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.
Photo by Kayla Meppelink
Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic's strong start to the 2014 season hasn't gone unnoticed and following his latest praiseworthy performance -- a 90-minute endline-to-endline shift on the left flank against Real Salt Lake on Saturday -- three different national media outlets selected the Rockhurst High School alum as the best player at his position in Week 5 of the MLS regular season.
"I’m bending my rules by picking two left backs, because I can’t resist including Sinovic, who was just edged for the spot on the left. The gap between Sinovic’s performance and that of the weekend’s best right back was enough to convince me to reconsider." - Pro Soccer Talk
Sinovic helped the Sporting Kansas City defense hold Real Salt Lake to only five shots and a single shot on goal as RSL was shutout for the first time this season. His full statline:
- 85 touches, incl. 1 shot on goal
- 78% passing (49 of 63), incl. 2 key passes
- 9 recoveries, 3 clearances & 3 interceptions
- 5 of 6 duels won + 2 fouls suffered
The Leawood, Kan. native has appeared in 108 games for the club across all competition in the last three years after setting regular season career highs in games played (32), games started (31) and minutes (2,773) in 2013.
Sporting Kansas City is undefeated (3-0-2) in 2014 with Sinovic in the lineup and in the midst of a nine-game unbeaten streak (5-0-4) with Sinovic on the field dating back to last year. He earned his first invitation to the U.S. Men's National Team for the January Camp under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and is currently the top-rated outside back on the MLS Castrol Index (No. 28 overall).
In recent months, the Sporting Club Network ran a new campaign giving its members the chance to be the next Sporting KC Youth Reporter. Participants were asked to submit a video explaining why they wanted to be Sporting Kansas City’s Youth Reporter. From the submissions, three finalists were chosen to attend a Sporting KC training session at Swope Soccer Village. The three finalists watched the players practice, met with team play-by-play commentator Cal Williams and had the opportunity to interview a Sporting KC player of their choice.
Carter Knox, an 11-year-old midfielder from Sporting Kaw Valley, was chosen as the first Sporting KC Youth Reporter winner! Knox impressed the judges with his clean-cut suit, intelligent questions and a style which he said he mimicked based off watching Williams call many games on SKCTV. Knox and his family will participate in a special gameday experience at Sporting Park on April 19th when Sporting KC takes on Montreal.
The other finalists included Brookside Soccer Club player Tierney Flavin, as well as John Kurgan from Sporting Blue Valley. Both runner-ups also performed a one-on-one interview with a player of their choice. Flavin began her interview introducing herself in French to defender Aurelien Collin, a Paris native. Kurgan hit the ground running, literally, during his interview when he challenged U.S. Men's National Team playmaker Graham Zusi to a race.
To view all three of the Sporting KC Youth Reporter finalist videos, click here. And to stay up to date with all things Sporting Club Network, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.
Since scoring the team's first goal of the year, homegrown defender Kevin Ellis has been in the spotlight for Sporting Kansas City throughout the opening month of the 2014 season. The Kansas City native and Sporting KC Academy product has started five games across all competition in 2014 and on Saturday, was featured in the Sporting Park videoboad series "Two Lies and a Truth" presented by The Parking Spot.
Take the test by watching the video below and for more, check out previous episodes quizzing fellow defenders Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin.
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.
Not long after his return to Kansas City following national team duty, Sporting KC defender Matt Besler spoke with MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio. The two-time MLS All-Star discussed Wednesday night's friendly between the United States and Mexico a well as Saturday night's MLS Cup rematch between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake (7:30pm CT, Buy Tickets).
Read excerpts from Besler's interview below or click here for the full podcast.
On Wednesday night's USMNT match...
"I think in the first half we were able to pressure them a lot better than in the second half. If you look at the first, the amount of balls we were able to win and then turn them over in their half or at midfield ... that’s when we play our best, when we pressure teams and turn them over because we are very dangerous in the counter attack.
On if Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake is a rivalry...
"Yes it is. The last couple times we have played Real Salt Lake, they have been back and forth games. They have been battles, they have been physical and you just have to look back to the MLS Cup. I think in recent games, it makes it a rivalry. They are going to come in and want to beat us at home. We have to have the attitude that we want to win our home game, drive the game and defend our home turf."
Planning your grocey shopping for next week? Be on the lookout for commemorative Pepsi cans, honoring Sporting KC's 2013 MLS Cup championship.
The cans will be sold market-wide starting Monday, April 7, but fans should look for the special Sporting KC label on the box, signifying which 12-packs will have the commemorative cans.
Want to win tickets to our April 19 home game for the Montreal Impact? Follow these steps:
1. Purchase a 12-pack of the commemorative Pepsi cans
2. Post a picture on Twitter / Instagram of you with the cans using #TastetheVictory
3. You are entered to win! (contest ends 5pm CT on Friday, April 11)