Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match for Sporting Kansas City's 4-0 victory over the Montreal Impact at Sporting Park. Voting is open until Sunday evening.
What might Saturday have in store when Sporting Kansas City hosts the Montreal Impact at Sporting Park? MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Matt Doyle preview the Eastern Conference match-up with two overarching storylines:
- Will Jack McInerney strike again? He scored on his Montreal debut last weekend and scored in his last match against KC (10/26/13). His three career goals in eight appearances against Sporting rank second most among active IMFC players.
- Can Montreal defend Sporting's set pieces? The Impact have conceded 10 times through six games to start the 2014 campaign and three of those goals have come from set pieces. Montreal will be looking for their first MLS shutout since August of 2013, a span of 15 regular season games without a clean sheet.
Secure your seat at Sporting Park for Saturday's showdown -- a limited number of tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com or on gameday at the box offices. Can't make it to the match? Catch the game live on KMCI 38 the Spot, SKCTV, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340 AM.
Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler -- awarded the KC Sports Commission's Sportsman of the Year last week -- was a special guest in studio at Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning with The Border Patrol hosts Steven St. John, Nate Bukaty and Jake Gutierrez. The 22-minute interview, embedded below, touched on a wide variety of topics including his role within the U.S. Men's National Team, new Sporting Style merchandise and his tutelage of 16-year-old centerback Erik Palmer-Brown.
THE BORDER PATROL
Besler was also interviewed on last night's Sporting KC Show with Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine. The hour-long show previews Saturday's match against Montreal, including an on-air discussion with Impact forward Jack McInerney. The 21-year-old scored on his debut for head coach Frank Klopas after being acquired from the Philadelphia Union in a trade earlier this month.
Check out the show below in both audio and video form.
SPORTING KC SHOW
The Sporting KC Show will air live from 7-8 p.m. CT tonight with hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Tonight's show will feature interviews with Sporting KC captain Matt Besler and Montreal forward Jack McInerney, who scored on his debut for the club last weekend after being acquired from the Philadelphia Union.
The broadcast trio will preview Saturday's match (7:30 p.m. CT on KMCI, SKCTV, 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340 AM) and discuss the latest Major League Soccer news. Montreal are 0-3-3 heading into this weekend's match-up, including draws in their last three matches. The two sides will meet three times in the regular season but Saturday's match will be the lone meeting at Sporting Park.
You can listen to tonight's show online at 810WHB.com and through the 810 WHB App (Android, iOS). Join the conversation by calling 913-3-810-810 or tweet your questions to @CalWilliamsSKC, @AndyEdMLS or ElJefeAugustine.
Sunday marks the 18-year anniversary of the first game in club history, a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
The hero of that game? None other than Vitalis "Digital" Takawira, a Zimbabwean striker who burst on to the scene with two goals vs. Colorado.
But while Takawira left his mark on the club with his 29 goals in 100+ games, many fans will remember him favorably for his goal celebration: The Digital Crawl.
The Digital Crawl, circa 1996, with Mark Chung, Vitalis Takawira and Diego Gutierrez
This Sunday marks the 18th anniversary of Sporting Kansas City's inaugural match, a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Arrowhead Stadium on April 13, 1996 and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with a Throwback Thursday of the Digital Crawl celebration. We'll let the Kansas City Star match recap, written by Bob Luder, set the scene...
Kansas City soccer fans - 21,141 of them - got to see the "Digital Crawl." Vitalis "Digital" Takawira scored the first goal in Kansas City Wiz history in the 71st minute Saturday night, and the Wiz went on to a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in the Major League Soccer debut for both teams.
Takawira, the leading goal scorer in Africa in 1994, broke a scoreless tie when he caught a rebound of a shot by Mark Chung directly in front of the Colorado goal and shot the ball by Rapids goalkeeper Dusty Huddock. Tommy Reasoner started the sequence with a centering pass from the left corner to Chung.
Upon scoring, Takawira went into his famous crawl. He sprinted to the near corner flag, his teammates right behind, and they all got down on all fours and crawled along the sideline.
Takawira scored twice on the night en route to 14 goals in his first MLS season while Frank Klopas -- who returns to KC next Saturday as head coach of the Montreal Impact -- added another. Visit the SportingKC.com archives for a full box score and return to the site on Sunday for a look back at the game that kicked off the Major League Soccer era in Kansas City.
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.
A new week brings a new episode of The Sporting KC Show on Sports Radio 810 WHB as hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine analyze Saturday's MLS Cup rematch with Real Salt Lake and were joined by special guest Kerry Zavagnin. The Sporting KC assistant coach -- a member of the club for each of the last 15 seasons -- assessed the team's start to the 2014 season, now seven games into the campaign and entering the team's bye in Week 6.
"I wouldn't say we're exactly where we need to be or want to be. But I will say that coming into the year, we knew it was going to be a tough beginning for us from a scheduling standpoint," Zavagnin said. "When you look at the fact that we've played over 22-23 players here in the first month and really dug deep into our depth, I'd say overall one loss in the league at this point, you have to be pretty happy about that. You've gotten a lot opportunities for guys early in the season."
"This team is starting to round into form. When you look at the performance against San Jose at home, you look at that as a a pretty convincing peformance. Obviously, the one in Colorado was overall not the best performance from an aesthetically pleasing perspective, but teams find a way to win when they're not playing their best so you have to take a positive out of that. I think the Salt Lake game this past weekend was probably our best performance to date. The only thing that lacked was the finishing touch. Quite frankly, we could have had two or maybe three goals because we created enough opportunities."
For more -- including Zavagnin's comments on the play of Eric Kronberg, Matt Besler and Benny Feilhaber -- listen to the podcast embedded below or watch last night's show above courtesy of 810whbtv.com.
Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match for Sporting Kansas City's 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park. Voting is open until Sunday evening.
UPDATE - Voting is now closed and Matt Besler led the way with 62% of the vote.