Carlos Bocanegra (right) celebrates scoring at Sporting Park | Photo by Jamie Squire (Getty Images)
No defender in U.S. Men's National Team history scored as many goals as Carlos Bocanegra and he set the record with the final goal of his international career on Oct. 16, 2012 at Sporting Park in a 3-1 victory over Guatemala. The two-time FIFA World Cup veteran announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season, concluding a 15-year professional career in which he captained the United States in 64 of his 110 appearances.
Bocanegra -- who also captained the United States to a 1-0 win over Guadeloupe at Sporting Park during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup -- spent six seasons in Major League Soccer, beginning his career in Chicago. He earned Rookie of the Year honors and helped the Fire reach the 2000 MLS Cup, where they fell 1-0 to Kansas City at RFK Stadium.
His MLS career saw him make only two appearances in Kansas City with cameos coming in 2002 and 2003 - both seasons in which he was named MLS Defender of the Year. He scored Chicago's lone goal in his KC debut on Aug. 31, 2002 in a 2-1 loss but returned the following year and led Chicago to a 3-2 victory at Arrowhead Stadium on April 26, 2003.
Now 35, Bocanegra captains Chivas USA but has been sidelined since July with concussion symptoms. Sporting KC will take on Chivas USA next Friday, Sept. 12 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Friday night's match between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will be the 16th competitive match between the two sides since 2011. And while he has only featured five times in that span, Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer has had his share of unforgettable moments.
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft first round pick scored the game-winning goal in the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship, receiving a scoop pass from Benny Feilhaber, dribbling around a defender and placing his shot past goalkeeper Tally Hall.
Dwyer then continued his strong form into 2014, converting a penalty kick and putting in a strong 90-minute shift in Sporting KC's 10-man 2-0 win at Houston on June 6, 2014.
But for today's TBT, we're throwing it back to Dwyer's first match against Houston in 2012. Although this match won't count in the official record books, Dwyer played 90 minutes in a 3-0 MLS Reserve League loss to Houston at Swope Park on March 27, 2012. That Reserve League lineup was also packed with players who have made major contributions to Sporting KC over the past 18 months including: Jon Kempin, Lawrence Olum, Kevin Ellis, Paulo Nagamura and Jacob Peterson.
Want to try your hand at outshining Benny Feilhaber and Sal Zizzo? Here’s your chance! Using the hashtag #AskBenny, show us your best lip-syncing moves on Instagram or Vine as your entry to win two (2) Benny Feilhaber Show shirts. Entries must be submitted by Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Good luck!
Four years ago this month, Jon Kempin became the club's first homegrown player and the youngest signing to that point when he turned pro at age 17.
"This is a great day for our organization," Peter Vermes said at the time. "We had the opportunity to identify a talented player in the area, bring him into the (Academy) program and develop him to the point where we could sign him to a professional contract. Jon has incredible talent and now he has the opportunity to continue his development at a professional level and not have the pressure to perform on the field right away.”
Pressure to perform, like being told at halftime to warmup for your MLS debut and then facing a penalty kick for your first shot on goal faced.
Or lining up across from the League's top paid player, U.S. Men's National Team star Michael Bradley, in your first career MLS start.
Or following that with a 2,000+ mile trek to Central America three days later for a Champions League encounter in Nicaragua.
Kempin aced all three tests since being summoned back from his loan to USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC in the aftermath of an injury to starting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg and then stepping into the spotlight when Andy Gruenebaum was sidelined with a strained shoulder. Now 21, Kempin is the youngest goalkeeper to start an MLS match in team history and the youngest at his position to appear in MLS this season.
To quote Kempin on his first day as a professional, "Now is when the fun starts."
Update: Congratulations to Ryan McDonald for submitting the winning caption. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.
