When former KC Wizards and US Men’s National Team coach, Bob Gansler, returned to Kansas City for his induction into the Sporting Legends, he made a point to spend some time doing what he does best – coach! The night before seeing his name revealed alongside Preki and Meola’s on the Victory Suite of Sporting Park, Bob took the field to lead a Coaching Education session, with Sporting Kansas City’s U14 Academy team serving as the demo team.
One of the events offered by the Sporting Club Network, Coaching Educations provide SCN member coaches with exclusive access to Sporting KC’s senior team technical staff. These 90-minute coaching clinics are led by one of SKC’s professional coaches and cover a variety of topics aimed to help local coaches at every level of the game. In special instances, the SCN has even been able to offer sessions with European clubs like Montpelier HSC, Stoke City FC, and Newcastle United FC, to name a few. This particular session led by Bob Gansler focused on the topic, “Possession in the Final Third”, and provided Sporting Club Network coaches the opportunity to see one of the game’s best coaches spend time honing the skills of some of the best talent the Midwest has to offer.
To see pictures of Gansler leading this Coaching Education session, as well as images of induction into the Sporting Legends during halftime of the October 18th Sporting KC match, view the slideshow below. And to stay up to date on all Sporting Club Network events and promotions, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
The U.S. Men's National Team trained at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park on Tuesday in preparation for Friday's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Jamaica at Sporting Park (5:30 p.m. CT on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio). Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi were among the 19 players in the session, after undergoing fitness testing upon the squad's arrival to Kansas City.
All fans are invited to attend the U.S. MNT public training session at 5:30 p.m. CT tonight at Sporting Park for a first-hand look at the team and to hear exclusive interviews with head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Admission is free and open to the public with parking available in Lot D, Lot F and at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Doors open at 5 p.m. CT and fans are asked to enter the stadium through the west gates.
The Sporting Club Network held its first-ever Mini Clinic for players ages 13-18 on Monday night at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Sporting Kansas City players Matt Besler and Kei Kamara not only made appearances, but specifically offered the youngsters concise coaching pointers as they were actively involved in the session.
Kamara stressed the keys of success when attacking to goal by running both crossing and finishing drills. Besler worked more closely with defensive tactics and focused on the importance of proper 1v1 defending.
Following the clinic, a Q&A session allowed participants to ask Kamara and Besler questions before finishing with an autograph session, giving the kids the opportunity to get their soccer ball signed by the two Sporting Kansas City standouts.
This was an exclusive clinic that offered personalized coaching from Sporting Kansas City players and staff members. We want to thank all the players who participated, and specifically Kei and Matt for making the clinic one to remember for everyone involved. We hope to offer more clinics for these age groups in the future. For more information regarding the Sporting Club Network, please visit www.sportingkc.com/scn.
More than 40 kids ages 6-12 made their way to the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park on Tuesday night for a soccer clinic. The clinic was hosted in conjunction with Mainstreet Credit Union's Kick it Club.
Along with the Sporting Club Network, four Sporting KC players came out to help local youth improve their skills on the pitch. Matt Besler, Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Thomas and Graham Zusi helped the kids with various drills at different stations. The kids also beat the heat by playing a water version of duck, duck, goose. Once the games were over, the players signed autographs and each participant got a special soccer bag to help carry their gear.
The Kick it Club is a program offered by Mainstreet Credit Union for kids ages 2-19. The program teaches kids how to save money and set financial goals while earning Sporting Kansas City rewards.
Photos by Gatorade/Daniel Perales
Graham Zusi teamed up with Gatorade on Monday to help launch the company's Beat the Heat educational campaign while visiting a soccer camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Zusi, a Florida native, delivered an on-field talk about maintaining peak performance during the hot summer months and also participated in drills with the youth players.
In its ninth year, Gatorade Beat the Heat aims to raise awareness among athletes, parents and coaches on how proper hydration can help reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic activity. Click here to download the 2013 Heat Safety Kit, courtesy of Gatorade. And be sure to check out this link as SB Nation's Ben Gartland caught up with Zusi for a Q&A about the opportunity.
