MLS Regular Season
Photo by USA Tooday Sports Images
Since returning from Nicaragua after Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League opener, Sporting Kansas City has turned the team's attention to a top of the table clash with D.C. United on Saturday at Sporting Park. Two points separate the last two U.S. Open Cup champions in the Eastern Conference standings with two months remaining in the regular season.
Ahead of the 2004 MLS Cup rematch, listen to this week's interviews as heard on local sports radio.
Sporting KC Show on 810 WHB feat. Dom Dwyer and Kerry Zavagnin (Aug. 20)
The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB feat. Peter Vermes (Aug. 21)
Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio feat. Jon Kempin (Aug. 22)
Update: Congratulations to Ryan McDonald for submitting the winning caption. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.
Sporting Kansas City moved into first place in the race for the Supporters' Shield after defeating Eastern Conference foes Toronto FC 4-1 at Sporting Park last weekend. Needless to say, the boys brought nothing but smiles during postgame interviews with SKCTV commentator Jake Yadrich - especially two of the three goalscorers (Dom Dwyer and C.J. Sapong) and man of the match himself (Jon Kempin) pictured above.
Dwyer opened the scoring on Saturday by converting two first half penalty kicks to move his goal scoring total to 16, second most in MLS this season. Sapong's second half strike moves the Virginia native into a tie for ninth on KC's all-time chart for career goals scored during the regular season with 20 and Sporting KC's record when Sapong scores is now 19-0-2 including the postseason.
Saturday was the first career MLS start for Kempin, who has been nominated for MLS Save of the Week honors for Week 23 after his crucial stop against Gilberto to preserve his team's lead. Kempin already earned the accolade in Week 22 on his MLS debut after stopping a penalty kick attempt by Darren Mattocks.
Submit your best caption to the photo above by 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, August 21 and you'll be entered to win two tickets to Saturday's match against D.C. United and $20 worth of Kansas Lottery instant scratch tickets. Entries for this week's caption contest, brough to you by Kansas Lottery, can be submitted via the comments section below. You must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible for the prize. Good luck!
Cast your vote below for Sporting Kansas City's Man of the Match in Saturday's 4-1 win over Toronto FC at Sporting Park on Saturday night. Voting is open through Monday.
After review by a collection of Sporting KC players and front office staff members, the following 10 submissions have been selected as finalists for Sporting KC's inaugural National Anthem Contest:
Now we're turning it over to you; the fans. Cast your vote below for the contestant you'd like to hear sing the National Anthem prior to Sporting Kansas City's match against D.C. United on August 23. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CT on Monday, August 18.
Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match from Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Sunday night. Voting is open through Monday.
Landon Donovan's illustrious career -- a career that has spanned 299 MLS regular season starts, the first of which came right here in Kansas City -- will come to a close at the end of the 2014 season. The LA Galaxy and U.S. Men's National Team star revealed the news on Thursday, one day after scoring the game-winning goal in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game and collecting MVP honors.
As such, today's Throwback Thursday turns back the clock to April 28, 2001. Just three days after riding the bench for the United States in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at Arrowhead Stadium, a 19-year-old Donovan was in the San Jose Earthquakes starting lineup for the first time in his 14-year MLS career to face the reigning MLS Cup champions on their home field.
"I specifically remember that game because it was Landon's first (start) and there was a lot of hype coming into it," teammate Ian Russell recalled in 2005. "And we got a glimpse of Landon, seeing how dangerous he can be up front for us."
While the game ended in a scoreless draw, Donovan had no shortage of success against Kansas City over the course of his career. His 13 goals and 12 assists in the regular season versus KC make him the only player in MLS history to put up double digits in both goals and assists against Kansas City. And there's also his lone postseason strike in the series: a 117th-minute golden goal in overtime of the 2003 Western Conference Championship en route to his second of five MLS Cup championships.
Then Kansas City Star sports writer Joe Posnanski penned a column dedicated to Donovan back in April 2001 amidst the interest surrounding Donovan's first visit to KC for the dose of club and country double duty. Under the headline "Donovan May Be The Man," he wrote…
What U.S. men's soccer needs is a hero. A goal scorer…Maybe it's Landon Donovan.
Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match from Sporting Kansas City's 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union on Friday at Sporting Park. Voting is open through Monday.
On Thursday, Graham Zusi joined The Program with Soren Petro on Sports Radio 810 WHB to discuss an eventful month for the Sporting KC midfielder that included a knockout round match in the World Cup (July 1), an MLS match five days later, an All-Star selection, a Designated Player contract and a goal in Toronto to move Sporting KC atop the Supporters' Shield standings.
Next up? Tomorrow's Eastern Conference encounter with the Philadelphia Union (7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports, 810 AM & 1340 AM) at Sporting Park before departing for the 2014 MLS All-Star Game on August 6.
Zusi touched on a number of topics throughout the 16-minute interview. Listen to the full podcast embedded below for the following excerpts, as well as his timeline for the United States Men's National Team to win their first World Cup and the mystery surrounding how a postgame jersey exchange led to a hotel room theft.
On his decision to re-sign with Sporting KC...
"It's the direction this club is headed. You've seen over the past four years now what it's done for the city and the vision hasn't stopped there. Our ownership group is probably the best in sports. Their vision is incredible. They have stuff planned out in the next couple years that I want to be part of."
On his experience in Brazil...
"The experience itself was an incredible one for me. To be matched up against the best players in the world, especially against Germany as the eventual winners, it really gives you a bar that you can set and something you can really work towards. You have to be honest with yourself at the end of the day. I was able to do that and know that I'm not there yet. It really gives me something to work towards on that front."
On the United States progress at the international level...
"I think we're well on the way and definitely headed in the right direction. I think Jurgen has done a great job so far with implementing what we need to do to get to that level. He's been very honest with the U.S. fans along with the players, telling us what we need to do to one day be competing against the Germany's and the Brazil's. What we saw from this tournament is we're certainly capable of it. We can hang with some of the best teams in the world on a given day. What we want to do now is do that on a consistent basis every time we're up against them."
On Sporting KC's remaining schedule...
"The second half of the season is always a grind. There's jostling for the playoff positions. We have a team tomorrow in Philly who has always played us well and especially at home. We definitely owe them one. They came in and kind of took it to us last time they were here in Kansas City; definitely not a team to take lightly...At this point of the season, we're sitting in a great spot at the top of the table. Every time we can put another three points up there and distance ourselves, especially from the people in our own conference, that's what it is all about."
Sporting Kansas City winger Jacob Peterson -- the game-winning goal scorer in last weekend's 2-1 win at Toronto FC -- and Philadelphia Union midfielder Maurice Edu joined this week's episode of The Sporting KC Show, which aired last night on Sports Radio 810 WHB and is embedded in its entirety below. Hosts Callum Williams and Carter Augustine interviewed both players in advance of Friday's Eastern Conference clash.
The Union have just one loss in their last 10 games across all competition and have proven to be a thorn in SKC's side at Sporting Park. The reigning MLS Cup champions have suffered only two losses in their last 21 MLS and CCL home matches dating back to last year, both of which came against Philadelphia.
Riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, Sporting KC will aim for sole possession of first place in the Supporters' Shield standings with a result on Friday. A limited number of tickets are still available on Ticketmaster.com and the first 10,000 fans inside the gates will receive a pair of Sporting KC spirit sleeves courtesy of UMB Bank. Not able to attend? The match will be televised nationally on NBC Sports, with additional radio coverage on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).