The NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament reaches its final stage this weekend as the 2012 College Cup kicks off tonight with the semifinal matches at Regions Park in Hoover, Alabama. Sporting Kansas City assistant coach John Pascarella will be in attendance with an eye on some of the top talent at the collegiate level. Pascarella, who began his coaching career at Maryland in 2000 with current head coach Sasho Cirovski, is among several Sporting KC players and staff with a rooting interest in the top four team's in this year's tournament:
Georgetown vs. Maryland, 4pm on ESPNU
Indiana vs. Creighton, 6:30pm on ESPNU
Sporting KC head fitness coach Mateus Manoel studied Kinesiology and Exercise Science at Maryland from 2000-2003 before going on to work for both the U.S. and Mexico men's national teams. And then there's 2012 MLS MVP finalist Graham Zusi (shown on right), a two-time national champion for the Terps and 2008 alum.
On the opposite side of the bracket, Sporting KC forward Jacob Peterson also boasts a resume with two NCAA championships while starring for Indiana. He led the Hoosiers to back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004, scoring goals in the final both years.
Indiana's opponent will feature Sporting KC Academy alums Eric DeJulio and Chris Tuso, who joined a Creighton program that returns to the College Cup after falling on penalty kicks in the semifinals last season. Cheering for the Bluejays will be Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic, who helped the team reach the NCAA Tournament four straight seasons from 2005 to 2008 and scored the game-winning goals in both the second and third round of the tourney during his junior season.
Fans can tune into ESPNU for this evening's doubleheader. After all, you just might be watching the next Sporting KC star. Looking over the club's current roster, the team had a player appear in the College Cup in eight of the last nine years.
2010: Soony Saad (Michigan)
2009: Teal Bunbury (Akron)
2008: Graham Zusi (Maryland)
2007: Roger Espinoza (Ohio State)
2006: Chance Myers (UCLA)
2005: Graham Zusi (Maryland)
2004: Jacob Peterson (Indiana)
2003: Jacob Peterson (Indiana)
Major League Soccer announced yesterday that the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, will take place at 11 a.m. CT on Thursday, January 17. The top college players will be available in the two-round draft, which -- after being held in Kansas City in 2012 -- will be held in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Sporting KC currently holds the 14th (first round) and 33rd (second round) overall selections.
The 2013 MLS Player Combine will take place at Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from January 11-15 with four combine squads in action on three different matchdays.
The re-entry draft was created by the 2010 CBA for players who are out of contract or have their options declined by MLS teams. It consists of two stages and is held over a couple weeks. Any players not selected in either stage of the draft are available on a first come first serve basis to any MLS club.
If players are selected in Stage 1, they must be signed for their 2013 option or 2012 salary (if out of contract). Most players are signed in Stage 2 as it allows teams to negotiate salaries and not have the requirements of Stage 1 (details below in eligibility). In 2011, 10 players were signed in Stage 2 (three in Stage 1) and 11 were chosen in 2011 (two in Stage 1).
The schedule and more details for this year's draft is available here.
The eligibility for the re-entry draft is listed below.
- Players who are at least 23 years old, have a minimum of three years of MLS experience, and whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2013).
- Players who are at least 25 years old, have a minimum of four years of MLS experience, were out of contract, and whose club did not offer them a contract at their previous salary (available at 2012 salary).
- Players who are at least 30 years old, have a minimum of eight years of MLS experience, were out of contract, and whose club did not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105 percent of their 2012 salary).
Sporting KC's Re-Entry draft history
|Year||Players Eligible for draft||Players Selected|
|2010||Jimmy Conrad (out of contract), Aaron Hohlbein (out of contract), Josh Wolff (option declined)||Frankie Hejduk (Stage 2)|
|2011||Luke Sassano (opton declined), Shavar Thomas (option declined)||None|
|2012||Korede Aiyegbusi (option declined), Luke Sassano (option declinced)||TBD|
The only player SKC has selected in the re-entry draft is Frankie Hejduk. The defender was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the rights to Luke Sassano (also selected in Stage 2 of draft).
On Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City acquired Josh Gardner from the Montreal Impact. Gardner is a veteran who has played for several teams (LA, Montreal, Seattle in USL, Columbus, Carolina in NASL), won several trophies (MLS Cup, U.S. Open Cup, Commissioner's Cup), and has experience in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Gardner (twitter account @Gardner31) tweeted for the first time since April 1 about joining SKC.
Looking forward to 2013 let's win some trophies #SKCnation
— josh gardner (@Gardner31) December 5, 2012
The defender/midfielder's number of followers has more than doubled since the announcement.
Wow it's hard to keep up with all your tweets but sending a huge thanks for all the #SKCnation fans for the warm welcome so far!
— josh gardner (@Gardner31) December 5, 2012
- Position: Defender/midfielder
- Height: 5-10
- Weight: 167
- Born: 9/14/1982
- Birthplace: Brazosport, Texas
- Hometown: Houston, Texas
- Married to Michelle Gardner on August 30, 2008
- Brother-in-Law of Chicago Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini
- Daughter is Addison Grace Gardner, born on August 6, 2009 (age 3)
- Son is Caleb Byron Gardner (age 2)
- Expecting third child in May
- Youth: Albion Hurricanes FC in Houston, Texas
- Trained at Atlas, a Mexican professional club, as a teen
- Fondest soccer memory was his first professional start in CONCACAF Champions League with the Galaxy (scored goal and had an assist).
- Loves to golf and hang out with his family.
- Favorite TV shows: Modern Family, Friends
- Favorite Movie: The Count of Monte Cristo
Gardner crushes a free kick past Seattle's Kasey Keller while playing for Columbus in 2011.
Gardner nearly gives Montreal their first MLS win with a shot that hits the crossbar in stoppage time.
Haiti will begin the 2012 Caribbean Cup on December 7 against Trinidad & Tobago.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Peterson Joseph, who played most of the qualifying, is expected to play a significant role for Haiti. The tournament features two groups of four with a chance to play in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Haiti is Group A with Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic, and hosts Antigua & Barbuda. All of Group A's matches will be played at the Antigua Recreation Ground in St Johns, Antigua.
Below is Haiti's schedule for the tournament with dates for the knockout phase (top two from each group reach this round and qualify for the Gold Cup).
Haiti v Trinidad & Tobago, Dec 7, 4 PM CT
Dominican Republic v Haiti, Dec 9, 3 PM CT
Antigua & Barbuda v Haiti, Dec 11, 5 PM CT
Group A winner v Group B runner-up, Dec 14, 3 PM CT
Group B winner v Group A runner-up, Dec 14, 5 PM CT
Semifinal 1 loser v Semfinals 2 loser, Dec 16, 3 PM CT
Semifinal 1 winner v Semifinal 2 winner, Dec 16, 5 PM CT
Sporting Kansas City Academy player Erik Palmer-Brown was selected as one of 37 players to participate in the Academy Select match at the Winter Showcase this past weekend. The Academy Select game at the 2012 Winter Showcase is considered an important part of the player identification and evaluation process for the Youth National Team program. Only the best 37 players paticipating in the 2012 Winter Showcase are invited to play in the Academy Select game. The pool is then divided into two sides, a red and a blue.
Palmer-Brown played a vital role in the red teams 4-1 victory as he anchored the Red defense for the full 90 minutes. Topdrawersoccer.com said, "The center back [Palmer-Brown] was in commanding form for his side, showing composure on the ball, superb in distribution, and possessing the necessary speed and athleticism to neutralize whatever attacks the Blue Team could manage on the night." Palmer-Brown earned ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors for his performance.
See below to view a few highlights from the Academy Select match:
Sporting Kansas City Academy players participated in the Development Academy Winter Showcase this past weekend wrapping up their final matches this morning.
The showcase was scheduled around a trio of international friendlies played by the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team against Brazil, Turkey and Portugal.
Eighty-one clubs participate in the tournament and are each guaranteed three matches at the Premier Sport Complex in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
The first game of the showcase for the Sporting Kansas City Academy teams took place on November 30. The U18’s drew 1-1 to the PA Classics. Both teams saw 11 shots while only capitalizing on one a piece. Sporting Kansas City’s lone goal was scored by Isai Gutierrez in the 79th minute. The lead didn’t last long as PA Classics stirker Andrew Skundrich equalized four minutes later.
