Major League's Soccer opening month delivered no shortage of drama -- we highly recommend MLSsoccer.com's 90+ videos to capture all the sights and sounds week after week -- but the best of the best proved to be Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer's game-winning goal in stoppage time of a 3-2 victory at Colorado on March 29. The strike won MLS Goal of the Week for Week 4 and now it's been named the No. 1 play for the entire month of March.
Check out the video above as MLS Digital Director of Video Content Jason Saghini counts down the Top 5 Plays of March in their Fast & Fluid series.
The Digital Crawl, circa 1996, with Mark Chung, Vitalis Takawira and Diego Gutierrez
This Sunday marks the 18th anniversary of Sporting Kansas City's inaugural match, a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Arrowhead Stadium on April 13, 1996 and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with a Throwback Thursday of the Digital Crawl celebration. We'll let the Kansas City Star match recap, written by Bob Luder, set the scene...
Kansas City soccer fans - 21,141 of them - got to see the "Digital Crawl." Vitalis "Digital" Takawira scored the first goal in Kansas City Wiz history in the 71st minute Saturday night, and the Wiz went on to a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in the Major League Soccer debut for both teams.
Takawira, the leading goal scorer in Africa in 1994, broke a scoreless tie when he caught a rebound of a shot by Mark Chung directly in front of the Colorado goal and shot the ball by Rapids goalkeeper Dusty Huddock. Tommy Reasoner started the sequence with a centering pass from the left corner to Chung.
Upon scoring, Takawira went into his famous crawl. He sprinted to the near corner flag, his teammates right behind, and they all got down on all fours and crawled along the sideline.
Takawira scored twice on the night en route to 14 goals in his first MLS season while Frank Klopas -- who returns to KC next Saturday as head coach of the Montreal Impact -- added another. Visit the SportingKC.com archives for a full box score and return to the site on Sunday for a look back at the game that kicked off the Major League Soccer era in Kansas City.
Photo by Kayla Meppelink
Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic's strong start to the 2014 season hasn't gone unnoticed and following his latest praiseworthy performance -- a 90-minute endline-to-endline shift on the left flank against Real Salt Lake on Saturday -- three different national media outlets selected the Rockhurst High School alum as the best player at his position in Week 5 of the MLS regular season.
"I’m bending my rules by picking two left backs, because I can’t resist including Sinovic, who was just edged for the spot on the left. The gap between Sinovic’s performance and that of the weekend’s best right back was enough to convince me to reconsider." - Pro Soccer Talk
Sinovic helped the Sporting Kansas City defense hold Real Salt Lake to only five shots and a single shot on goal as RSL was shutout for the first time this season. His full statline:
- 85 touches, incl. 1 shot on goal
- 78% passing (49 of 63), incl. 2 key passes
- 9 recoveries, 3 clearances & 3 interceptions
- 5 of 6 duels won + 2 fouls suffered
The Leawood, Kan. native has appeared in 108 games for the club across all competition in the last three years after setting regular season career highs in games played (32), games started (31) and minutes (2,773) in 2013.
Sporting Kansas City is undefeated (3-0-2) in 2014 with Sinovic in the lineup and in the midst of a nine-game unbeaten streak (5-0-4) with Sinovic on the field dating back to last year. He earned his first invitation to the U.S. Men's National Team for the January Camp under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and is currently the top-rated outside back on the MLS Castrol Index (No. 28 overall).
A new episode of The Sporting KC Show aired last night on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards joined by Seth Sinovic. Listen to the full podcast embedded below...
The station's soccer discussion continued this morning with Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer in studio for The Border Patrol with Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. Dwyer scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time of Sporting KC's 3-2 victory at Colorado (MLS Goal of the Week nominee) and was featured on Saturday's SKCTV broadcast.
Bukaty and Edwards will call Saturday's MLS Cup rematch between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake live on ESPN 102.9 FM with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT from Sporting Park. Immediately following the match, The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame show will wrap up the night's action live from the Boulevard Members Club.
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
Wearing the No. 14 shirt, it is only fitting Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer is off to a strong start to his 2014 campaign both on and off the field. Three weeks into his third professional season, Dwyer has appeared in all five games for the club in addition to appearances on the cover of INK magazine and the USL PRO media guide. Top that off with his acting debut in the recently released Great Clips commercial and a picture-perfect backflip to celebrate his game-winning goal in Saturday's 1-0 victory over San Jose and it's easy to see how the spotlight shines on a dynamic young talent like Dwyer.
Last night, The Sporting KC Show caught up with the former first round draft pick to hear his thoughts on the season's early stages. Listen to the full podcast from Sports Radio 810 WHB embedded below as hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards are also joined by Colorado Rapids play-by-play voice Richard Fleming to preview Saturday's game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
20-year-old Sporting KC midfielder Jimmy Medranda | Photo by USA Today Sports Images
With today's roster move to waive defender Josh Gardner -- at age 31, the oldest player on Peter Vermes' squad -- Sporting Kansas City ranks third among Major League Soccer's 19 teams with an average age of 25.34 years. Midfielder Jimmy Medranda (pictured above) is the youngest player to appear for the team this season at age 20 and is one of eight players eligible for MLSsoccer.com's "24 under 24" in 2014 along with Christian Duke, Kevin Ellis, Mikey Lopez, Alex Martinez, Erik Palmer-Brown, Oriol Rosell and Soony Saad.
