Mark your calendars, Major League Soccer revealed on Friday the time and date for when the 2013 MLS Cup champion will be crowned...
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 31, 2013
The MLS Cup finalist with the better regular-season record earns the right to host the championship game. So yes, in 190 days time, the quest for the Cup could culminate inside Sporting Park...the same season KC hosts the AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 31 and the U.S. Men's National Team's final home FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Jamaica on Oct. 11.
Dare we suggest a second straight U.S. Open Cup championship at Sporting Park, too? That would come on Oct. 1 or 2 should Sporting KC return to the tournament finals.
Brush up on your MLS Cup history at MLSSoccer.com.
Off the Pitch aired on KSMO-TV last night and in case you missed it, below are some of the best clips from Sporting Kansas City's monthly television show. The popular Vantage Point series is a must watch as Sporting KC players breakdown the recent run of performances:
Click on the links below to check out the other segments from last night's Off the Pitch:
It's now official. AS Roma will face the MLS All-Stars in the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Get to know a bit about the opponent below with information on the club's history, titles, and more.
AS Roma were founded in 1927 and are tied for second-most seasons in Italy's top flight (Serie A) with 80. The club has competed in Serie A for 61 consecutive seasons. Roma currently play in the Stadio Olimpicio but will be constructing a new stadium to be completed by 2016.
- Italian Cup (9) - 1963–64, 1968–69, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1990–91, 2006–07, 2007–08
- Serie A (3) - 1941-42, 1982-83, 2000-01
- Italian SuperCup (2) - 2001, 2007
- Francesco Totti - The team captain who has scored over 200 goals for the club. He helped lead Italy to the 2006 FIFA World Cup title and is widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of the club.
- Michael Bradley - The American started his career in MLS and has settled in as a two-way midfielder for Roma. Bradley has 75 caps for the United States Men's National Team.
- Daniele De Rossi - The midfielder has consistently been one of the top players in Serie A and still features for the Italian National Team. De Rossi has made over 300 appearances for Roma and played in two FIFA World Cups (2006 & 2010).
Sporting Kansas City's 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Sunday continued a theme in the all-time series between the two Eastern Conference rivals: don't count KC out. Despite falling behind 1-0 on a goal from Dynamo captain Brad Davis in first-half stoppage time, Kei Kamara scored his first goal of 2013 in the 68th minute for a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park that keeps KC one point ahead of Houston in the Eastern Conference standings.
Prior to Sunday, Houston was a perfect 5-0-0 when scoring first this season and it's only fitting Sporting KC was the team to blemish the mark.
Dating back to the first ever meeting between the clubs on April 8, 2006 -- when Jose Burciaga scored in the 90th minute of a 2-1 come-from-behind win -- Houston has dropped 14 points from leading positions against KC. Four of the six matches (full list below) have seen Sporting KC complete their comeback in the 90th minute or later and the Dynamo have now seen a lead evaporate at the hands of Sporting KC in each of the last five seasons.
- May 26, 2013 - Houston led 1-0 until Kei Kamara goal in 68th minute for 1-1 draw
- September 14, 2012 - Houston led 1-0 until C.J. Sapong goal in 93rd minute for 1-1 draw
- July 16, 2011 - Houston led 1-0 until Aurelien Collin goal in 90th minute for 1-1 draw
- September 22, 2010 - Houston led 3-1 until Josh Wolff goal in 96th minute of 4-3 loss
- October 4, 2009 - Houston led 1-0 until Zoltan Hercegfalvi goal in 73rd minute for 1-1 draw
- April 8, 2006 - Houston led 1-0 until Jose Burciaga goal in 90th minute for 2-1 loss
Major League Soccer has announced that the 20th club in the league will be New York City FC. The club is a partnership between English Premier League side Manchester City and Major League Baseball's New York Yankees. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015 at an interim venue with plans to have its own stadium in New York.
For full coverage of New York City FC, check out MLSSoccer.com and the links below.
