Hundreds of young Sporting Kansas City fans came out to Fat Brain Toy’s Prairiefire store location in Overland Park yesterday evening to enjoy a "Day of Play." The Victory Project, Fat Brain Toys and Mimi Z's Yoga partnered up to host the event focused on the value of active play for children ages six and under.
Children had the opportunity to rotate through several stations including: futsal, two stations with the latest toys from by Fat Brain Toys and one where they participated in a yoga class with Mimi Z’s Yoga. Complimentary healthy snacks and water were provided by Fresh Market. Following the hour of active play participants were able to get autographs and take photos with Sporting KC players and the team’s mascot Blue.
Sporting KC players Ike Opara, Marcel de Jong and Jon Kempin joined in on the fun with fitness Coach Mateus Manoel speaking about the importance of being active.
"The kids were great. It's nice to interact [with the kids] at these type of events. They enjoyed it, as well did we," said Sporting KC defender Ike Opara.
Along with providing toys for children to play with, Fat Brain Toys had Lego figures of Sporting KC players Dom Dwyer, Roger Espinoza, Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber and former goalkeeper Luis Marin available for purchase. All proceeds went to benefit the Victory Project and their mission to help children thrive through life's challenges.
It's been a busy week for Sporting KC's MLS All-Star trio. Graham Zusi, Benny Feilhaber and Matt Besler are in Denver, Colorado this week for the League's signature match against English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur F.C. With a series of appearances yesterday as well as their final MLS All-Star training session, the players took some time out of their day to join the Sporting KC Show on Sports Radio 810. Besler, Feilhaber and Zusi eached shared details about their experience at the MLS All-Star Game, while Zusi also recapped the U.S. MNT's fourth place finish at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Feilhaber also revealed some exciting news regarding his family.
Zusi on the MLS All-Star Game
"We are showing the fans how much we appreciate them and we're putting on a good show for them. It's just going to be a fun event for everyone. We want to get a win against these guys. We owe it to the fans."
Listen to the full podcast of the show below
Sporting Kansas City players will help educate children on the value of active play during a free event from 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday. The event, for children ages six and under, will take place at Fat Brain Toy’s Prairiefire store location in Overland Park.
The event will begin with a short presentation by Sporting KC Head Fitness Coach Mateus Manoel. Children will then have the opportunity to learn soccer from Sporting KC players, practice yoga with Mimi Z’s Yoga instructors and play with the latest in active Fat Brain toys. Fresh Market will provide free healthy snacks throughout the event, which will finish with a special autograph session featuring the Sporting KC players and the team’s mascot Blue.
“We believe that active play is essential to the healthy development of children,” said Mark Carson, Founder of Fat Brain Toys. “With the tremendous popularity and positive role models of Sporting KC, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have their help in reinforcing that mission.”
The event will also serve as an opportunity for fans to support and learn more about The Victory Project, an initiative launched by Sporting Kansas City in 2013 to unite players, staff and fans in its mission to help children thrive through life’s challenges. Since its inception, the foundation has raised nearly $250,000 through year-round events held in the Kansas City area.
“We are excited to be partnering with Fat Brain Toys and Mimi Z’s Yoga to provide the youngest of our fans an opportunity to participate in an event created specifically with them in mind. Healthy habits begin at a young age and many of our players have children who will be learning the importance of active play alongside those in attendance,” said Brandi Thomas, Community Programs Manager of Sporting KC and The Victory Project.
This week's Sporting Spotlight catches up with Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara as 38 the Spot host Crystle Lampitt gets the latest on his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon, his favorite hangout spot in KC and the role his father played early in his soccer career. Check out the video segments below and be sure to tune in to 38 the Spot every Monday morning as the series continues all season long.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber scores his seventh goal of the MLS regular season in the 50th minute to level the match at 1-1 against Real Salt Lake.
In advance of Sporting Kansas City’s upcoming 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal match, we are excited to announce that we will be hosting Youth Soccer Night at Sporting Park for the August 12 final-four match-up versus Real Salt Lake. This special event will provide all youth soccer teams with the opportunity to purchase tickets to the match at an exclusive discounted rate starting as low as $20. Additionally, teams who purchase 30 or more tickets will be awarded the chance to take post-match photos on the field with the 2012 USOC Trophy!
