Out and About
MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Sporting Kansas City players were in attendance today at the Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City, MO to unveil a major makeover as part of MLS Cup Week 2013. Major League Soccer’s community service initiative, MLS WORKS, and Sporting Kansas City through The Victory Project came together ahead of MLS Cup 2013 to renovate the lower level family rooms at the local Ronald McDonald House over the past 10 days.
The basement was transformed by local TV celebrity and season three winner of HGTV's Design Star Jennifer Bertrand to benefit children and families who will stay in the Ronald McDonald House during treatments at Kansas City area hospitals. The Sporting Kansas City-themed rooms include great items for all ages including a specially made foosball table featuring the team’s players.
Check out the video above and photos below from today's commemoration ceremony.
Ever wonder what it would feel like to score a goal in front of the KC Cauldron at halftime during a Sporting KC match? Well, according to Sporting Kaw Valley player Kanak Masten, there may have been “a lot of people watching, but there was no pressure really.” Confident words, to say the least, from the Academy Affiliate player and 2013 Chipotle Challenge Champion.
Kanak recently earned the opportunity to compete in the final Chipotle Challenge of 2013 after winning a skills competition at the end of a Sporting Club Network mini-clinic in September. At various camps and mini-clinics throughout the year, Sporting KC’s youth soccer staff held Chipotle Challenges to test the dribbling, juggling and shooting abilities of all participants involved. Kanak was one of six to win these contests and with this honor came not only a spot in the final Chipotle Challenge on-field at Sporting Park, but also a gift card provided by Chipotle worth 25 free burritos for him and his friends!
If a team’s worth of free burritos and the chance to compete in a skills contest in front of a sold-out Sporting Park wasn’t enough, Chipotle and the SCN even had a grand prize lined up for the eventual Chipotle Challenge Champion: dinner with a Sporting KC player! As you can see in the video above, Kanak got to take some of his close friends to a Chipotle location in Kansas City and have dinner with one of his heroes, Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer.
To see pictures from the final Chipotle Challenge at Sporting Park, view the slideshow below. And to stay up to date on future promotions and engagements from the Sporting Club Network, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Sunday was a busy day for the Sporting Club Network, with player appearances spread out over the Metro Area at three different locations. Accompanied by members of the SCN Staff, Sporting Kansas City players Mikey Lopez, Jon Kempin, and Seth Sinovic all took some time to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
First round draft pick Mikey Lopez appeared at Sporting Kaw Valley's Concussion Awareness and Prevention Clinic. Thanks to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, many parents and players were informed on the dangers and side effects of concussions. Players were able to experience the "Impact" concussion test and had the chance to meet Mikey and hear of his experiences with concussions throughout his soccer career.
Goalkeeper Jon Kempin attended Sunflower Soccer's Governor's Cup in Topeka, KS. Topeka played host to the girls tournament this weekend with over sixty five teams competing. Jon was thrilled to be making an appearance at a tournament which he had played in when he was younger and was overwhelmed by the support he received from the fans who stopped by. Sunflower Soccer will host the boys side of the Governor's Cup next weekend.
Finally, defender Seth Sinovic appeared at the Special Olympics Kansas’ Unified Soccer Championship Tournament at Harmon High School. The Unified Sports League is a program that brings together athletes with intellectual disabilities and their peers without intellectual disabilities (called partners) on the same team for training and competition. Seth was honored to be invited to this event and enjoyed spending some time with everyone who came out to support.
To see pictures from Sunday's Special Olympics appearance, view the slideshow below, and to stay up to date on the Sporting Club Network, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
The Shadow Buddies foundation provides therapeutic dolls to children suffering from a variety of illnesses, disabilities and medical treatments, including cancer. The Victory Project teamed up with the foundation by donating two Sporting KC packages which were auctioned off during their annual gala on Sept. 23rd.
One of the donated packages was a private soccer clinic run by Sporting Kansas City teammates Soony Saad and Dom Dwyer. Last week the pair held a clinic for the KC Zoom – a Heartland Soccer team in Parkville, Missouri -- who won the auction. The boys had their hands full with the 14 nine-year-old girls and were surprised by how much the girls learned during their short time on the field. The hour long clinic included a variety of drills, including ball handling and shooting drills, and was capped off by autographs and photos with the players.
Follow @VictoryKC on Twitter for all the latest from The Victory Project.
Last week at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park, Sporting Kansas City hosted a very dedicated group of soccer loving students from Prairie Ridge Elementary school. All 109 students of the PRE Soccer Readers Club were in attendance at Wednesday’s Training session and a chance to meet a couple of the Sporting Kansas City players they had been learning about, Jimmy Nielsen and Soony Saad.
Earlier this fall, Prairie Ridge Elementary School joined forces with the Sporting Club Network and Sporting Kansas City to increase enthusiasm for reading through soccer by forming the PRE Soccer Readers Club. Led by PRE Teacher Brandi Leggett, who in addition to leading this program has been nominated for Kansas Teacher of the Year, these one hundred or so 3rd to 5th graders, armed with a passion for soccer and reading, met on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 to not only work on their own soccer skills, but to read and discuss the bio of that week’s Sporting Kansas City player.
