Photo courtesy of @nickbarbir
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown was in the starting lineup for the United States Under-15 Boys' National Team for their fourth straight match on Saturday at the Tournament Delle Nazioni. The U.S. fell 2-1 to Croatia in the semifinals, held in Kotschach, Austria. The Yanks lone goal came from Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) from the penalty spot in the first half.
Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit resident, will now return to Bradenton, Fla. where he is a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program. Croatia advances to the final and will play the winner between Japan-Mexico.
In the starting lineup for the third straight match, Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown helped the United States Under-15 Boys' National Team to a 2-0 win over Slovenia today at the Torneo Delle Nazioni in Grandisca, Italy. The U.S. secured their second clean sheet of the tournament and got goals from Joshua Perez and Christian Pulisic to move past Slovenia in the Group A standings.
- USA 5pts
- Slovenia 4pts
- Chile 3pts
- Italy 2pts
The United States advances to the semifinals to face the winner of Group B (likely Croatia) on Saturday. Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit resident, is currently a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. and is one of 19 players chosen by head coach Tony Lepore for the 12-team international tournament. He started in the team's 0-0 draw with Italy on Tuesday and again in a 1-1 draw against Chile yesterday.
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown started his second straight match for the U.S. Under-15 Boys' National Team today in a 1-1 draw against Chile at the Tournament Delle Nazioni. Two days after earning a scoreless draw against hosts Italy, the U.S. got a goal from Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas) in the game's final minute and now sit in a tie for second place heading into their Group A finale on Friday against leaders Slovenia. The top four sides from the 12-team international tournament will advance to the semifinals on Saturday.
Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit, Mo. resident who is currently attending the U.S. Soccer Residency Program, is one of 19 players on the trip under head coach Tony Lepore. Follow @ussoccer_ynt for updates.
22 cities. 24 teams. 61 games. 5,490 minutes played. 175 goals.
CONCACAF released the video above prior to last night's 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League finale as C.F. Monterrey defeated fellow Liga MX finalists Santos Laguna 4-2 on aggregate. Monterrey lifted the tournament trophy for a third consecutive year and in doing so secured a berth in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco at year's end.
Sporting Kansas City, winners of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, will be one of five MLS clubs participating in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League (tentatively scheduled to begin group play in August) to compete for the region's club championship crown. The tournament has roots dating back to 1962 and has been won by an American team twice: D.C. United (1998) and the LA Galaxy (2000). Last year, Real Salt Lake became the first MLS side to reach the final since LA's victorious 2000 campaign.
KC has twice played in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup, reaching the semifinals in 2002 with triumphs over Trinidad & Tobago's W Connection and Mexico's Santos Laguna. Head Coach Bob Gansler returned his team to the tournament in 2005 but fell to eventual champions Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica) in extra time during the quarterfinal round.
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown started for the U.S. Under-15 Boys' National Team today as they opened the Tournament Delle Nazioni with a 0-0 draw against hosts Italy. One of 19 players on the trip, Palmer-Brown traveled from the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. to Grandisca, Italy for the 12-team international tourney.
Head coach Tony Lepore's squad are competing in Group A and will next play Chile on Thursday before wrapping up the group stage against Slovenia on Friday. The semifinals are scheduled for May 4 with the championship to be decided on May 5.
Palmer-Brown is a Lee's Summit, Mo. resident and was named Player of the Game against Italy by one observer:
Italy vs USA final 0-0, 2nd half subs Wright , Olasunde, Rice. USA outchanced Italy again 3-1. POTG my opinion Pulisic and Palmer-Brown
— Nick Barbir (@nickbarbir) April 30, 2013
Today is the centennial day of the United States' Soccer Federation, when the official charter was signed at the Astor Hotel in New York City. Kansas City's contribution to the sport in the last 100 years has been significant. Below is the history of U.S. Soccer's National Teams playing in Kansas City.
November 2, 1968
The Men's National Team defeats Bermuda 6-2 in 1970 World Cup qualifying. Former KC manager Bob Gansler started and played the full match.
October 7, 1999
The Women's National Team defeats Finland 6-0 in a friendly at Arrowhead Stadium.
April 25, 2001
KC's Josh Wolff scores the match winner in a 1-0 win for the Men's National Team against Costa Rica in 2002 World Cup qualifying.
October 22, 2003
The Women's National Team earns a 2-2 draw against Italy in a friendly at Arrowhead Stadium
September 22, 2004
KC defeats the Chicago Fire 1-0 at Arrowhead Stadium to win the Lamar Hut U.S. Open Cup.
October 16, 2004
The Women's National Team defeats Mexico 1-0 in a friendly at Arrowhead Stadium.
June 14, 2011
The Men's National Team defeats Guadeloupe 1-0 in the final match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup to clinch a spot in the knockout stage.
June 14, 2011
The Women's National Team earns a 1-1 draw against Canada in a friendly match, which extends their domestic unbeaten streak to 53 matches.
August 8, 2012
Sporting KC defeats the Seattle Sounders on penalty kicks to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
October 16, 2012
The Men's National Team rallies from an early 0-1 deficit to defeat Guatmela 3-1 and advance to the final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying.
