As he has repeatedly shown during his time at Sporting Kansas City, Dom Dwyer is one of the most vibrant personalities in Major League Soccer. Even during a typical day of preseason training in Tucson, Arizona -- where Dwyer's team is competing in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup -- the Englishman is quick to embrace the words of MLS veteran and fellow friend Mike Magee: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
MLSsoccer.com followed Dwyer on a sunny Tucson afternoon earlier this month. Check out the video above, as the newlywed 24-year-old shows off his new tattoos, goes ding dong ditching with his teammates and enjoys a little poolside relaxation.
With Sporting Kansas City in the midst of preseason, there are lots of great storylines coming out of preseason training camp. Sports Radio 810's Nate Bukaty, who will also be the voice of Sporting KC in 2015, has been in Tucson over the past few days covering the team's camp. Bukaty has been interviewing players as well as joining his 810 colleagues on their various shows to provide updates from Tucson. Check out the podcasts below to hear three different interviews from Friday.
Nate Bukaty chats with Matt Besler on The Border Patrol
Nate Bukaty joins Soren Petro on The Program KC (includes interview with Peter Vermes)
Nate Bukaty joins Kevin Kietzman on Between the Lines (includes interview with Kevin Ellis)
Dom Dwyer also had the opportunity to speak with 610 Sports Radio's Bob Fescoe and Josh Klinger on Friday about his recent marriage to U.S. Women's National Team star Sydney Leroux and his goals for the upcoming season. Listen closely to hear which U.S. Men's National Team star audiobombs the interview!
After a two-year stint in England with Wigan Athletic, All-Star midfielder Roger Espinoza has returned to Major League Soccer. Sporting Kansas City's marquee offseason signing, the 28-year-old Honduran international is back where he spent his first five professional seasons from 2008-2012.
Espinoza appeared today on the latest episode of MLSsoccer.com's Extra Time Radio to discuss his move to Kansas City, wedding gifts for Dom Dwyer and his experience playing in England. You can catch Espinoza's segment below and visit MLSsoccer.com for the full podcast episode.
After taking a few days to rest and recover in frigid Kansas City, Sporting KC returns to warm and sunny Tucson, Arizona for the second leg of preseason training and participation in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup. Peter Vermes' side will face three Western Conference opponents -- Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday and Real Salt Lake on Feb. 25 -- before ending the tournament with a placement game on Feb. 28.
All four of Sporting KC's matches in the Desert Diamond Cup will be streamed live on SportingKC.com. SKCTV's broadcast pairing of Nate Bukaty (play-by-play) and Andy Gruenebaum (color) will provide the call for Saturday's friendly against defending Supporters' Shield champion Seattle.
As round two of preseason begins this week, check out the highlights of last Monday's 4-2 win over FC Tucson at Kino North Stadium. Hungarian forward Krisztian Nemeth -- acquired in December from Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade -- bagged a second-half hat-trick and assisted the game-winner to Jimmy Medranda, giving fans reason for excitement ahead of the 2015 regular season.
A year ago this time, Graham Zusi was coming off a Man of the Match performance for the U.S. Men's National Team in their 2014 opener...the first of 10 international appearances on the year, including all four U.S. MNT matches at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, to go along with 31 games across all competition for Sporting Kansas City.
Fast forward to present day and Zusi has been sidelined with a stress reaction in his foot since the team's elimination from the MLS Cup Playoffs in October -- missing two U.S. Men's National Team camps and reduced to limited participation through Sporting Kansas City's first two weeks of preseason activity. His injury-forced hiatus is nearing its end, however, and the three-time MLS All-Star is ready for a return to the field for the first time more than 14 weeks.
Tucson's ABC affiliate KGUN9 caught up with him on Thursday at the Kino Sports Complex to talk about the recent rest and recovery. Check out the video below...
