The Sporting Club Network is happy to announce two additional tour stops added to this spring’s #MLSCupTour of the Midwest.
Later today, the Cup will be making an appearance at the Sporting Blue Valley Benefit Game at the Overland Park Soccer Complex from 7-8:30 p.m. CT. Each spring, Sporting Blue Valley holds this annual benefit game where the premier coaches play one of the top teams in the club to raise money for the Sporting Blue Valley Scholarship Fund. Admission is free to the game with donations highly encouraged. The event is open to the public and fans are invited to stop by and support the local community while also having the opportunity to take their picture with the MLS Cup and see Sporting KC players, Matt Besler and Chance Myers. The Cup will be on display by the Fieldhouse pavilion near Field 1 where the exhibition game will be played.
On Tuesday, April 29th the Cup will continue its trek across the Midwest, as it will be taken to Columbia, Mo. for a Sporting Club Network Mini Clinic in conjunction with Sporting Columbia SC. The clinic will be taking place at Pride Park from 5:30-7 p.m. CT and the Cup will be on display for pictures. All are welcome to come take a picture with the Cup during this time!
For other MLS Cup Tour dates and locations, click here and to follow all of the adventures of the Cup, visit the Tour Storify page and include #MLSCupTour for your chance to be featured! Beyond that, be sure to follow the Sporting Club Network on Facebook and Twitter.
Representatives from local NBC affiliate KSHB travelled to The Big Apple this week and joined co-hosts Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie on The TODAY Show. Early morning news anchors JiaoJiao Shen and Patrick Fazio, along with meteorologist Kalee Dionne, educated the national audience on some of Kansas City's best brands. Sporting KC made the cut along with Jack Stack Barbecue and club partners Boulevard Beer. Click here to watch the segment.
The KSHB trio also delivered some Sporting KC apparel to The TODAY Show hosts, including a Sporting KC third kit for Guthrie and matching onesies for her baby on the way.
The U.S. Men's National Team faces Mexico tonight with Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler (13 caps) and midfielder Graham Zusi (19 caps) among the 20 players available for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in his final match before the 2014 FIFA World Cup preparation camp begins next month. The international friendly will air live on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas at 10 p.m. CT and Johnny's Tavern in the KC Power & Light District will be hosting the official watch party for American Outlaws - Kansas City.
The Mexican media's attention once again focuses on Zusi, whose stoppage time goal in a 3-2 win at Panama lifted El Tri into position to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The teams now meet for the first time since those historic turn of events in October and today's El Universal newpspaper (shown on right) uses the headline "Of Love and Hate" to describe this edition of the "Clasico de CONCACAF."
And then there's this. On Monday, Zusi's interview with Televisa Deportes was interrupted by international correspondent Francisco Villalobos presenting a package of Patron as a symbolic gift of gratitude on behalf of his compatriots:
...la cara del Jefe de Prensa, priceless, pero Zusi, feliz con su tequila, en nombre de todos nosotros los mexicans. pic.twitter.com/8rNERTOxDN
— Francisco Villalobos (@fvreporter) April 1, 2014
Zusi has appeared in each of the last three meetings with Mexico (2-0-1), while the U.S. is 9-1-2 with Besler in the starting lineup. The United States is currently in the midst of a record 13-game winning streak on U.S. soil and, at No. 14 in the latest FIFA world rankings, currently sits six spots above their regional rivals.
Tonight's match will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., the venue's third time hosting the U.S. MNT and the second in the #USAvMEX series. The first? In 2007, when then KC-captain Jimmy Conrad scored the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win.
Sporting Kansas City supporters filled the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport on Tuesday night as Sporting Takeoff, presented by Ivy Funds, took over Hangar 1. The team's brand new secondary jerseys were unveiled -- and are now available to buy at shop.sportingkc.com while supplies last -- and Matt Besler was introduced as the 2014 team captain.
The Victory Project held a silent auction to raise funds in its mission to help children thrive through challenges, Recycle Your Game collected gently used soccer equipment donations and a handful of fans walked away with once-in-a-lifetime prizes, including a day with the MLS Cup trophy and authentic MLS Cup champions medallions.
