Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning to chat with hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John from the U.S. Men's National Team training camp in Santiago, Chile. The Overland Park, Kansas native previewed tomorrow's friendly at Estadio El Teniente among other topics that included the inclusion of Olympic-age players in the annual January Camp, Sporting KC teammate Jon Kempin's first call-up to the senior team and how he came to know local 11-year-old Dominic Vargas during his fight with cancer.
On Jon Kempin's first U.S. MNT camp...
He's putting in the work. I'm telling you guys, he looks really good. It's a credit to him because he's come in and played with confidence. He acts like he has been a part of this team and that he belongs here. I've been really impressed with his ability to hang with us because when you look at him, he still is very young for a goalkeeper. I'm going to tell Peter the same thing when we get back to Kansas City. I think he's really developing here at camp and I think everyone can be really excited about his potential and his future here.
Listen to the 10-minute interview embedded below...
The United States - No. 27 in the latest FIFA rankings - will open their 2015 schedule against No. 14 ranked Chile on Wednesday at 5 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and UDN. Both teams participated in the 2014 FIFA World Cup last summer and will also take part in the Copa America Centenario USA 2016. The U.S. is unbeaten in their last four games against Chile dating back to 1995 (3-4-2 all-time).
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|
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|Mikey Lopez||Follow @MLopez12_5||mlopez12_5|
|Luis Marin||Follow @luis1marin|
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|Graham Zusi||Follow @gzusi||gzusi|
In the summer of 2006, the United States Soccer Federation invited 120 players to Middlesex School -- 20 miles outside of Boston -- to join a seven-day identification camp for the U.S. Under-14 Boys' National Team. The camp was run by Technical Director Manny Schellscheidt, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame who had coached the U.S. Men's National Team in 1975 and led the United States at the 1984 Olympics before beginning a 13-year tenure at the bottom rung of the U.S. youth national team ladder.
"I thought it was best to start with the little guys because it’s definitely important that we get the first step right," Schellscheidt told USSoccer.com. "I felt that if we can get a good introduction at the bottom with the most talented kids that we could find in the country that would be a good thing."
Among those in attendance nearly a decade ago? Sporting Kansas City homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin -- making the trip from his hometown in Leawood, Kansas -- and at least three other future members of the U.S. Men's National Team: Will Packwood, Wil Trapp and DeAndre Yedlin.
Kempin, now 21, and Trapp are each currently in Carson, California with the full U.S. Men's National Team for the first time in their professional careers after steadily progressing through the ranks. In fact, Kempin has now joined eight different levels of U.S. Soccer's national team program (U14, U15, U17, U18, U20, U21, U23, USMNT) and has been named to a U.S. Soccer roster during nine of the past 10 years.
10-YEAR RISE: U14 TO USMNT
2015: USMNT (Training Camp in California, January)
2014: U21 (Training Camp in California, April)
2013: U20 (Training Camp in Mexico, January)
2012: N/A (sidelined due to fractured ankle)
2011: U23 (Training Camp in Germany, November); U18 (Northern Ireland Milk Cup, July); U18 (Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal, May); U18 (Training Camp in Oregon, April)
2010: U18 (Traditional Winter Tournament in Israel, December); U20 (Torneo de las Americas in Georgia, November); U18 (Training Camp in California, April)
2009: U18 (Training Camp in California, December); U18 (Training Camp in California, October); U17 (Residency in Florida, Spring)
2008: U17 (Residency in Florida, Fall); U17 (Training Camp in Florida, August); U15 (Training Camp in Missouri, June); U15 (Training Camp in California, February)
2007: U15 (Development Academy Nike Friendlies in Florida, December)
2006: U14 (Identification Camp in Massachusetts, July)
Unlike Kempin's first weeklong experience in 2006, the U.S. Men's National Team January Camp is a 28-day gauntlet highlighted by a pair of international friendlies on the horizon: away to Chile on Jan. 28 and home versus Panama on Feb. 8. Kempin is one of four goalkeepers on head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's roster and one of 12 Olympic-age players included with an eye toward qualifying for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"I think it's going very smooth because the older guys help them to feel comfortable, to feel at ease and to enjoy it," said Klinsmann. 'I think this is a big plus for this team and has always been a big plus for the American team that they make it easy for new players to come in and feel welcome and to feel part of the group right after a couple of days. I think that's what happens now with these younger players. They feel accepted, they feel respected and they spend a lot of time together. Therefore, I think it's a nice thing to do with this January camp to help this younger group to grow into the next level."
