Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning to chat with hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John from the U.S. Men's National Team training camp in Santiago, Chile. The Overland Park, Kansas native previewed tomorrow's friendly at Estadio El Teniente among other topics that included the inclusion of Olympic-age players in the annual January Camp, Sporting KC teammate Jon Kempin's first call-up to the senior team and how he came to know local 11-year-old Dominic Vargas during his fight with cancer.
On Jon Kempin's first U.S. MNT camp...
He's putting in the work. I'm telling you guys, he looks really good. It's a credit to him because he's come in and played with confidence. He acts like he has been a part of this team and that he belongs here. I've been really impressed with his ability to hang with us because when you look at him, he still is very young for a goalkeeper. I'm going to tell Peter the same thing when we get back to Kansas City. I think he's really developing here at camp and I think everyone can be really excited about his potential and his future here.
Listen to the 10-minute interview embedded below...
The United States - No. 27 in the latest FIFA rankings - will open their 2015 schedule against No. 14 ranked Chile on Wednesday at 5 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and UDN. Both teams participated in the 2014 FIFA World Cup last summer and will also take part in the Copa America Centenario USA 2016. The U.S. is unbeaten in their last four games against Chile dating back to 1995 (3-4-2 all-time).
The offseason is officially over. Sporting KC players report to Kansas City today in time for entrance physicals at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday and a flight to Tucson, Arizona on Sunday for the first of two training camps (Jan. 25 - Feb. 10 and Feb. 15 - March 1) in The Old Pueblo.
And while we'll keep #SKCNation updated with all the latest preseason news and notes right here on SportingKC.com, social media is the must-follow source for banter and behind-the-scenes access as we count down the days until the team's season opener on March 8.
STAFF TWITTER ACCOUNTS
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In the summer of 2006, the United States Soccer Federation invited 120 players to Middlesex School -- 20 miles outside of Boston -- to join a seven-day identification camp for the U.S. Under-14 Boys' National Team. The camp was run by Technical Director Manny Schellscheidt, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame who had coached the U.S. Men's National Team in 1975 and led the United States at the 1984 Olympics before beginning a 13-year tenure at the bottom rung of the U.S. youth national team ladder.
"I thought it was best to start with the little guys because it’s definitely important that we get the first step right," Schellscheidt told USSoccer.com. "I felt that if we can get a good introduction at the bottom with the most talented kids that we could find in the country that would be a good thing."
Among those in attendance nearly a decade ago? Sporting Kansas City homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin -- making the trip from his hometown in Leawood, Kansas -- and at least three other future members of the U.S. Men's National Team: Will Packwood, Wil Trapp and DeAndre Yedlin.
Kempin, now 21, and Trapp are each currently in Carson, California with the full U.S. Men's National Team for the first time in their professional careers after steadily progressing through the ranks. In fact, Kempin has now joined eight different levels of U.S. Soccer's national team program (U14, U15, U17, U18, U20, U21, U23, USMNT) and has been named to a U.S. Soccer roster during nine of the past 10 years.
10-YEAR RISE: U14 TO USMNT
2015: USMNT (Training Camp in California, January)
2014: U21 (Training Camp in California, April)
2013: U20 (Training Camp in Mexico, January)
2012: N/A (sidelined due to fractured ankle)
2011: U23 (Training Camp in Germany, November); U18 (Northern Ireland Milk Cup, July); U18 (Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal, May); U18 (Training Camp in Oregon, April)
2010: U18 (Traditional Winter Tournament in Israel, December); U20 (Torneo de las Americas in Georgia, November); U18 (Training Camp in California, April)
2009: U18 (Training Camp in California, December); U18 (Training Camp in California, October); U17 (Residency in Florida, Spring)
2008: U17 (Residency in Florida, Fall); U17 (Training Camp in Florida, August); U15 (Training Camp in Missouri, June); U15 (Training Camp in California, February)
2007: U15 (Development Academy Nike Friendlies in Florida, December)
2006: U14 (Identification Camp in Massachusetts, July)
Unlike Kempin's first weeklong experience in 2006, the U.S. Men's National Team January Camp is a 28-day gauntlet highlighted by a pair of international friendlies on the horizon: away to Chile on Jan. 28 and home versus Panama on Feb. 8. Kempin is one of four goalkeepers on head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's roster and one of 12 Olympic-age players included with an eye toward qualifying for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"I think it's going very smooth because the older guys help them to feel comfortable, to feel at ease and to enjoy it," said Klinsmann. 'I think this is a big plus for this team and has always been a big plus for the American team that they make it easy for new players to come in and feel welcome and to feel part of the group right after a couple of days. I think that's what happens now with these younger players. They feel accepted, they feel respected and they spend a lot of time together. Therefore, I think it's a nice thing to do with this January camp to help this younger group to grow into the next level."
On Friday, Seth Sinovic was a guest on 610 Sports Radio during a segment of Fescoe in the Morning. Sporting Kansas City's 2014 Defender of the Year discussed a variety of topics -- anticipation for the preseason, the arrival of Roger Espinoza and Major League Soccer's collective bargaining agreement, to name a few. Alongside hosts Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler, Sinovic also talked college basketball, the NFL Playoffs and prevailing over his teammates in fantasy football. Check out the podcast below for the full interview.