The U18’s next match was on Saturday, December 1 at 10:00 a.m. CT. Sporting Kansas City lost to Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4-1. Cole Stevenson scored Sporting Kansas City Academy’s only goal of the match in the 63rd minute.
The U16’s opened their tournament play a few hours later, falling 4-0 to the PA Classics. The Classics notched their first goal of the match in the 29th minute and then tallied their next three goals in-between the 63rd and 68th minute markers, recording three goals in a six-minute span.
The U16’s played their second contest on December 2 and were defeated 6-3 by Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The tournament concluded on December 4 with both the U16’s and the U18’s facing Real Salt Lake Academy. The U18’s earned the 1-1 draw in their final match as Isai Gutierrez scored his second goal of the tournament while the U16’s fell 3-1.
The U18’s finished the showcase with a record of 0-1-2 and the U16’s concluded with a record of 0-3-0.
For the third straight year, Sporting Kansas City will travel to Tucson, Ariz. on Jan. 20 to participate in The Desert Friendlies presented by FC Tucson. Sporting Kansas City opens their preseason campaign with a scrimmage on Friday, January 25th, against the New England Revolution. Their two-week stay in Tucson will include two more friendlies against other MLS competition.
Tickets are already on sale to The Desert Friendlies presented by FC Tucson. Click here for hotel information and details.
- Friday, January 25th vs. New England Revolution, 11 am PST: Casa Grande Sports Complex
- Tuesday, January 29th vs. TBD, 6 pm PST: Kino Sports Complex
- Friday, February 1st vs. Portland Timbers, 6 pm PST: Kino Sports Complex
Two hundred fifty thousand plus lights were lit at the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony on Thanksgiving night, but believe it or not, there are still many more lights to be lit in this city! Sporting Kansas City striker Kei Kamara will join Mayor Joe Reardon for the Eighth Annual Downtown Holiday Lighting Festival in Kansas City, Kansas on Friday, November 30, 2012.
The event is from 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. with Kamara available for autographs and a meet and greet starting at 6:30 p.m. located to the side of the stage. In addition to the tree lighting, there will be a neighborhood group Christmas tree decorating contest, entertainment by local school and community groups, the Mayor’s reception, an appearance by Santa Claus, classic holiday movies in the commission chambers, and (weather permitting) a hot air balloon night glow. The activities will be held on the First Floor of City Hall located at 701 N. 7th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66101.
Additionally, over 1,200 goodie bags will be given away that night to children ranging from preschool to grade school. We hope to see you there.
Sporting Kansas City captain and MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Jimmy Nielsen was joined by MLS Defender of the Year Matt Besler and MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year finalist Kei Kamara at the 83rd Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony on Thanksgiving night.
The trio was selected to flip the switch and light up the town at this years KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Thousands of people gathered throughout the streets and in the surrounding restuarants and buildings to watch the show. The festivities kicked off during the pre-show which started at 5:00 p.m. CT and the early birds reaped many benefits as including the opportunity to win free gear. Sporting Kansas City midfielder and 2012 Volkswagen MLS MVP candidate Graham Zusi mounted the stage and threw out souvenirs to the crowd.
During the 6 p.m. hour as the long awaited flip grew closer, Highwoods Properties of the Country Club plaza creatively rallied the crowd with a "Plaza Lights Trivia" contest starring two locally raised Sporting Kansas City stars in Seth Sinovic and Kyle Miller.
And shortly there after, Nielsen, Besler and Kamara were in the limelight. A place they often found themselves before, but this time was in much different fashion. The players were joined by Isabella, one of Jimmy Nielsen’s daughters, and A.J., the lucky child selected at random from the crowd as they counted down from ten until it was time to flip the switch! But no words can do justice for the magic of this night. To see for yourself, take a look at the slide show below:
Here's how it works:
- Go to a participating Sprint Store or sprint.com to buy and activate your new phone. Requires a new line of service with a two-year agreement. Offer ends 12/1/12.
- After switching to Sprint, register for your soccer ball within 72 hours by returning to the Sporting KC promo page on Sprint.com. You'll need your Sprint Mobile Number to register.
- After receiving your registration confirmation, please allow 6-8 weeks to receive your soccer ball.