Sunday's showdown between Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo was the latest in a rivalry that continues to blossom and like any good grudge game, the contest came with no shortage of tough tackles. Referee Chris Penso whistled Sporting Kansas City for 25 fouls in the match, most by a team in MLS this season and second most in club history, but might there have been a method to the madness?
Mapping out each of the 25 fouls committed by Manager Peter Vermes' squad shows no set pieces were conceded closer than 35 yards from Jimmy Nielsen's net. The closest (shown below) came in the 25th minute when Brad Davis' left-footed free kick was saved by Nielsen at the near post.
In fact, Houston managed only two shots on goal through the game's first 90 minutes and both came from free kick opportunities. The Dynamo - historically a dangerous team on dead ball situations with Davis serving pin-point deliveries -- were stifled in the run of play and Sporting KC did well to limit the effectiveness of their restarts in large part by pushing the proximity of those free kicks further up the field.
Ironically, the foul-friendly approach is a tactic often used to stymie Sporting KC who lead all MLS teams in fouls suffered this season. Either way, the rivalry will write its next chapter in two weeks' time when Sporting Park hosts the rematch on May 26 live on national TV.
"When we play each other, it is always a battle," Vermes said. "These two teams are always battling each other. It’s every roll of the ball."
Graham Zusi joined Glenn Davis on Dynamo All-Access ahead of Sporting KC's trip to Houston for tonight's showdown between the Eastern Conference contenders. Hit play below to hear from the reigning MLS Player of the Week for his thoughts on renewing the rivalry...
Speaking of Zusi and the radio, MLSSoccer.com talked musical tastes and compiled a Spotify playlist with some of the National Teamer's favorites.
Need more noise? Jake Yadrich, color commentator for the Sporting KC Television Network, joined T.J. Carpenter on Sports Radio 810 WHB for a SportsNight segment on Thursday. Listen to the full interview online at 810whb.com.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will simulcast tonight's match with The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show immediately afterward. Call 913-3-810-810 to join the discussion with hosts Dave Borchardt and Andy Edwards.
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes joined The Border Patrol with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John this morning on Sports Radio 810 WHB to discuss last night's match against the Seattle Sounders FC and the team's trip to Houston for Sunday's showdown with the Dynamo.
"With three games in eight days, we've got to get focused on Houston. But it was a tough one to swallow based on the fact that we gifted them the goal at the end there. A major blunder on our part defensively and it wasn't just from the throw-in. It was the play leading up to it, giving the ball away as we were attacking up the field -- just a big mistake on our part."
Given the quick turnaround, Vermes will put the team through training sessions on Friday and Saturday at the Sporting Club Training Center to prep for the trip to BBVA Compass Stadium.
"They're undefeated there -- it's not an easy place to play -- since they opened the place...They're actually on a bit of a roll at the moment. They're feeling it. They're a very confident team. So where it's going to be important for us, I truly believe that second balls in the game are going to be a big thing. They like to pump some balls forward and they like to win those second balls close to your box. And that's where they put you under pressure. The other is that they have two guys wide that have some good speed that are good in the counter. We're going to have to be alert to those two players."
Hear much more from Vermes -- including his thoughts on Graham Zusi's versatility, Matt Besler's injury and the Chiefs' Andy Reid -- in the full interview on 810whb.com.
The Sporting KC Show aired live on Sports Radio 810 WHB from the 810 Zone in Leawood last night with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards getting listeners ready for tonight's mid-week match-up with the Seattle Sounders FC at Sporting Park. Cal spoke with the man of the moment, Kei Kamara, upon his return to Sporting KC on Monday, as well as Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson. Listen to those interviews and the full show online at 810whb.com.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will simulcast tonight's showdown -- a rematch of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final -- and will also air The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show live from the Boulevard Members Club immediately after the match. Call 913-3-810-810 to join the discussion and share your thoughts on all the action.
Kamara, who may be available for selection tonight in his first game back, was also a guest on SiriusXM Sports yesterday with JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola. Listen to the "Counter Attack" segment below...