Sporting Kansas City added a veteran goalkeeper to its roster today with the signing of 31-year-old Chilean international Luis Marin.
The 6-foot-2 keeper comes to Major League Soccer after 12 professional seasons in Chile. He has played for 17-time Chilean champions Universidad de Chile in the Primera Division since arriving on loan from O'Higgins FC in the summer of 2013.
Marin has earned eight career caps for Chile and was the nation’s reserve goalkeeper at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The video above is a comprehensive look at Marin’s skillset, including some impressive saves (1:52, 2:24, 3:30) and confident handling on crosses (3:48, 5:13, 5:43).
For more highlights of Sporting KC’s new keeper, visit the links below.
Dom Dwyer must be a happy man.
The 24-year-old English forward signed a contract extension with Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday that will keep him at the club for the foreseeable future.
Oh, and in case you somehow missed it, he’s dating United States Women's National Team forward Sydney Leroux.
American sports’ newest power couple has generated plenty of buzz -- some fans are jealous and/or heartbroken, others are simply excited -- ever since Leroux posted this charmer on her Twitter and Instagram on Monday.
— Sydney Leroux (@sydneyleroux) December 15, 2014
Of the two, who is better looking? How incredibly awesome would their children be at soccer? Who will score more goals in 2015?
We’ll leave that discussion to you and the various other stargazers, who have even started comparing Dwyer and Leroux to the famous NFL quarterback Tom Brady and his model wife Gisele Bundchen. For more on the couple, check out the video below from TMZ Hollywood Sports.
Sporting Kansas City center back Matt Besler joined Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John on Sports Radio 810 WHB's The Border Patrol this morning.
The guys chatted about Besler's offseason plans and the long year he had in 2014, highlighted by a trip back to his alma mater for the first time in three years and partying with the president.
Listen to the full podcast below:
In the build up to MLS Cup on Sunday (2 p.m. CT on ESPN), end-of-the-year awards are being handed out by American soccer scribes and several of Sporting Kansas City's top performers earned high honors for their play in 2014.
Goal USA editor Thomas Floyd ranked the Top 10 players at all 11 positions from Major League Soccer's regular season for Backheel.com, with five Sporting Kansas City starters securing top-four recognition at their respective spots on the field:
- Seth Sinovic: No. 1 left back
- Benny Feilhaber: No. 1 attacking midfielder
- Matt Besler: No. 2 left centerback
- Graham Zusi: No. 3 right winger
- Dom Dwyer: No. 4 striker
Dwyer, who set a single-season team record and finished second on the MLS scoring chart with 22 goals, was also named Major League Soccer's Most Improved Player on SBIsoccer.com.
Dom Dwyer’s first full season as a starter for Sporting Kansas City saw him break out and become one of the league’s top goal scorers. The English forward bagged 22 goals and one assist, the second most in MLS, making him the runaway choice for SBI MLS Most Improved Player of the Year. Dwyer also finished the 2014 regular season with the fourth-most shots, third most shots on goal, and third most game winning goals. In addition, Dwyer’s 10 goals on the road was tied for the most in the league with Obafemi Martins, showing that Dwyer’s dogged and determined style was the same no matter which stadium he played in.
Helping children thrive through life’s challenges is the mission of The Victory Project. This year -- with the help of our players, coaches, staff and fans -- The Victory Project was able to impact the lives of many children in the Kansas City area through various programs and special events.
During the month of December, The Victory Project will countdown some of their favorite moments from the year. Follow @VictoryKC on Twitter and @VictoryProjectKC on Instagram to relive the memorable events and experiences. And if you have a favorite moment, please share on social media or in the comments section below.
To learn more about The Victory Project, visit VictoryKC.org.
Illustration by Roxie Vizcarra (as seen in ESPN The Magazine)
Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer is featured in ESPN The Magazine's "Big Money" Issue, which hit newsstands on Friday, as one of six athletes whose spending habits were tracked and analyzed by senior writer Sam Alipour.
To find out how athletes really spend their money, we asked six -- from an NBA star who makes $12 million a year to a college swimmer using grant money -- to record several days’ worth of purchases...diaries from Andrew Bogut (NBA), Ryan Hunter-Reay (IndyCar), Justin Forsett (NFL), Dom Dwyer (MLS), Tyler Latorre (MiLB) and Kendyl Stewart (USC swimming).
Major League Soccer's second-highest scorer tallied 22 goals and took Sporting KC to the playoffs. Says the British bachelor, who makes $92,500 a year: "I'm a guy who focuses on the game and has fun after too." He has the club's co-MVP title -- and the bar tabs -- to prove it.
Dwyer's transactions were logged over the final five days of October, which included a World Series game in Kansas City and a playoff road trip to New Jersey. To see the full feature, the Dec. 8 issue of ESPN The Magazine is available for $5.99 at area retailers. Readers can also purchase access to a digital edition for $3.99 on Google Play or by using the ESPN The Magazine App for iPad and iPhone.