Some say your college years are the most memorable years of your life. We put that to the test on a few of the players. In part one of four, Mikey Lopez is on the spot to see just how much he knows about his alma mater.
Jamila St. Ann: Mikey Lopez, where did you go to school? (1 point)
Mikey Lopez: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
JS: What is your mascot and what is your mascot’s name? (2 points)
ML: We’re the Tar Heels, it’s a ram, and his name is Rameses. Rameses the Ram.
JS: What are your official colors? (1 point)
ML: Carolina Blue and White.
JS: What year was UNC established? (1 point)
ML: Oy! I want to say…1896?
JS: *buzzer noise* 1789.
ML: Oh. Wow.
JS: What was the date of your first goal and who was it against? (2 points)
ML: My first goal was…August…let me see… I want to say August 30th or 31st against Oregon State.
JS: Half right! September 2nd, against Oregon State.
JS: What is the title of your fight song? (2 points)
ML: Hark the Sound.
JS: I have “I’m a Tar Heel Born”
ML: We sing “Hark the Sound” and then we go into “I’m a Tar Heel Born”!
JS: I’m going to have to look into that one for points…
(After further review, “Hark the Sound” is ruled as the title of the alma mater. “I’m a Tar Heel Born” is the official title of the fight song. The two are ruled as separate. No points, Mikey.)
JS: Bonus points now if you can sing it. (BONUS 5)
JS: UNC and Maryland, rival schools, play each other once this season. When, and give me a prediction for the matchup. (Bonus 0 points)
ML: This year, I want to say they play them in October. Nope they play them in September. *laughs* It’s Duke we play in October, October 4th. It’s one of the last weeks in September.
JS: September 13th. Give me a score line for the match.
ML: I’ll say we’ll win 2-1.
JS: Okay. I’m going to ask (Graham Zusi, Maryland alum) the same question…
ML: Haha, should be good!
Earlier this year, 8-year-old Sporting KC season ticket holder & Sporting Club Network member, Luke Bowie, was hospitalized with a brain aneurism. We told you the original story of this brave young boy and everything he and his family had to overcome, but we didn’t mention all of it....
While in the hospital, Sporting KC and MLS All-Star, Aurelien Collin visited Luke and his family to offer support. During the visit, Collin promised to play with Luke and his team when he finally made his return to the soccer pitch. Last week, we finally got the opportunity to fulfill this promise when Collin and the Sporting Club Network travelled up to St. Joseph, Mo. to surprise Luke and his sister, Alex’s teams. View the video above to see how it went.
Our very own Matt Besler recently returned to Kansas City after National team duty. I sat down with him to talk about the now infamous "Beslering", his love for Notre Dame, and Aurelien Collin...on the flute? Check it out!
Jamila St. Ann: Are you upset that “Beslering” never caught on?
Matt Besler: Not really. It was kind of an embarrassing picture of me and all the guys were giving me a hard time. That it looked like I was…ya know, I was squatting down…it wasn’t the best picture of me.
JS: Scenario: You’re being crowned “King of the World”. What is your first ‘royal decree’?
MB: That there are free iPhone 5 chargers, everywhere you go because I always forget mine and I always need one.
JS: You’re a big golf fan. Name your dream golf foursome.
MB: Hmmm…Michael Jordan. He was, and still is, my favorite athlete. And he’s a big golfer, a big gambler. So I’d like to take his money; that’d be cool. I’d probably golf with Phil Mickelson, too. He’s a professional golfer and he’s my favorite golfer. He’d be there to have somebody who’s really good at golf. And then my fourth would be…Steve Carrell, the comedian. Every golf foursome needs a funny guy in it and his character in The Office is one of my favorite tv characters.
JS: So you said that Michael Jordan is your favorite athlete. Do you have any other sports idols?
MB: I grew up with Michael Jordan being my number one, hands down, by far. I liked Mario Lemieux, the Pittsburgh Penguin hockey player. He was one of my favorite athletes. And I grew up watching Marcus Allen and Joe Montana play for the Chiefs.
JS: Is there any significance behind the number 5?
MB: To be honest, no. It was the number that was assigned to me. But I say that I wear for George Brett. And the legend Kerry Zavagnin, our assistant coach.
JS: Construct a band out of your teammates.
MB: Let’s go…Aurelien Collin on the flute. Just because I would pay money to see him with a flute, playing a very elegant instrument. Dom Dwyer on the drums, I don’t know why. I don’t know, Jimmy Nielsen on guitar. And on bass, C.J. Sapong is on bass.
JS: And on lead vocals?
MB: Trying to think of who sings a lot… I’ll put C.J. on lead vocals, because he sings the most, but he’s horrible. A terrible singer. He’ll be bass and vocals.
JS: Guilty pleasure tv show.
MB: I’m a huge fan of Friday Night Lights. It’s my all time favorite tv show. Huge fan of Tim Riggins, he’s the man.
JS: Any TV shows you don’t want to admit being a fan of?
MB: No, not really. I mean, I’ve seen episodes of the Bachelor, but I’ve never watched it.
JS: Did you cry when Notre Dame lost in the national championship last year?
MB: No, I was very hopeful that they would win, but I knew it wouldn’t be quite likely. Alabama is basically an NFL team.
JS: Give me a prediction for the Notre Dame football team this year.