October 11, 2013
The Men's National Team will host Jamaica at Sporting Park for their final home match of 2014 World Qualifying
Matt Besler and Graham Zusi are back in KC, returning on Wednesday after helping the U.S. Men's National Team secure their first four points in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The Sporting Kansas City duo are garnering considerable media attention after their strong performances for both club and country in 2013. Below are a few of our favorite clips...
- USA Today's Kelly Whiteside tells the story of their rise from being drafted in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and living with Besler's parents as rookies to now starring for the U.S. MNT.
- Tod Palmer was among the first to talk to Besler and Zusi upon their return for a feature in today's Kansas City Star.
- ESPN the Magazine (get your copy on newsstands now) highlights Zusi's status as one of Major League Soccer's elite playmakers on their Playbook page.
- Speaking of ESPN, Zusi was complemented for his defensive workrate (and hairstyle) on SportsCenter, while Besler got a shoutout on Around the Horn.
It’s been a big year so far for Sporting Kansas City midfielder Mikey Lopez. After being drafted in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft by Sporting Kansas City, Lopez missed part of Sporting’s pre-season to join the U.S. Men’s U-20 National U-20 team for the CONCACAF U-20 Championships in Mexico. We caught up with Lopez to talk about everything from his thoughts on the World Cup Draw to his favorite color.
Have any of the guys on the team here taken you under their wing and helped you in your transition to the pro level?
Yeah, they’ve all been really helpful. I really like the way that they’ve been treating me. They do mess with me a lot because I’m the new guy and I’m the youngest here, but it’s normal and in good fun. I’m used to it.
How do you like Kansas City?
Except for the snow and the cold, I like it here. I like the city. Everything’s been good and the people have been very good to me.
Do you miss college?
Yes and no. I miss my friends and my team, but I don’t really miss the school aspect of it. I like to play every day and that’s what I’m doing now - so that’s what makes me happy.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned so far being in a professional soccer setting?
I’ve learned that I have to come out here and prove myself and that I can’t take anything for granted.
How is your mindset different going into training with the U-20s where you know you’re a key player whereas with Sporting you’re fighting to be in the mix on the gameday roster?
I don’t think my mentality changes with the national team even though I’m considered a key player. I still have to go out there and prove myself and prove that I am a key player for Tab (Ramos) and for the national team and Sporting is the same way. I have to fight for everything. I have to prove myself here with the team and with the coaches. My mentality doesn’t really change in the sense that I have to prove myself on both teams.
How do you think playing with the U-20s this spring helped you?
It helped me transition to MLS because I had to practice more and play against professionals.
The U.S. U-20's will be in a group with Spain, France and an African country TBD. What are your thoughts on the group?
It’s going to be a fun group. I think it’s one of the toughest groups there. It’s going to be difficult but at the same time it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a good experience playing against Spain and France and an African team in the World Cup.
You got four yellow cards in five games at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Is yellow your favorite color?
(Laughs) I mean, I have yellow cleats so I guess you could say yellow is my favorite color. No, I don’t usually get yellow cards so those were a little out of character for me. It happens.
What did you think of Matt Besler and Graham Zusi’s performances with the senior national team in their draw with Mexico in World Cup Qualifying?
They did really well. They made our country proud and they made U.S. Soccer proud. They were both key players. Besler was a key player in the defensive end and he broke down a lot of plays and he did really well. It was surprising that that was only his second cap. Zusi did well on both sides of the ball, attacking and defending.
Need Sporting KC audio coverage above and beyond your daily dose of Snippets of Sporting? The hour-long Sporting KC Show airs weekly on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards. They took to the airwaves last night to discuss all the latest developments around Sporting Kansas City, including a preview of Saturday's home match against the first place Montreal Impact and interviews with Davy Arnaud (MTL) and Ike Opara (SKC). Click here to listen to the podcast from last night's show and put 913-3-810-810 on your speed dial to call into next week's show.
You can also join Callum tonight for a special taping of Off the Pitch with Sporting KC at Hooters (1712 Village West Pkwy, Kansas City, KS) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CT. Special guests Jimmy Nielsen and Soony Saad will be in attendance and the episode -- featuring Sporting Kansas City supporters in the background -- will air at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday on KSMO-TV.
The 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup draw has been released with the United States in Group A with Spain, France, and an African side to be determined later. The United States U-20 squad qualified for this year's tournament with a second place finish at the CONCACAF Championships.
Sporting KC's Mikey Lopez featured for the U.S. in the CONCACAF Championships, starting in four matches including the final against Mexico. Lopez could be the first player since Francisco Gomez (1999) to play in a U-20 World Cup while on the KC roster.
The group features two European sides with a lot of history and one African side (qualifying has not yet completed for that region so opponent is unknown). The group stage kicks off in late June with the top two finishers moving into the knockout stage and some third place finishers advancing. The tournament will be broadcast on ESPN (English) & Univision networks (Spanish).
The U.S.'s full group stage schedule is below.
U.S. U-20 Group Stage Schedule
June 21 vs Spain - 1 PM C.T.
June 24 vs France - 11 AM C.T.
June 27 vs CAF team (Egypt/Ghana/Mali/Nigeria) - 1 PM C.T.