Last week in Philadelphia, SI.com senior writer Grant Wahl sat down with Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes to preview the 2015 season. Wahl and Vermes discussed the return of Roger Espinoza, losing Aurelien Collin and moving to the Western Conference. Sporting KC will kick off their preseason campaign Sunday with the first of two trips to Tucson, Arizona.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza traveled to Miami over the weekend to participate in the annual media / marketing tour for Major League Soccer. The World Cup veteran appeared on Univision's Republica Deportiva Sunday morning along with the LA Galaxy's Jaime Penedo and Seattle Sounders midfielder Marco Pappa. Espinoza also appeared on the Soccer Gods, alongside host Simon Carr.
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) January 18, 2015
Are you interested in helping energize the most exciting game day experience in professional sports while helping raise money to help children battling cancer?
If so, Sporting Club is launching a unique new program just for you. Sporting Victors allows passionate, enthusiastic participants to acquire first-hand experience working in professional sports. Victors will have the opportunity to meet and network with Sporting KC leaders, fellow fans and players while building transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, guest service and effective communication.
To apply and learn more about becoming a part of Sporting Victors, click here!
Sporting Kansas City is hiring part-time event staff ahead of the 2015 season. Interested candidates are invited to Sporting Park (One Sporting Way, Kansas City, KS 66111) on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. or on Tuesday, Jan. 27 from 5:30 - 9 p.m to obtain more information.
The various part-time positions needed include Concierges, Fan Hosts, Gate Ambassadors, Elevator Concierge and other Guest Service positions. Sporting Style will be looking for Merchandise representatives and Building Services will be looking to hire Attendants to help with pre-game preparation that may include pressure washing, window cleaning, etc.
Applicants must be 18 years or older. Saturday's job fair will take place in the Shield Club. Participants should park on the Sprint Plaza and follow signs to the Shield Club entrance. Tuesday's job fair will be held in the Boulevard Members Club. Parking for Tuesday's applicants will be in Lot D behind Lonestar Restaurant. After parking, Tuesday's applicants should follow signs to the Boulevard Members Club.
Please email Stephen Howell (email@example.com) or call 913-912-7511 with questions. For information specific to the Building Services Attendant positions, please email Jeff Fickas (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 913-912-7508.
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.
The best part of every draft season is the numerous mock drafts that float around the internet. This phenomenon isn't limited to soccer, by any means. When the NFL Draft rolls around in April, the Kansas City Chiefs will likely have been projected to take 20-25 different players according to draft "experts."
So with the 2015 MLS SuperDraft a week away, MLSsoccer.com rolled out their first Mock SuperDraft: Pre-Combine edition. The three experts doing the picking were MLS broadcaster Jonathan Yardley, MLSsoccer.com's Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle and MLSsoccer.com contributor and college soccer enthusiast Nate Sulat.
All three have studied the college game in 2014 and have a good grasp of the prospects in this draft class. All three will be watching the players throughout the MLS Combine and will be updating their predictions based on player performances.
So which three players will Sporting KC take next Thursday? Let's take a look:
10: Otis Earle (LB) - UC Riverside
12: Dan Metzger (M) - Maryland
20: James Rogers (M/F) - New Mexico
10: Nick Besler (M) - Notre Dame
12: Otis Earle (LB) - UC Riverside
20: James Rogers (M/F) - New Mexico
10: Nick Besler (M) - Notre Dame
12: Otis Earle (LB) - UC Riverside
20: Miguel Aguilar (F) - San Francisco
After reviewing the mock drafts, it's apparent that Yardley, Doyle and Sulat feel that Sporting KC needs three things: a left back, speed and another Besler. Click here to read their rationale for each pick.
So there you have it. The first MLSsoccer.com Mock Draft is in the books. And if the experts are correct, Sporting KC could walk away with two players who have already signed MLS contracts. Guess we'll have to wait to see more.
What do you think SKC Nation? Do you like these projections? Is there a certain player/position you would like to see drafted? Let us know in the comments section below!