MB: Uh...three losses, and we sneak into a BCS bowl game.
JS: Your brother plays for Notre Dame’s soccer team. Since he’s a midfielder, give me a prediction for how many assists he’ll have.
MB: I’m going to give him a low number. I’m going to go with five. Because he broke my All-Time goals record in high school, his senior year, so he always gives me a hard time. But I always have to remind him that I have more assists than him, so I’m more of a team player.
Graham Zusi returned to Kansas City on Wednesday following his 16th career appearance with the U.S. Men's National Team in the World Cup-clinching 2-0 victory over Mexico. Zusi joined Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio earlier today to talk about the experience, as well as Sporting Kansas City's upcoming schedule in CONCACAF Champions League and Major League Soccer. Listen to the full interview here (15:30 mark) and see some of the excerpts below...
On securing a World Cup berth...
It's a feeling you can't really describe. Pure joy. Pure excitement. It was a pretty awesome experience and a great celebration. It's probably the biggest accomplishment of my career so far. It's tough to put into words. The amount of time and commitment we put into this, to see it all come together there against Mexico. It was emotional. It was an incredible feeling and I'm super happy to be part of it.
On the road to Brazil ahead...
It's kind of an ongoing process. You definitely have to stay sharp and fit and not get complacent in your own game. Like you said, there's still a lot of soccer to be played. The good thing is we'll have quite a bit of friendlies leading up to the World Cup to stay sharp as a team and cohesive as a unit and to put us into the best position possible leading up to the big stage.
The Sporting KC Show aired last night on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Callum Williams and Carter Augustine discussing the USMNT's 2-0 win over Mexico. The guys were joined by former USA international Cory Gibbs and The Final Whistle co-host Andy Edwards who both shared their thoughts on the win at Crew Stadium.
You can listen to the full episode of Wednesday night's show below.
Fresh off the United States qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Sporting Kansas City and U.S. MNT defender Matt Besler joined The Doug Gottlieb Show on CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday afternoon. Besler discussed the team's 2-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday, as well as his controversial suspension due to caution accumulation.
On the team's postgame celebrations...
"You play 90 minutes, you run six or seven miles, you work hard and you just shotgun a beer at the end of the game. It's actually legendary."
On the aura of the 2-0 scoreline...
"I want to beat Mexico as bad as I can. I would have liked to score five or six."
On Gottlieb joking he's the Ndamukong Suh of MLS...
"I walked into the locker room for Sporting Kansas City and everyon's backing away from me saying they don't want to get hurt."
Hear the full interview embedded below...
On Monday, Major League Soccer will begin their countdown of the top 24 players under the age of 24. Since it's inception in 2010, Sporting KC has had strong representation on the list including C.J. Sapong who finished second in the voting in 2012.
So what's in store for 2013?
Sporting KC has 13 players on its roster under the age of 24 including Uri Rosell, who leads MLS with 1,234 successful passes and 116 interceptions this season, and Soony Saad, who has four goals and four assists in his third season in the league. Dom Dwyer, who set a USL Pro regular season scoring record with 15 goals including four more in the USL Pro championship game is eligible for the list as well.
MLSsoccer.com staff and media panelists rated players based on the following five criteria:
- Technical (skills, dribbling, shooting, first touch, heading, etc.)
- Tactical (positioning, reading game, soccer IQ, etc.)
- Physical Attributes (speed, endurance, strength, vertical leap, etc.)
- Personality (marketability, media savvy, quotability, charisma, intangibles, etc.)
- Potential (upside, national team potential, potential future transfer value, etc.)
Sept. 16: 21-24 revealed
Sept. 17: 20-16 revealed
Sept. 18: 15-11 revealed
Sept. 19: 10-6 revealed
Sept. 20: 1-5 revealed
The United States Men's National Team punched their ticket to Brazil 2014 with a 2-0 win over Mexico last night at Crew Stadium in Columbus. Matt Besler was unavailble for the match due to yellow card accumulation while Graham Zusi featured as a second half substitute. Eddie Johnson opened the scoring for the USA and Landon Donovan capped things off with a 78th minute goal.
Overall, it's been a solid qualifying cycle for both Sporting KC players who have become as key contributors to the team. Besler and Zusi were recently named by Pro Soccer Talk as two of five players who have emerged as stars for the USMNT during 2014 World Cup qualifying.
In the hexagonal round, Zusi has started five maches and consistently been one of the the USMNT's back attacking players. Besler, who earned his first start in qualifying at Mexico in March, has helped lead a backline that has conceded only six goals in eight matches.
The hexagonal round of qualifying will continue next month when the USA will host Jamaica at Sporting Park on October 11th (5:30 p.m. CT, ESPN)
Update: Congratulations to Andrew Park for his winning caption. Please contact mdreska@SportingKC.com to claim your tickets.
Sporting Kansas City defeated the Columbus Crew 3-0 on Saturday night with Claudio Bieler, Soony Saad and C.J. Sapong each contributing to the scoreline.
We came across this photo amidst the great candids from the weekend's convincing victory and are anxious to read #SKCNation's best captions. Provide insight on the potential conversation between Paulo Nagamura and Soony Saad for your chance to win two tickets to Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League match versus Real Esteli FC at Sporting Park.
Submit your caption in the comments section below -- all entries must be in by 5:30 p.m. CT on Thursday.