Zusi is one of six Sporting Kansas City nominees on the MLS All-Star ballot and is currently the second leading vote-getter among midfielders. Text ZUSI to 22442 or vote online before July 2nd.
Sporting Kansas City's central defense features two of the best players at their position in MLS with Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler each earning Best XI recognition in 2012. NBC Sports chose the defensive duo for the most recent episode of MLS: 36 as their camera crews went behind-the-scenes to give fans an inside look at the lives of both players on and off the field.
The series -- which launched in August of 2012 -- gives viewers an all-access approach to the game, including locker room footage and in-game audio, and has featured some of Major League Soccer's biggest stars. Check your local listings for upcoming episodes.
Collin and Besler's episode will also air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday at 9 p.m. CT.
Even a few rain showers couldn't keep Sprint employees from bringing their kids out to Sporting Park for a soccer mini-clinic on Tuesday night.
Along with the Sporting Club Network, six Sporting KC players came out to help local youth improve their soccer skills. Eric Kronberg, Chance Myers, Oriol Rosell, C.J. Sapong, Seth Sinovic and Michael Thomas led various stations running drills with the participants. But the players weren't the only ones doing the teaching. The kids taught our own Oriol Rosell how to play freeze tag, soccer style.
To finish up the evening, Sporting KC players signed autographs for the participants. If you would like to get more information about soccer clinics being hosted by Sporting Club Network, please visit the SCN website, Twitter and Facebook.
Although the Sporting Kansas City players were off from MLS action over the weekend, six of the players made sure to spend time with Special Olympics Kansas athletes. SOKS is a non-profit organization that provides year-round sports competitions for those with intellectual disabilities.
Chance Myers, Oriol Rosell, Seth Sinovic, Eric Kronberg, Michael Thomas and C.J. Sapong had a blast playing a variety of games with the athletes. First, the Sporting KC players participated in basic dribbling and shooting drills with the SOKS athletes. Then the real fun began when they played games such as beat the crab (athletes try to dribble the ball past players that are in a crab position) and treasure hunt (athletes dribble the ball to a pile of treasure, pick up a piece and take it back to a Sporting player).
To finish up, Sporting KC players signed autographs, took pictures, and gave out mini scarves to the fun, spirited group of athletes and families. This fun-filled day was made possible soon after Special Olympics of Kansas became the most recent Sporting Club Network member. For more information on the Sporting Club Network and the benefits of being a member, please visit the SCN website, Twitter, and Facebook.
Back in the day Jake Dancy was a defender for Kansas City, but more than a decade later he’s enjoying watching the team train from the sideline. Though he now resides in Florida, he still calls Kansas City home. We caught up with Dancy when he stopped by a Sporting training session earlier today.
You played for the club from 1997-1999 and a lot has changed here since then. What do you think of the evolution of the club?
I wish we had it! It was great being a part of it in the early days, but I certainly wish we had this. We had the Hunts as the owners and they were great. The current ownership now for Sporting seems phenomenal. The facilities are wonderful. The league and everything has just gotten better as a whole. It’s kind of neat to look back and feel kind of like a pioneer back in the day. Any success for soccer in this country is great. I think that Sporting and the Wizards have impacted the community tremendously. I think they’ve helped grow it, but soccer in the US has also grown. I can’t help but think that Sporting has had a huge impact here locally. They’re selling out games. The stadium is packed. There are people out to watch practice. It’s all great.
Does watching them train make you want to jump on the pitch and join?
Oh yeah! Mentally sometimes you think you can still do it, but physically it’s a little different. The passion for the game never goes away so watching the guys practice makes me want to get out there and play.
Sporting Kansas City's 2013 pre-season schedule came to a close on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. Claudio Bieler opened his account with the club, scoring in the 23rd minute, and became the seventh different player to score for Sporting KC in nine pre-season matches. Other stats of note...
- Most games played: Soony Saad and Peterson Joseph (8)
- Most games started: Oriol Rosell and Paulo Nagamura (7)
- Most minutes played: Oriol Rosell (469)
- Most goals scored: Soony Saad (4)
- Most assists: Soony Saad (3)
Check out the full stat sheet below...