Check out all the sights and sounds in the photo slideshow above, as well as the video features below:
Sporting KC unveils new secondary kit
Matt Besler named captain
Peter Vermes addresses the fans
This past year, Special Olympics Kansas created the Kansas Unified Soccer League, which allows students with disabilities to participate in soccer competition with their general education peers. It provides an opportunity for a variety of students and skill levels to come together and interact while playing a sport they love. During the first ever Kansas Unified Soccer League's Tournament Championship match, Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic made a special appearance and explained the importance of this type of an environment and all of its benefits.
Special Olympics Kansas partnered with Sporting Kansas City through the Sporting Club Network in 2013. Special Olympics Kansas is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports competitions, health and nutrition programs and leadership development. The Kansas Unified Soccer League of Special Olympics Kansas will continue this spring and is encouraging local high schools to form teams for their upcoming season.
To stay informed on all things Sporting Club Network, make sure to follow the SCN on Twitter & like them on Facebook.
As the teams of SKC Nation prepare to do battle on the soccer field during the inaugural Truce Tournament this coming Thursday, the National World War I Museum has opened their doors to educate every one on the story behind this event – the Christmas Truce.
Come out to the museum this Sunday, December 22nd at 2pm for a special screening of the 2005 Oscar-nominated film Joyeux Noël in J.C. Nichols Auditorium. The French film recreates the events of the 1914 Christmas Truce , focusing on a section of the Western Front where French, Scottish and German soldiers put down their arms to celebrate a moment of peace in a time of war. This event is entirely free to the public.
Besides the film showing, you still have your chance to take part in The Truce, even if you aren’t one of the lucky teams participating. Inside the museum during The Truce, fans can join in on our EPL Watch Party, which will include complimentary breakfast and Boulevard beer for all attendees. Simply visit www.TheTruce.splashthat.com to order your EPL Watch Party ticket while they still last!
MLS Cup 2013 has been the talk of sports radio in Kansas City leading up to tomorrow's championship match at Sporting Park between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake. Sports Radio 810 WHB -- the team's official radio partner -- aired a two-hour special edition of The Sporting KC Show on Tuesday and will continue their extensive coverage today as The Program with Soren Petro goes live at the Boulevard Members Club from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. CT during Road to Brazil. Immediately afterward, The Program with Kevin Kietzman will air from 2-6 p.m. CT live at Johnny's Tavern in the KC Power & Light District leading up to MLS Cup Last Night Out featuring Portugal. The Man.
Check out the audio clips below from interviews throughout the week on local sports radio...
Peter Vermes on Between the Lines (Sports Radio 810 WHB)
Jimmy Nielsen on The Drive (610 Sport Radio)
Matt Besler on The Border Patrol (Sports Radio 810 WHB)
Seth Sinovic on Fescoe in the Morning (610 Sports Radio)
Adrian Healey on The Border Patrol (Sports Radio 810 WHB)
This is a wonderful time for Sporting Kansas City. I couldn't be happier for all the amazing people I get to work with every day on something so incredible. I'm so thankful for the commitment the Patterson's, Illig's, Maday's and Curran's have made towards making Kansas City the Soccer Capital of America when it was so far from that in 2006.
I really want to thank our guys and their incredible leader, Peter. This year has been such a unique challenge with all the ups and downs, all the games missed due to call-ups, the events leading up to and culminating in the All-Star Game, plus all the things that could have prevented the boys from doing exactly what they've done: taking us for a ride I doubt many will forget.
But let's get to it...You are the most amazing fans in the country. What you've done to transform this team, this sport, this community is nothing short of epic. It's the greatest fan turnaround in the history of sports. Someone disagree? If you can show me another example where crowds of 2,000 became 24-minute 22,000 person sell-outs, I'm all ears.
And that's just it...no matter how far we’ve come, how much we’ve achieved together, how much the rest of the League admires what you’ve become – I have to ask you for one more thing. Nobody has the capability to carry a team to the end like you can. It's going to be cold. It's going to be such a tight game. It's likely going to be uncomfortable at times. But I've had players on this team tell me they've never experienced the emotion they have when Sporting Park is in full voice; players that have played in some of the greatest stadia of the world. So this is your chance to finish what we all started with a championship for this City, for this Club, for all of us.
In 20 years, we all should be able to close our eyes and remember this Saturday afternoon - still feel the emotion, relive the energy, hear again the songs that will be sung and still take joy in the experience of this one match... SKC Nation: let’s leave it all out there.
See you at the end.....
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.