.
Check out the video below as the Sporting KC defender takes the MLS goalscorer quiz.
Sporting Kansas City will kick off the 2014 Disney Pro Soccer Classic on Wednesday afternoon against the New York Red Bulls. Ahead of today's match, Sports Radio 810 WHB's Nate Bukaty caught up with several Sporting KC players and coaches to get their thoughts on preseason. Later on 810 WHB, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman was a guest on "Between The Lines" to discuss winning MLS Cup and looking ahead to the upcoming season.
Check out podcasts of all the interviews below.