When the discussion was over, the students were assigned homework consisting of five questions relevant to the player that they had learned about that day. The students were challenged to come up with critical answers which showed a greater understanding of what they had read beyond just simple observations. The only way to make the trip to Wednesday's Training session was to complete every assignment, and miraculously not a single student missed out on this requirement. To top it off, each weekly gathering ended in the way that all Sporting Kansas City fans should end their meetings - with the “I Believe” supporter’s chant.
This past Saturday, Sporting Club Network member, Kansas Rush, in conjunction with One World Futbol & Chevrolet, held an event at a public-use turf field located just east of downtown Kansas City at 9th and Van Brunt. At this event, Kansas Rush players, coaches and staff members helped organize a game and clinic with kids from the local community, before giving every kid in attendance their own One World Futbol – an indestructible soccer ball.
It was during this ball drop that Sporting KC first got involved. Summer signing, Brendan Ruiz, along with former Sporting KC striker, Kei Kamara, spoke to the kids in attendance about their playing history and how important an indestructible ball like this is to kids in developing nations. Prior to signing with Sporting Kansas City, Ruiz spent two years playing for a club in Brazil and saw first-hand how simply having an inflated ball to play with can be a luxury for some. After helping give every kid a ball of their own and signing some autographs, Brendan then joined everyone in attendance for another round of activities on the field with their new One World Futbols.
To learn more about the One World Futbol, including ways to get involved or get your own indestructible ball, view their website here. To view photos from this weekend’s event, check out the slideshow below, and to stay up-to-date with the Sporting Club Network, be sure to follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.
Thursday night at the Swope Park Training Facility, Sporting Club Network staff, in addition to Sporting Kansas City players, Jacob Peterson & Brendan Ruiz, spent some time under the lights with members of the YMCA’s Sporting Tykes program. Kids ages 3-11 years old came out for an hour and a half clinic, where they got to play with the pros, learn some new skills, and even walk away with a few autographs.
The YMCA of Greater Kansas City partnered with Sporting Club and Sporting Kansas City in 2012 to develop the Sporting Tykes program. Each fall and spring, YMCA’s throughout the metro area offer six one-hour meetings that offer kids as young as three years old to build confidence, develop teamwork, learn social skills and the basics of soccer in a positive and fun environment. This also includes the opportunity to take part in clinics with Sporting KC players and staff at different times throughout the year.
This past Tuesday, the Sporting Club Network put on its final SCN Mini Clinic of 2013, capped off with yet another Chipotle Challenge. As usual, Network members showed up from all across the Midwest for the chance to kick a ball on the same field with some of Sporting KC’s players.
Throughout the year, the SCN has put on six different Chipotle Challenges involving over 300 Network members, sending home the winner of each these skills contests with a Chipotle gift card worth 25 burritos (yes, you read that right). Beyond the free burrito party, each winner earned the chance to compete in the final Chipotle Challenge of the year – on-field at halftime of the Oct. 18th Sporting KC match versus DC United at Sporting Park.
One SCN member from Brookside Soccer Club took the liberty to create a photo album of all the fun had at this most recent clinic. To view these pictures, check out the slideshow below, and to stay informed on all things Sporting Club Network, make sure to follow the SCN on Twitter & like them on Facebook.
After raising over $1,000 at a recent Sporting KC game, Jasmin Booth and Sporting KC All-Star Aurelien Collin set out to buy pajamas for patients at Children's Mercy Pediatric Hematology/Oncology department. This morning, six-year-old Booth hand delivered the pajamas that she and Collin purchased.
Booth -- diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year -- visits Children’s Mercy once a week for her own check-ups, though today's visit had a different experience. “I’m not here for pokies and tubes. I’m here to give kids my pajamas,” Booth said.
It takes a special child to understand the needs of others and help them. “Operation Jammies” was created by Booth when she noticed other children in the hospital that did not have their parents with them every day. She wanted to make them more comfortable.
“I’m the most comfortable when I’m at home in my pajamas,” Booth said.
Photo of @KCCauldron tifo by Graham Green
Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara and midfielder Peterson Joseph will be making a special appearance at Village West Discount Liquors (11010 Parallel Parkway) in Kansas City, Kan. from 5-6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The duo -- who have each started 11 games for Sporting Kansas City this season -- will be meeting fans, signing autographs and taking photos with customers throughout the event.
VWDL -- an official sponsor of Sporting Kansas City -- opened in October 2009 and is a family-owned business featuring over 8,000 square feet of wine and liquor, as well as 29 cooler doors of beers from all across the world. Their party shop includes a walk-in humidor with premium cigars and cigar accessories, non-alcoholic beverages, mixers, wine accessories and gifts. Follow @VWDLiquors on Twitter and Facebook for more.