Youth soccer team managers and coaches who are interested in taking advantage of this special event are encouraged to contact their respective SKC ticket representatives or the Sporting KC ticket line at 888-4KC-GOAL for more information. We hope to have as many teams as possible make it out to support Sporting Kansas City in its quest for a berth in the USOC final and its third US Open Cup Championship, so please consider organizing a group to attend!
The August 12 match pits Sporting Kansas City against rivals Real Salt Lake. The two teams have met twice in 2015, the first of which ended in a 0-0 draw at Sporting Park and the second concluding 2-1 in favor of RSL after a late stoppage-time goal. Considering these results the past few times we have faced RSL, Sporting Kansas City is looking forward to yet another tough game as well as a chance to continue its 2015 home-field success. On Tuesday, after a 3-1 victory at Sporting Park versus the Houston Dynamo in the USOC quarterfinals, Sporting KC extended its home winning streak to nine straight matches across all competitions.
Since Kansas City’s inaugural MLS season in 1996, Sporting KC has won the USOC twice, one in 2004 and the other, more recently, in 2012. The 2012 championship, hosted at Sporting Park in front of a sold-out crowd, ended in a dramatic penalty shootout and SKC triumph over the Seattle Sounders.
Simply put, you don’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity to watch your hometown team -- and our three MLS All-Stars -- compete in the semifinal round of the oldest ongoing soccer competition in America, one of U.S. Soccer’s biggest stages. Hope to see you all there at Youth Soccer Night at Sporting Park on August 12! Again, please contact your SKC ticket rep to purchase discounted tickets for your team or to receive more information. As a reminder, groups of 30+ will get to take pictures after the game on-field with the 2012 USOC Trophy.
I recently sat down with forward Krisztián Németh to learn more about the Hungarian goal scorer’s off the field life.
Connor Erickson: What were you like as a child?
Krisztián Németh: I really played soccer a lot when I was a kid, by myself or with my friends. That’s what I like doing. That was pretty much my whole childhood.
CE: Now that you’re busy being a professional soccer player, when you get some time off, where is your favorite vacation/holiday spot?
KN: One of my best holidays was in Cancun, that place was really fun. If I go on holiday in Europe probably San-Tropez in France.
CE: You recently asked your girlfriend a very important question, can you tell us about that?
KN: That was in Venice, Italy and it was a big surprise, I took her there and proposed to her. She had no idea until I asked her the question. I was very good at keeping that a secret.
CE: What is one thing you miss most about living in Europe?
KN: The things I miss the most are my family, and my friends. Some of the food but not all of it, just some of it. It’s really those first two things that are the most important to me. Also a little bit Budapest. I love Budapest. I love this city too though. It is a very good place to live.
CE: What is the strangest thing that people in the the United States do?
KN: When the stoplights are red, in America I can go right. That was a little bit strange for me because in Europe when it is red you have to stop no matter what.
CE: Speaking of strange American things, do you watch zombie movies?
KN: Oh yeah I know those
CE: So the zombie apocalypse starts tomorrow, which 2 teammates do you call?
KN: To survive, I would take Benny because he is funny, and maybe Marcel.
CE: Why Marcel?
KN: He would be one of the best guys for that (surviving).
CE: When you listen to American music, what is your go to?
KN: I like Chris Brown, that kind of music.
CE: So if you could be a musician, would you sing, rap, play an instrument? What would you be?
KN: I would probably be Chris Brown
CE: You would just be Chris Brown? Do you think you have the moves to pull that off?
KN: No, I don’t have those skills, I can’t dance very well.
CE: What is your opinion on American food?
KN: American food is very good but it is way too much. I can eat lunches and dinners together and I will be fine for the whole night
CE: If someone gave you 1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
Peter Vermes: He would give me half right away
KN: Yeah I would give him half, and give you half too.
CE: Would you fight one round in the UFC for one million dollars?
KN: I don’t really want to get in a ring with one of them. Definitely not for a million. I want to keep playing soccer so I would not take money to fight a professional.
CE: Who on the team would last the longest?
KN: Me….No, definitely not (laughs). We don’t really have many big, tough guys. Maybe Jalil Anibaba.
CE: Who would last the least amount of time?