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
|Robb Heineman (CEO)||Follow @RobbHeinaman|
|Ashley Wallace (performance analyst)||Follow @AshWallace12|
|Mike Flaherty (equipment manager)||Follow @KitManSKC|
|Brian Ubert (massage therapist)||Follow @ubiewon|
|Jonathan Kaplan (communications/digital manager)||Follow @happykappy7|
|Kurt Austin (communications/digital manager)||Follow @kaustin01|
PLAYER TWITTER & INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS
|Saad Abdul-Salaam||Follow @Saad_Abdul||saad_abdul3|
|Jalil Anibaba||Follow @jalil_anibaba4||jalil_anibaba4|
|Bernardo Anor||Follow @BernardoAnor||bernardoanor|
|Matt Besler||Follow @MattBesler||mattbesler|
|Amadou Dia||Follow @Amadou_iT11||amadou_it11|
|Dom Dwyer||Follow @Ddwyer14||ddwyer14|
|Benny Feilhaber||Follow @b_feilhaber22|
|Connor Hallisey||Follow @c_hallisey||c_hallisey|
|Jon Kempin||Follow @JonKempin21||jonkempin21|
|Mikey Lopez||Follow @MLopez12_5||mlopez12_5|
|Luis Marin||Follow @luis1marin|
|Jimmy Medranda||Follow @jimmymedranda||jimao7|
|Tim Melia||Follow @TimMelia28|
|Chance Myers||Follow @CR_Myers||cr_myers|
|Paulo Nagamura||Follow @paulinhonag|
|Ike Opara||Follow @ikeopara||ikennaopara|
|Erik Palmer-Brown||Follow @ErikBrown14||erikbrown44|
|Jacob Peterson||Follow @jacob__peterson||jacobpeterson23|
|Tony Rocha||Follow @TonyRocha16|
|Seth Sinovic||Follow @ssinovic||ssinovic|
|Graham Zusi||Follow @gzusi||gzusi|
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.
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
That's a wrap. Sporting Kansas City's 2014 preseason came to a close on Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. and while the team had to settle for a second place finish in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Claudio Bieler's 87th minute volley capped off a phenomenal preseason as the Designated Player enters his second MLS campaign in 2014. After leading the team with 11 goals in MLS competition last year, Bieler started 2014 with five goals and six assists in seven preseason appearances.
Check out the full stat sheet below...
Heading into Wednesday's group stage finale against the Montreal Impact (watch live at 7 p.m. CT on SportingKC.com), Sporting Kansas City sits atop Group B with six points following wins over the New York Red Bulls and Fluminense FC U-23's.
|Sporting Kansas City||2||0||0||4||0||4||6|
|New York Red Bulls||1||1||0||3||1||2||3|
|Fluminense FC U-23||0||2||0||0||4||-4||0|
With a win or draw on Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City will advance to Saturday's championship match (live on WatchESPN at 7 p.m. CT) to face Group A winners Columbus. However, Sporting Kansas City could still go through with a loss based on tournament tiebreakers:
IF TWO TEAMS TIE
- Head to head result
- Net goal differential
- Most goals scored
- Least goals allowed
- Minus 1 game point for each red card/send-off
- Coin toss. The team whose home city is first alphabetically will call the coin toss
"If more than two teams are involved in a tie, tiebreaker number 2 (net goal differential) will be used first to rank the teams. If teams are still tied, tiebreaker number 3 (most goals scored) will be used to rank the teams, and so on until a tie is broken. Once a team has been ranked higher or lower, the tiebreaking procedure begins for the remaining tied teams with number 1. If more than two teams are still tied after tie breaker number 5 a coin toss will be held with the odd team being eliminated. The tiebreaking procedure begins for the remaining tied teams with number 1."
Translation? If Sporting KC loses by one and New York wins by one during their respective games on Wednesday, the winner of Group B would utimately come down to the head-to-head result between the two sides -- a tiebreaker that favors the MLS Cup champions courtesy of their 1-0 win over the Supporters' Shield holders last week.
So keep an eye on the scoreline when the New York Red Bulls and Fluminense FC U-23's meet at 2 p.m. CT on Wednesday. A New York victory by a one-goal margin could put the scenario in play for Sporting to take the Group B title should the team slip by a single goal against Montreal later that night.
With the start of the 2014 season less than two weeks away, Sporting Kansas City is immersed in their preseason schedule including training and participating in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. Even with their jam-packed schedule, the team set aside some time on Sunday to give back to the local community. Sporting KC players and The Victory Project teamed up with USL PRO affiliate Orlando City SC to visit the special kids staying at the Give Kids the World Village located in nearby Kissimmee, Florida.
Players -- including Dom Dwyer, C.J. Sapong, Christian Duke, Oriol Rosell, Aurelien Collin and Seth Sinovic -- participated in the Village’s “Candyland” theme night and spent time playing games, eating cotton candy and riding the carousel with kids and their families. The Give Kids the World Village is a 70-acre, non-profit “story book” resort, where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacations.
“We are just here to try and amplify the smiles and amplify the love - so far so good,” said Sapong.
The Victory Project, Sporting KC’s foundation, has a mission to help children thrive through challenges and was founded in 2013. For more information please visit VictoryKC.org or follow us on Twitter.