MLS Regular Season
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.
Major League Soccer's Dan Haiek and Matt Doyle preview Sporting Kansas City's 2014 MLS regular season with great praise.
Doyle proclaims, "I would be shocked if SKC wasn't in contention for all three trophies, the Shield, MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. They're that good. They're that balanced. They're that deep. This is a really really good team."
Watch the full analysis:
Sporting KC opens the 2014 MLS regular season against the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday. Sounders play-by-play voice, Ross Fletcher breaks down the matchup between the cross conference foes in the CenturyLink scouting report below.
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...
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.
Photo via @CarolMassar on Twitter
One day after appearing on FOX Sports 1 alongside Omar Gonzalez and Kyle Beckerman, Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler joined U.S. MNT teammate Brad Evans on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock" on Tuesday. Host Carol Massar talked with Besler about the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Major League Soccer's 19th season and the players' perspective on the growth of American soccer.
"I think in the next couple years you're really going to see guys come back and (MLS will) be the choice league of top players," Besler told Massar. "Unless something drastically changes, I see myself staying here and playing my whole career."
Watch the six-minute segment below and for more video of Besler, visit the official MLS YouTube channel. Besler made a guest appearance on The Brad Evans Show and sat down to take the MLS leading goalscorer quiz while in New York City for the annual pre-season media and marketing tour.
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.
It's only two months away until Sporting Kansas City kicks off the 2014 Major League Soccer season against the Seattle Sounders. The team will begin the MLS campaign in early March and conclude in late October as they aim to repeat as MLS Cup Champions.
Here a few matches to circle on your calendar this season.
Sporting KC at Seattle Sounders (March 8 - 3 p.m. CT - NBC Sports Network)
A great way to kick off the MLS season as this match will feature two of the most talented squads in MLS including USMNT regulars Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, Matt Besler, and Graham Zusi.
Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake (April 5 - 7:30 p.m. CT - KMCI-TV)
An early season rematch of MLS Cup 2013 in which RSL will be looking for revenge at Sporting Park.
Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo (June 6 - 7:30 p.m. CT - KMCI-TV)
These two teams have built up one of the best rivalries in MLS and it's always a fiercely contested matchup.
Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy (July 19 - 6 p.m. CT - ESPN2)
The previous two MLS Cup champions meet in one of the marquee matches of the summer.
Sporting KC vs New York Red Bulls (October 26 - 7:30 p.m. CT - ESPN)
The regular season finale against the top two sides in the East from 2013 could have playoff and/or Supporters' Shield implications.
Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Let us know by selecting your choice with the poll below.
2013 was an amazing year for Sporting Kansas City. The team started out with preseason in January and concluded in December at Sporting Park by winning the MLS Cup. Let's take a By The Number look at 2013.
- 45 matches in all competitions (MLS, Open Cup, CCL)
- 23 wins in all competitions
- 4000+ minutes played in all competitions
- 400,000+ fans at Sporting Park (sellouts for every MLS match this season)
- 61 goals scored in all competitions
- 16098 passes in MLS play
- 2395 duels won in MLS play
- 825 aerials won in MLS play
- 947 interceptions in MLS play
- 18 clean sheets in all competitions
- 0.82 goals against average in all competitions
- 3 MLS All-Stars (Besler, Collin, Zusi)
- 1 MLS All-Star Game at Sporting Park
- 1 USMNT World Cup qualifier at Sporting Park (Zusi game-winning goal)
- 1 Eastern Conference Championship
- 1 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal berth
- 1 MLS Cup