Photo credit: Necessary Exposure
Sporting Kansas City's third round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is now set. We knew the date: Tuesday, May 28. We knew the location: Sporting Park. And now we know the opponent: Des Moines Menace.
- TICKETS: Buy now at Ticketmaster.com or Sporting Park Box Offices
But how well do you know the opponent? Find out more below as Sporting Kansas City begins their defense of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship.
- The Menace were founded in 1994 and are currently competing in their 20th season this year.
- The team plays in the Premier Development League, the highest level of amateur soccer in the U.S.
- The Menace are one of four PDL teams remaining in the tournament, along with Sporting KC's pre-season hosts FC Tucson.
- Des Moines defeated the Madison 56ers 1-0 in the first round of the tournament before eliminating Minnesota United FC with a 1-0 victory last night.
- Des Moines are making their fourth straight appearance in the U.S. Open Cup in 2013.
- Sporting Kansas City and Des Moines have met on two previous occasions in the U.S. Open Cup. In 2005, Kansas City recorded a 6-1 victory in the Round of 16 before meeting again a year later with KC advancing with a 2-1 win in the Round of 32. Those two games mark the team's only competitive matches against an MLS team in club history.
- Tuesday's match at Sporting Park will be the Menace's first match in an MLS venue in club history.
- Des Moines is 10-7 all-time in the U.S. Open Cup, including a 6-5 mark against professional teams and a 4-3 record in road matches.
- Head coach Mike Jeffries is in his first season with the club. Jeffries is the former manager of FC Dallas (2001-2003) and won two Open Cup titles while an assistant with the Chicago Fire (1998, 2000). Prior to joining Des Moines, Jeffries was a scout for the U.S. Men's National Team under Bob Bradley. As a player, he was the 1993 NCAA Player of the Year at Duke and made three appearances for the U.S. Men's National Team.
- Speaking about the chance for Des Moines' amateur players to take on Sporting Kansas City's professionals, Jeffries told the Des Moines Register: “They’re young, and you have some games that mean a lot and provide opportunities to do things that are new and unique for them, and this is one of those games."
- Upon taking the job, Jeffries said: "Making a run in the Open Cup and trying to get to the third round or more where we get an opportunity to play teams at higher levels is going to be very important.”
- Defender Brandon Fricke serves as the Des Moines Menace captain and is a former member of the Sporting KC Academy, playing for the U18's as recently as 2010. He scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute of the team's second-round win on Tuesday.
- Goalkeeper Scott Angevine has earned shutouts in each of the team's first two U.S. Open Cup matches. He was an MLS League Pool Goalkeeper in 2012 based with Sporting KC and he participated in Sporting KC's 2012 and 2013 pre-seasons. He is a Kansas City native (Blue Valley Northwest alum) and former member of the Kansas City Brass.
- Twenty-four of the 32 players announced on the Menace roster have NCAA Division I experience.
- Des Moines will play at the St. Louis Lions in PDL play at 5 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 25 before coming to Kansas City for the Open Cup match-up.
Sporting Park had a few special guests on Wednesday night. Players from the Kansas City Chiefs showed up ready to enjoy the evening and cheer on their fellow Kansas City athletes.
From corner back Brandon Flowers to safety Eric Berry, several Kansas City Chiefs were among the stadium’s sold out crowd.
“It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun,” Chiefs’ safety Tysyn Hartman said of his first game in Sporting Park. “I’m enjoying it so far and learning a lot. I’ve been playing a lot of FIFA video games and started watching it on TV, so I’ve been learning more and more. It’s nice to come here and see it in person.”
Though considerably smaller in size than Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs thought the Sporting Park atmosphere was impressive and they had an extra special appreciation for the Cauldron.
“This is a great stadium,” defensive tackle Anthony Toribio said. “The fans are awesome, and, what do you call that? The ‘Blue Hell?’ Those fans are awesome. I want to be a part of that, seriously. It’s a really nice venue, good atmosphere, great night – I love it.”
The first time Toribio saw Sporting KC play was Sunday afternoon when Sporting defeated Chivas USA 4-0.
“Last Sunday was my first game here,” Toribio said, “and I said, ‘I have to come back.’ it’s pretty sweet.”
When it comes to favorite players, there were a few guys on Sporting KC’s squad that really stood out to these football pros.
“I’ve been told Zusi is the man, so I’ve been trying to watch him as much as I can,” Hartman said, “but number 3, Ike Opara, I’ve been watching him and he’s been playing really well.”
Defensive back Jalil Brown said he’s been to quite a few Sporting KC games, and when it comes to choosing a favorite player, picking just one isn’t easy.
“They’re all pretty exciting to watch,” Brown said. “C.J. (Sapong) is pretty cool, I’ve seen him play a couple of times, but I’d say all of them, as a whole, they’re a great team.”
After two good experiences at Sporting Park, Toribio said he’s officially become a fan of MLS.
“I don’t know a lot about Sporting KC since I follow the EPL a lot, Liverpool is my favorite team,” Toribio explained as he pointed down to the Liverpool jersey he was proudly wearing. “So I’m just now starting to get into MLS. It’s pretty exciting, and these guys are really good.”
Kei Kamara is back in Kansas City (video below) and he's celebrating his return with Sporting KC fans at Chipotle on the Plaza (4851 Main Street, Kansas City, MO) at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
Thanks to Sporting Kansas City partner Chipotle, the burrito bill is covered for the first 100 fans to the party so come early and you’ll leave happy. SKC nation won’t want to miss out on this.