Sporting Kansas City moved into first place in the race for the Supporters' Shield after defeating Eastern Conference foes Toronto FC 4-1 at Sporting Park last weekend. Needless to say, the boys brought nothing but smiles during postgame interviews with SKCTV commentator Jake Yadrich - especially two of the three goalscorers (Dom Dwyer and C.J. Sapong) and man of the match himself (Jon Kempin) pictured above.
Dwyer opened the scoring on Saturday by converting two first half penalty kicks to move his goal scoring total to 16, second most in MLS this season. Sapong's second half strike moves the Virginia native into a tie for ninth on KC's all-time chart for career goals scored during the regular season with 20 and Sporting KC's record when Sapong scores is now 19-0-2 including the postseason.
Saturday was the first career MLS start for Kempin, who has been nominated for MLS Save of the Week honors for Week 23 after his crucial stop against Gilberto to preserve his team's lead. Kempin already earned the accolade in Week 22 on his MLS debut after stopping a penalty kick attempt by Darren Mattocks.
Submit your best caption to the photo above by 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, August 21 and you'll be entered to win two tickets to Saturday's match against D.C. United and $20 worth of Kansas Lottery instant scratch tickets. Entries for this week's caption contest, brough to you by Kansas Lottery, can be submitted via the comments section below. You must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible for the prize. Good luck!
Congratulations to Emily Michaels! The sophomore soccer player at the University of Nebraska Omaha has won Sporting KC's inaugural "Oh Say Can You Sing" National Anthem Contest.
With hundreds of submissions, 10 finalists were selected by a collection of Sporting Kansas City players and front office staff. The 10 YouTube videos were posted to SportingKC.com for a fan vote. In a close contest, Emily edged out the competition and will now perform the National Anthem on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Sporting Park prior to Sporting KC's match against D.C. United.
A limited number of tickets are available for the match-up between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Secure your seat online at Ticketmaster.com.
A week ago, it was Sporting KC captain Matt Besler. Last night, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman took his turn. Today, Manager Peter Vermes and four more of the MLS Cup champions joined in on the nationwide movement.
Check out the video playlist below to see Dom Dwyer, Jon Kempin, Jacob Peterson and Erik Palmer-Brown follow their coach's lead after the team's training on Thursday at the Swope Soccer Village.
In addition to raising awareness for the disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge has led to $7.6 million in donations for The ALS Association since July 29. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that currently has no cure. Click here to learn more about ALS and to find out how you can support the cause.
If you've been on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., you may have seen a new trend that's taken over the internet. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is the latest craze that has people of all ages pouring ice cold water on their head to raise money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Click here to learn more about ALS or to donate to the cause.
UPDATE: Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid completes his challenge from Heineman on the final day of the team's training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO (video here).
— Johnny Kane KMBC-TV (@johnnykaneKMBC) August 14, 2014
After review by a collection of Sporting KC players and front office staff members, the following 10 submissions have been selected as finalists for Sporting KC's inaugural National Anthem Contest:
Now we're turning it over to you; the fans. Cast your vote below for the contestant you'd like to hear sing the National Anthem prior to Sporting Kansas City's match against D.C. United on August 23. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CT on Monday, August 18.
You might know him as one of the most decorated defenders in Major League Soccer history. Or you might know him as the face of KickTV.
And now, after Tuesday's announcement, Jimmy Conrad can also add "Sporting Legend" to his resume. The six-time MLS All-Star and 2005 MLS Defender of the Year will be inducted as a Sporting Legend on Friday alongside current Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes and the original owner of the Kansas City Wizards, the late Lamar Hunt.
Conrad flew to Kansas City on Wednesday for a series of media / community appearances and has carved out time from his busy schedule to take questions from you, the fans who voted for him as a member of Sporting KC's Wall of Honor.
On Friday, at 11am CT, Conrad will host a Facebook Q&A on SportingKC's official Facebook page.
The Sporting Legends induction ceremony will take place at halftime of Sporting KC's match against the Philadelphia Union. Kickoff set for 7 p.m. and the match will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Limited tickets are available and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.