Sporting Kansas City homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown started and played 62 minutes for the United States Under-20 Men's National Team on Thursday in a 2-0 victory over Racing Club Reserves in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Palmer-Brown and the United States defense limited Racing to only one shot on goal in the shutout, while the U.S. received goals from Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union) and Romain Gall (Columbus Crew).
At age 17, Palmer-Brown is the youngest of 19 players selected by head coach Tab Ramos for the international trip after an impressive showing with the U20's at the 2014 Dallas Cup in April.
“He’s really a U18 player but I talked with Peter Vermes a few months ago and he said Erik had been showing well," Ramos told American Soccer Now. "I decided it didn’t make sense to leave him at the 18's and he was ready to move up to this level. He’s up for the challenge.”
The United States Under-20's will next face the Defensa y Justicia Reserves on Saturday before the final friendly on Tuesday, Sept. 9 against the Argentina Under-20 Men's National Team.
Carlos Bocanegra (right) celebrates scoring at Sporting Park | Photo by Jamie Squire (Getty Images)
No defender in U.S. Men's National Team history scored as many goals as Carlos Bocanegra and he set the record with the final goal of his international career on Oct. 16, 2012 at Sporting Park in a 3-1 victory over Guatemala. The two-time FIFA World Cup veteran announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season, concluding a 15-year professional career in which he captained the United States in 64 of his 110 appearances.
Bocanegra -- who also captained the United States to a 1-0 win over Guadeloupe at Sporting Park during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup -- spent six seasons in Major League Soccer, beginning his career in Chicago. He earned Rookie of the Year honors and helped the Fire reach the 2000 MLS Cup, where they fell 1-0 to Kansas City at RFK Stadium.
His MLS career saw him make only two appearances in Kansas City with cameos coming in 2002 and 2003 - both seasons in which he was named MLS Defender of the Year. He scored Chicago's lone goal in his KC debut on Aug. 31, 2002 in a 2-1 loss but returned the following year and led Chicago to a 3-2 victory at Arrowhead Stadium on April 26, 2003.
Now 35, Bocanegra captains Chivas USA but has been sidelined since July with concussion symptoms. Sporting KC will take on Chivas USA next Friday, Sept. 12 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Sporting Kansas City and Kansas City Marriott Downtown are launching a month-long, enter-to-win sweepstakes beginning today. Sporting KC fans can enter to win online at SportingKC.com/Marriott.
Monday’s launch of the KC Staycation with the Marriott is offering up a major prize pack for one lucky Sporting KC supporter. The winner receives the following:
- Two (2) free nights at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown (Dates based on availability)
- One (1) free dinner for two (2) at the MetropolitanKC
- Twenty-five (25) dollar voucher to CoffeeCentral
- Two (2) tickets to a Sporting KC home game
- One (1) VIP Parking pass
- Pregame tour and field access pregame
- Two (2) Sporting KC jerseys
- Two (2) Sporting KC scarves
The contest ends on September 30th at 11:59 p.m. CT and the winner will be randomly chosen on October 3rd. Be sure to use this discount code to Kansas City Marriott Downtown the next time you're looking for a hotel room in Kansas City! For the official promotion rules, click here.
Friday night's match between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will be the 16th competitive match between the two sides since 2011. And while he has only featured five times in that span, Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer has had his share of unforgettable moments.
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft first round pick scored the game-winning goal in the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship, receiving a scoop pass from Benny Feilhaber, dribbling around a defender and placing his shot past goalkeeper Tally Hall.
Dwyer then continued his strong form into 2014, converting a penalty kick and putting in a strong 90-minute shift in Sporting KC's 10-man 2-0 win at Houston on June 6, 2014.
But for today's TBT, we're throwing it back to Dwyer's first match against Houston in 2012. Although this match won't count in the official record books, Dwyer played 90 minutes in a 3-0 MLS Reserve League loss to Houston at Swope Park on March 27, 2012. That Reserve League lineup was also packed with players who have made major contributions to Sporting KC over the past 18 months including: Jon Kempin, Lawrence Olum, Kevin Ellis, Paulo Nagamura and Jacob Peterson.
Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi are two of 20 Major League Soccer stars in the running for this year's FIFA 15 custom cover. Fans can choose the World Cup duo to be among the four players that will appear on the downloadable MLS cover and all who cast votes will be entered to win a VIP package for two to MLS Cup 2014.
VOTE NOW: Cast your ballot
Voting is unlimited and runs through Sept. 9. The league's official FIFA 15 custom cover, as well as a Sporting Kansas City custom cover, will be unveiled on the MLS Facebook page on Sept. 19. FIFA 15 hits stores on Sept. 23 in North America and is currently available to pre-order on EASports.com.
This week, The Pitch has revealed the finalists from their Best of Kansas City 2014 ballot and Sporting KC is nominated in multiple categories.
Best Place to Watch KC Pro Sports
Best Sporting KC Player
Best Local Hero
Lazlo, 96.5 the Buzz
Best Thing That's Changed in KC in the Past Year
Additionally, Buzz Beach Ball -- which returns to Sporting Park on Friday, Sept. 5 -- is up for "Best Concert" and "Best Music Festival" in this year's awards.
Voting is open until September 17 with the winners to be revealed in their annual Best of KC issue on October 9. Users must have a registered account to complete the survey and must answer at least 20 of the 279 questions.
Want to try your hand at outshining Benny Feilhaber and Sal Zizzo? Here’s your chance! Using the hashtag #AskBenny, show us your best lip-syncing moves on Instagram or Vine as your entry to win two (2) Benny Feilhaber Show shirts. Entries must be submitted by Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Good luck!
Photo by USA Tooday Sports Images
Since returning from Nicaragua after Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League opener, Sporting Kansas City has turned the team's attention to a top of the table clash with D.C. United on Saturday at Sporting Park. Two points separate the last two U.S. Open Cup champions in the Eastern Conference standings with two months remaining in the regular season.
Ahead of the 2004 MLS Cup rematch, listen to this week's interviews as heard on local sports radio.
Sporting KC Show on 810 WHB feat. Dom Dwyer and Kerry Zavagnin (Aug. 20)
The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB feat. Peter Vermes (Aug. 21)
Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio feat. Jon Kempin (Aug. 22)
Four years ago this month, Jon Kempin became the club's first homegrown player and the youngest signing to that point when he turned pro at age 17.
"This is a great day for our organization," Peter Vermes said at the time. "We had the opportunity to identify a talented player in the area, bring him into the (Academy) program and develop him to the point where we could sign him to a professional contract. Jon has incredible talent and now he has the opportunity to continue his development at a professional level and not have the pressure to perform on the field right away.”
Pressure to perform, like being told at halftime to warmup for your MLS debut and then facing a penalty kick for your first shot on goal faced.
Or lining up across from the League's top paid player, U.S. Men's National Team star Michael Bradley, in your first career MLS start.
Or following that with a 2,000+ mile trek to Central America three days later for a Champions League encounter in Nicaragua.
Kempin aced all three tests since being summoned back from his loan to USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC in the aftermath of an injury to starting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg and then stepping into the spotlight when Andy Gruenebaum was sidelined with a strained shoulder. Now 21, Kempin is the youngest goalkeeper to start an MLS match in team history and the youngest at his position to appear in MLS this season.
To quote Kempin on his first day as a professional, "Now is when the fun starts."