Dinner party at Chipotle on the plaza tonite 6:30pm. Leave you piggy bank at home and bring ya empty belly. #ChipotlePartyWithKei
— KEI KAMARA (@keikamara) May 6, 2013
After arriving in KC late last night, Kamara met with local media today at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Check out the video below and hear from Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes here:
22 cities. 24 teams. 61 games. 5,490 minutes played. 175 goals.
CONCACAF released the video above prior to last night's 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League finale as C.F. Monterrey defeated fellow Liga MX finalists Santos Laguna 4-2 on aggregate. Monterrey lifted the tournament trophy for a third consecutive year and in doing so secured a berth in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco at year's end.
Sporting Kansas City, winners of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, will be one of five MLS clubs participating in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League (tentatively scheduled to begin group play in August) to compete for the region's club championship crown. The tournament has roots dating back to 1962 and has been won by an American team twice: D.C. United (1998) and the LA Galaxy (2000). Last year, Real Salt Lake became the first MLS side to reach the final since LA's victorious 2000 campaign.
KC has twice played in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup, reaching the semifinals in 2002 with triumphs over Trinidad & Tobago's W Connection and Mexico's Santos Laguna. Head Coach Bob Gansler returned his team to the tournament in 2005 but fell to eventual champions Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica) in extra time during the quarterfinal round.
UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the Cancer Battler Cup IV festivities have been postponed until Monday, May 6.
Sporting KC defenders Lawrence Olum and Aurelien Collin will attend Blue Springs High School's Cancer Battler Cup IV on Thursday at Blue Springs High School's Billy Peve Stadium. The pair will participate in pre-game activities and will also be available for a meet-and-greet to sign autographs and take photos with fans until 7:30 p.m. CT.
The Cancer Battler Cup IV is a community fundraising event that will benefit the nonprofit Jennifer Ireland Foundation and is hosted by the Blue Springs High School Soccer Alumni Association. The night will center on a varsity girls' soccer match between the Blue Springs Wildcats and the Blue Springs South Jaguars at 6:30 p.m. CT. Jennifer played and managed soccer at Blue Springs in the years before she succumbed to colon cancer in 2007 at age 27.
At halftime, a 15-minute match between alumni from the two schools and local soccer coaches, including Sporting KC assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin, will take place. For more information, visit the CBC IV page on Facebook.
Sporting KC is teaming up with ArtBra KC for a special VIP Experience prior to their annual runway show and auction this Friday at Signature Flight Support (10 NW Richards Road, Kansas City, MO) in the TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport. Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Michael Thomas and Graham Zusi will join players from the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas State Wildcats to mingle with VIP ticket holders, who get a first look at auction items, small bites from Guadalajara Cafe, wine tastings, a performance by the MoonDrop Circus Aerial Artists and a chance to meet the ArtBra KC 2013 models.
VIP tickets are available for $150 and general admission tickets are on sale for $75. Purchase them online at kumed.com and !
All proceeds benefit the Patients in Need Fund at Missy's Boutique, an accredited appearance center at The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion. The fund ensures access to Missy's services for eligible uninsured/underinsured individuals.
Friday's event showcases approximately 70 work-of-art bras, designed and created by family and friends of breast cancer survivors, local artists, celebrities and volunteers. The "Top 25" bras are modeled by breast cancer survivors to celebrate their triumph over cancer, complete with runway costumes coordinated to the theme of the Art Bra they model.
Last year, Besler and Thomas were in attendance with Michael's aunt, Cindy Whittman, a breast cancer survivor. The bra (shown above) raised $1,700.
UPDATE: Listen to the podcast here.
The Sporting KC Show will air live from La Bodega: Tapas & Lounge (703 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, MO) in the Crossroads Arts District on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT tonight. Hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards will be joined by Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic, who will meet and greet fans in attendance for autograph/photo opportunities throughout the show.
The weekly show airs every Tuesday on Sports Radio 810 WHB to bring all the latest discussion around Sporting Kansas City, Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer. Listeners can call 913-3-810-810 to join the conversation and share their thoughts on the 2013 season.
Sports Radio 810 WHB, the official broadcast radio partner of Sporting Kansas City, will simulcast Sunday's home match against Chivas USA at Sporting Park. The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame show will air immediately after the match, live from the Boulevard Members Club with hosts Dave Borchardt and Andy Edwards.
Tickets are still available for the Cinco de Mayo match-up with Chivas USA and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will once again be simulcasting Sporting Kansas City match action, broadcasting Callum Williams and Jake Yadrich's call from tonight's Eastern Conference clash at the New York Red Bulls at 6:30 p.m. CT.
Get caught up on all the latest Sporting KC discussion going into tonight’s match by listening to the podcast of last night’s Sporting KC Show hosted by Dave Borchardt and Andy Edwards with special guests Graham Zusi and Dax Mccarty. Still can't get enough? You can also check out today’s audio archive as Benny Feilhaber gives his thoughts on tonight's match-up during The Program with Soren Petro and Dave Borchardt on Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman.
After the match, tune into The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame show for instant analysis. Call into the show at 913-3-810-810 to join the conversation and have your comments heard.
A new week means a new episode of The Sporting KC Show on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards took the airwaves tonight to catch up on all the latest chatter around Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer. They were joined in the hour-long show by Sporting KC forward Soony Saad and ESPN soccer commentator Adrian Healey to share their insight from the game at a local and national level.
Sporting Kansas City players Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic and Michael Thomas participated in a youth soccer clinic on Sunday benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man and Woman of the Year campaign. All three teammates led an 80-minute clinic for boys and girls ages 6-12 at the Roe Park Soccer Field in Overland Park, Kan. with all the proceeds going towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Kansas City.
LLS strives to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Visit www.lls.org/mid to learn more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and check out the photo slideshow below of Myers, Sinovic and Thomas at the clinic this weekend.