Today's #TGIF features one of Kansas City's first MLS All-Stars, Preki, scoring a fantastic goal in the 1996 MLS All-Star Game. You can vote for six Sporting KC players for the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game online or by texting their last name (Besler, Bieler, Collin, Nielsen, Rosell, Zusi) to 22442.
There is no Sporting Kansas City soccer match this weekend, but there are still great opportunities to meet your favorite Sporting KC stars.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen's book-signing tour will continue on Saturday at the Nebraska Furniture Mart by Sporting Park. Nielsen will be at the store from 12:30-2 p.m. signing copies of his book and taking pictures with fans.
Also this weekend, Sporting KC's Haitian duo of Mechack Jerome and Peterson Joseph will be signing autographs for fans at local Price Choppers. On Saturday, Jerome will be at the Price Chopper on 22210 West 66th St in Shawnee Mission from 2-3:30. On Sunday, Joseph will be at the Price Chopper on 4950 Roe Blvd in Roeland Park from 2-3:30. Be sure to swing by and meet Sporting KC's Haitian duo, who are coming off a historic 2-2 draw against Italy last week.
Lastly, Seth Sinovic, Benny Feilhaber and Jimmy Nielsen will be at the Westport Summer Beer Festival (4057 Pennsylvania) on Saturday. The event will run from 5-9 p.m. and all attendees will receive two tickets to the Silversun Pickups concert on July 30 along with a commemorative Sporting KC tasting glass. For more information visit www.beerkc.com.
For this week's Throwback Thursday, we take a look back to the second match ever at Sporting Park when the United States Men's National Team faced Guadeloupe on June 14, 2011 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The USMNT won the match 1-0 on a Jozy Altidore goal to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament. Tthe USMNT will return to Sporting Park (where they have a perfect record) for a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica on October 11, 2013.
This morning, defender Seth Sinovic was a guest on 810 WHB’s The Border Patrol to talk about last night’s loss to Orlando City SC in the fourth round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Sinovic and host Nate Bukaty also discussed this weekend’s Summer Beer Festival, a tribute to craft beers and a benefit for AIDS Walk Kansas City.
Also today, CEO Robb Heineman was on 810 WHB's The Program with Soren Petro to discuss Wednesday night's match vs. Orlando City, potential expansion to Sporting Park and hosting Jamaica in October. Click here to listen to the full podcast of Heineman's interview.
Go in-depth for Sporting Kansas City's 1-0 loss against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening at Sporting Park with this match's Fast Facts.
- Sporting Kansas City has played Orlando City SC in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition in back-to-back years.
- Sporting Kansas City is now 1-1-0 against Orlando City all-time in U.S. Open Cup play.
- In the previous competitive meeting, Sporting KC earned the 3-2 victory at Sporting Park.
- Orlando City SC defeated Ocala Stampede and Colorado Rapids to advance to the fourth round match, whereas Sporting KC defeated the Des Moines Menace.
- Orlando City SC moves to 2-2-0 against MLS teams all-time in U.S. Open Cup competition and maintains a 3-2-0 record on the road.
- Kevin Ellis made his competitive debut for Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, starting and playing the full 90 minutes.
- Sporting Kansas City moves to 6-6-1 all-time in the round of 16.
- Sporting KC is now 12-6-2 at home in the competition all-time and 11-5-3 vs non-MLS clubs.
- Sporting Kansas City has conceded 43 goals in the tournament all-time.
- Being shutout on Wednesday marks the 7th time Sporting KC has been shutout in USOC competition.
- Sporting KC is now 18-13-5 all-time in U.S. Open Cup.
- With the start, Eric Kronberg moves into a tie for third all-time with Chance Myers (10) for starts in the U.S. Open Cup on the club chart.
- Orlando City SC has never made it to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup prior to the 2013 edition of the tournament.
- Orlando City SC is Sporting Kansas City's USL Pro affiliate. Sporting KC's Dom Dwyer, Yann Songo'o, Jon Kempin and Christian Duke are currently on loan to Orlando City SC and will be eligible to play in the quarterfinal round.
- Orlando City's Adama Mbengue was on trial with Sporting Kansas City during pre-season training camp.
- Sporting KC's Lawrence Olum made 21 appearances for Orlando City SC in 2011 prior to signing with Sporting KC.
- Sporting Kansas City was without Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Mechack Jerome, Peterson Joseph, Kei Kamara and Mikey Lopez on Wednesday. All six players were on international duty with their respective national teams.
- Orlando City SC was without Jean Alexandre, who is with Jerome and Joseph playing for the Haiti Men's National Team.