On Saturday, the Sporting Club Network, presented by Price Chopper, hosted its fifth annual Sporting Club Network Reception in the Boulevard Members Club at Sporting Park. More than 200 guests attended the event, which brought together representatives from 31 SCN member organizations and all 14 of the Network’s Academy Affiliates.
The annual reception is just one of the many events the SCN puts on each year in hopes of establishing a more personal relationship between its members, their respective communities and Sporting Kansas City. As an added perk, those who attended the reception received complimentary tickets to that night’s Sporting KC match at Sporting Park.
For the first hour of the event, guests enjoyed a catered dinner and an opportunity to meet fellow Network members, share ideas and reflect upon their organizations’ successes within the past year. Since launching in 2011, the Sporting Club Network has seen incredible growth and development, having now expanded to consist of over 60 Network Affiliates and members located in cities across the Midwest—including Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nashville, Tennessee and, of course, Kansas City. That being said, it was great to see our members taking advantage of this true networking opportunity.
Once everyone had settled in, Betsy Maxfield, Vice President of Soccer Projects for Sporting Kansas City, approached the podium to welcome all of the reception’s guests. In her opening comments, she summarized the impressive growth the Network has experienced in the past year while also highlighting a few of the SCN’s most successful signature events along the way.
For example, this past June, the Sporting Club Network teamed up with FC Kansas City to host 100 players for its first-ever all girls mini clinic. Another event that Maxfield made sure to point out was the Spring 2015 Academy Affiliate All-Star Experience. Each of these events, in addition to countless others held throughout the calendar year, are free and open to all members of the Sporting Club Network—an exclusive benefit of being affiliated with Sporting Club.
Following Maxfield’s brief remarks, a quick ‘year in review’ video was shown. Check out the 2014-2015 SCN recap video below…
Next, Maxfield invited the event’s guest speaker, Andy Gruenebaum, to the stage. As a Kansas City-native, retired MLS goalkeeper, current color commentator on the SKCTV broadcast team and Sporting Club Network Liaison, Gruenebaum made for the ideal individual who could speak both upon his unique set of experiences, as well as what the Sporting Club Network means to him. All in all, guests seemed to appreciate Gruenebaum’s honest testimony and trademark candor as he addressed those in attendance.
The last item on the reception’s agenda was to recognize this year’s 2015 Kevin Gray Award recipients. Three out of the six winners were able to make it to the event, as well as one family who attended on behalf of their son, the Male Youth Player of the Year. Later that evening, the winners walked onto the field at halftime in order to be acknowledged for their notable soccer success.
At the reception, after each honoree was spotlighted with a short reading of his/her soccer accomplishments, the guests embarked on an optional stadium tour of Sporting Park. Those who chose to forgo the tour remained in the Boulevard Members Club and joined the KC Cauldron and other U.S. Soccer fans for an official watch party for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Gold Cup match versus Cuba. Following a solid 6-0 USA win, all of our Sporting Club Network members and Affiliates relaxed to enjoy being a part of Sporting Park’s 63rd straight sellout crowd and Sporting KC’s eighth straight home victory across all competitions as SKC prevailed 2-1 over the Montreal Impact.
Thank you to all of our valued members and affiliates for an amazing year and annual reception! Check out the complete photo album from the event here. And don’t forget to like the our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for continual updates on all things Sporting Club Network.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber was a guest on today's edition of ExtraTime Radio, joining MLSsoccer.com staffers David Gass, Simon Borg, Arielle Castillo and Ben Baer during the 70-minute show. ExtraTime Radio is the official podcast of Major League Soccer and is available on SiriusXM FC every Tuesday and Friday.
Feilhaber was recently named to the MLS All-Star Fan XI and will take part in his first MLS All-Star Game next week alongside teammates Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. The World Cup veteran is in the midst of a career year, starting all 20 of the club's competitive matches while setting new personal highs in MLS play for both goals (6, T-2nd on SKC) and assists (10, T-2nd in MLS).
The Sporting Spotlight series this week focuses on Sporting KC team captain Matt Besler. The hometown star talks about changes to his personal life after success as an MLS All-Star and as a member of the US Men's National Team. Besler also discusses his love for giving back to the community he grew up in, the fans that support Sporting KC and his new commercial with Me Undies.
Continue to watch 38 the Spot every Monday morning for a new Sporting Spotlight with Crystle Lampitt.