At age 16, Palmer-Brown remains the youngest player in MLS -- born six months before the league's second youngest pro, Chivas USA forward Caleb Calvert.
|1. Vancouver Whitecaps||24.58||Marco Carducci (17)|
|2. Columbus Crew||25.30||Wil Trapp (21)|
|3. Sporting KC||25.34||Erik Palmer-Brown (16)|
|4. FC Dallas||25.41||Kellyn Acosta (18)|
|5. Philadelphia Union||25.47||Zach Pfeffer (19)|
|6. D.C. United||25.48||Michael Seaton (17)|
|7. Toronto FC||25.54||Jordan Hamilton (18)|
|8. New England Revolution||25.66||Diego Fagundez (19)|
|9. Real Salt Lake||25.80||Jordan Allen (18)|
|10. Houston Dynamo||25.84||Bryan Salazar (19)|
|11. Colorado Rapids||25.88||Charles Eloundou (19)|
|12. Chicago Fire||26.09||Grant Ward (19)|
|13. LA Galaxy||26.10||Bradford Jamieson IV (17)|
|14. Chivas USA||26.23||Caleb Calvert (17)|
|15. Montreal Impact||26.43||Maxime Crepeau (19)|
|16. Portland Timbers||26.47||Alvas Powell (19)|
|17. New York Red Bulls||26.95||Matt Miazga (18)|
|18. Seattle Sounders||27.17||Aaron Kovar (20)|
|19. San Jose Earthquakes||27.31||Tommy Thompson (18)|
Sporting KC forward Sal Zizzo | Photo by USA Today Sports Images
With no shortage of talking points, the Sporting KC Show aired on Sports Radio 810 WHB on Tuesday with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards bringing listeners all the latest in Major League Soccer and CONCACAF Champions League action. Last night's episode featured two guests in winger Sal Zizzo, who made his Sporting KC debut in the season opener at Seattle on Saturday, and FutbolMLS.com reporter Diego Pinzon, in town for the signing of Spanish midfielder Antonio Dovale and tonight's CCL quarterfinal against Cruz Azul (7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 2 and Univision Deportes Network).
Listen to the full podcast below and stay tuned to 810 WHB throughout the day as their coverage will feature Todd Leabo live at Sporting Park from 3-6 p.m. CT during Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman. Then at 6:30 p.m. CT, the duo of Callum Williams and Jake Gutierrez will begin more than three hours of programming dedicated to Sporting KC's first home match of 2014. The 30-minute pregame show will set the stage for tonight's showdown between the reigning MLS Cup champions and Liga MX leaders, followed by live match commentary and The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show.
Registration is now open for MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager for the upcoming 2014 season. This year's game is free to sign up with over $10,000 in prizes available. Full details and registration is available on MLSsoccer.com.
In 2013, it was a great year in fantasy for several Sporting KC players. Aurelien Collin led all players with 220 points and Graham Zusi was tied for second with 205 points. Players are awarded points for a variety of actions such as goals, assists, clean sheets, saves, and minutes played (full breakdown is available here).
Each manager is allotted $120 million (each player is valued between $3 million and $11 million) to spend on their team of 18 players. This includes at least two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders, and four forwards along with a maximum of four players from one club. A full list of the rules can be found on MLSsoccer.com.
Who's committed the most fouls in the history of Major League Soccer? Just ask Matt Besler. The Sporting Kansas City defender was correctly able to answer the question in the video below which features a variety of MLS coaches and players (including manager Peter Vermes and forward C.J. Sapong) answering the question.
This is a wonderful time for Sporting Kansas City. I couldn't be happier for all the amazing people I get to work with every day on something so incredible. I'm so thankful for the commitment the Patterson's, Illig's, Maday's and Curran's have made towards making Kansas City the Soccer Capital of America when it was so far from that in 2006.
I really want to thank our guys and their incredible leader, Peter. This year has been such a unique challenge with all the ups and downs, all the games missed due to call-ups, the events leading up to and culminating in the All-Star Game, plus all the things that could have prevented the boys from doing exactly what they've done: taking us for a ride I doubt many will forget.
But let's get to it...You are the most amazing fans in the country. What you've done to transform this team, this sport, this community is nothing short of epic. It's the greatest fan turnaround in the history of sports. Someone disagree? If you can show me another example where crowds of 2,000 became 24-minute 22,000 person sell-outs, I'm all ears.
And that's just it...no matter how far we’ve come, how much we’ve achieved together, how much the rest of the League admires what you’ve become – I have to ask you for one more thing. Nobody has the capability to carry a team to the end like you can. It's going to be cold. It's going to be such a tight game. It's likely going to be uncomfortable at times. But I've had players on this team tell me they've never experienced the emotion they have when Sporting Park is in full voice; players that have played in some of the greatest stadia of the world. So this is your chance to finish what we all started with a championship for this City, for this Club, for all of us.
In 20 years, we all should be able to close our eyes and remember this Saturday afternoon - still feel the emotion, relive the energy, hear again the songs that will be sung and still take joy in the experience of this one match... SKC Nation: let’s leave it all out there.
See you at the end.....