- All four semi-finalists from last years competition have been eliminated from the field.
- Orlando City SC will face the winner of Chicago versus Columbus on the road on June 26, 2013 for the quarterfinal.
- The Chicago/Columbus match was scheduled for Wednesday night, but delayed until Thursday afternoon due to storms.
Sporting Kansas City suffered a 1-0 loss to Orlando City on Wednesday night in the fourth round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It's Sporting KC's first loss in the competition since July 2011.
Man of the Match
Eric Kronberg had a solid performance and made several key saves throughout the match. The goalkeeper had large stretches where he wasn't tested but regularly was up to the challenge and kept Sporting KC in the match.
The second minute goal by Orlando City's Long Tan stunned the crowd at Sporting Park. It gave the visitors confidence early and allowed them to sit back and absorb Sporting KC's pressure. Sporting KC would dominate most of the second half but credit to Orlando City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo who made some great saves to conserve his team's 1-0 lead.
A few stats
- Kevin Ellis made his first competitive start for Sporting KC
- Teal Bunbury's appearance is his first since August 2012
- All four semifinalists from last year's U.S. Open Cup have been knocked out of this year's tournament
After the long wait for warm weather, the Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recreation Soccer Abilities Camp was finally held with more perfect weather than any kid could ask for. Kids from around the Kansas City area -- normally at a disadvantage to compete in soccer -- relaxed and played with others just like them. They even had the opportunity to work on drills with a few Sporting Kansas City players.
The event is held annually at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park for kids with a variety of disabilities, although they might fool on the field. Once the participants started playing and laughing, their true abilities and kindness shined.
Benny Feilhaber, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic and Michael Thomas played with the participants through small acts such as passing the ball, goalkeeping or even giving piggy back rides during a scrimmage. Not only did players help, but Futura FC, a local club team, and many other volunteers came to help with drills as well.
To end the night, kids, players and volunteers shared popsicles, hugs and silly stories. Players also signed player cards, took pictures and gave out mini scarves to all in attendance. The wait for weather was worth it after all the memories created.
An MLS All-Star in 2011, an MLS Best XI and Defender of the Year selection in 2012 and now a U.S. Men's National Team regular in 2013.
Six months ago, Sporting KC defender Matt Besler had never appeared for the U.S. Men's National Team. Last night, the Overland Park, Kan. native started his third straight FIFA World Cup Qualifier in The Hex, played in his fifth straight U.S. MNT match and earned his sixth international cap in the United States' 2-0 win over Panama.
Out of the Blue already compiled what national media were saying about Besler after Tuesday's performance, but now let's see what the man himself had to say following the win that puts the United States atop the group after five of 10 games played in the final round of qualifying.
On the improved relationship of the defense...
“It’s something that takes time — building a back four, building a partnership between center backs and goalies. It’s something that you gain through experience. We are learning here as we go, but this is a huge stepping stone for us.”
On how the field played...
“The field was fine. Little bumps here and there, a couple times guys slipped, but it wasn’t an issue at all.”
On the atmosphere in the stadium...
“The atmosphere was amazing. It was one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in. It was such a pro-American crowd and they really got behind us. It would have been awesome to give them the third goal — the place would have gone crazy — but at the end of the day a 2-0 win is a great performance by us.”
On the team starting to click...
“The team is really coming together. This group of guys are all on the same page. We are starting to play together and I think that’s showing a lot on the field. Right now we are ready to go to Salt Lake and finish off the trip. We’ve already talked about on wanting to get nine points and that would put us in a very, very good position.”
Matt Besler started his third consecutive World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night as the USA defeated Panama 2-0. The Sporting KC defender has combined with fellow central defender Omar Gonzalez in all three of those qualifiers and conceded only one goal.
Check out some of the reviews of Besler's performance below.
"Another excellent performance, be it with his passing or his tackling. Had a critical block of a close range shot in the 25th minute."
"Another steady showing from Besler, who made the necessary interventions and provided a consistent passing outlet while circulating the ball well. Remains the best centerback in the pool."
"Another 90 minutes paired with Gonzalez, another stout showing for the reigning MLS Defender of the Year. Besler's early passing out of the back got Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley involved down the left-hand side and his timely defensive work, clean tackling and ball-winning made Howard's night increasingly easier. It's easy to forget Besler now has a grand total of six caps, because he is playing with the stability of a seasoned veteran."
"Besler played several enticing long balls out of the back and popped up at key junctures to shut down chances."
"Gonzalez and Besler started alongside each other for the fifth time in their United States careers, and once again they looked like the future of the American defense. In the five matches in which the MLS-based duo have started together, the United States are unbeaten."