Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match from Sporting Kansas City's 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids. Voting is open until Sunday evening.
UPDATE: Voting is now closed and Graham Zusi led the way 38.49% of the vote.
Will the floodgates open for the Sporting KC forward line? How crucial is Dillon Powers to the Rapids' attack? MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle and Dan Haiek answer those questions and more in this week's Scouting Report.
Saturday's match will kick off at 5 p.m. CT and can be seen on 38 the Spot as well as on SKCTV.
A year ago yesterday, the U.S. Men's National Team earned one of its more impressive results in recent memory.
Four days after the Snow Clasico in Colorado, Jurgen Klinsmann's side, with Sporting KC's Matt Besler and Graham Zusi in the starting XI, earned a historic 0-0 draw in Mexico, the second time the USMNT earned a point in Mexico in a World Cup qualifying match.
One year later, the USMNT - with Besler and Zusi - are back in action against Mexico, in their final tuneup before the World Cup camp begins. Wednesday's match will kick off at 10 p.m. CT on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas.
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
Wearing the No. 14 shirt, it is only fitting Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer is off to a strong start to his 2014 campaign both on and off the field. Three weeks into his third professional season, Dwyer has appeared in all five games for the club in addition to appearances on the cover of INK magazine and the USL PRO media guide. Top that off with his acting debut in the recently released Great Clips commercial and a picture-perfect backflip to celebrate his game-winning goal in Saturday's 1-0 victory over San Jose and it's easy to see how the spotlight shines on a dynamic young talent like Dwyer.
Last night, The Sporting KC Show caught up with the former first round draft pick to hear his thoughts on the season's early stages. Listen to the full podcast from Sports Radio 810 WHB embedded below as hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards are also joined by Colorado Rapids play-by-play voice Richard Fleming to preview Saturday's game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
20-year-old Sporting KC midfielder Jimmy Medranda | Photo by USA Today Sports Images
With today's roster move to waive defender Josh Gardner -- at age 31, the oldest player on Peter Vermes' squad -- Sporting Kansas City ranks third among Major League Soccer's 19 teams with an average age of 25.34 years. Midfielder Jimmy Medranda (pictured above) is the youngest player to appear for the team this season at age 20 and is one of eight players eligible for MLSsoccer.com's "24 under 24" in 2014 along with Christian Duke, Kevin Ellis, Mikey Lopez, Alex Martinez, Erik Palmer-Brown, Oriol Rosell and Soony Saad.
At age 16, Palmer-Brown remains the youngest player in MLS -- born six months before the league's second youngest pro, Chivas USA forward Caleb Calvert.
|1. Vancouver Whitecaps||24.58||Marco Carducci (17)|
|2. Columbus Crew||25.30||Wil Trapp (21)|
|3. Sporting KC||25.34||Erik Palmer-Brown (16)|
|4. FC Dallas||25.41||Kellyn Acosta (18)|
|5. Philadelphia Union||25.47||Zach Pfeffer (19)|
|6. D.C. United||25.48||Michael Seaton (17)|
|7. Toronto FC||25.54||Jordan Hamilton (18)|
|8. New England Revolution||25.66||Diego Fagundez (19)|
|9. Real Salt Lake||25.80||Jordan Allen (18)|
|10. Houston Dynamo||25.84||Bryan Salazar (19)|
|11. Colorado Rapids||25.88||Charles Eloundou (19)|
|12. Chicago Fire||26.09||Grant Ward (19)|
|13. LA Galaxy||26.10||Bradford Jamieson IV (17)|
|14. Chivas USA||26.23||Caleb Calvert (17)|
|15. Montreal Impact||26.43||Maxime Crepeau (19)|
|16. Portland Timbers||26.47||Alvas Powell (19)|
|17. New York Red Bulls||26.95||Matt Miazga (18)|
|18. Seattle Sounders||27.17||Aaron Kovar (20)|
|19. San Jose Earthquakes||27.31||Tommy Thompson (18)|
Photo by Graham Green
Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler joined The Border Patrol with Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty on Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning. Listen to the full podcast embedded below as the Overland Park, Kan. native discusses his trademark long throw-in's, the team's 1-0 win over San Jose on Saturday, his new leadership role as the team's captain and the club's next match at the Colorado Rapids.
New Week. New Goal. Getting our first points on the road this season. #focused
— Matt Besler (@mbesler) March 24, 2014
Besler was recently named Sportsman of the Year by the Kansas City Sports Commission and will be formally presented with the award, sponsored by the Kansas City Downtown Marriott, at the Awards Banquet on April 11.
For more Sporting Kansas City coverage on talk radio, tune into Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT on Wednesday for The Sporting KC Show with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards. Listeners can join the discussion by calling 913-3-810-810 and the show is available live via 810 AM, 810whb.com or through the station's free mobile app.
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
Sporting Kansas City's central defense pairing of Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin have garnered their fair share of attention over the last three seasons. Both are two-time MLS All-Stars and Best XI selections. Besler led the U.S. Men's National Team to a first place finish in the Hex and the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship. Collin was named MVP of MLS Cup 2013 and started his own AC78 fashion line.
Not exactly men of mystery. Or are they? Besler and Collin are up first for the new "Two Lies and a Truth" series, presented by The Parking Spot, that will play on the Sporting Park videboard throughout 2014.
Sporting KC secured three points at home on Saturday in large part because of another solid defensive performance.
The Earthquakes were held to one shot on goal, 41% of possession, one corner kick, and passing accruacy under 70%. Digging deeper, San Jose's chances were limited with their lone shot on goal coming in the fifth minute and only four shots in the final 85 minutes of the match. It's only the third time since the start of the 2012 season that San Jose has been held to one shot on goal and the second lowest shot total.
Overall, Sporting Park is has become a fortress for Sporting KC. In 2013, the club had eight shutouts and a 0.88 goals against average in 17 regular season matches. Things have continued this season with one goal conceded in three matches (0.33 goals against average) with two victories and one draw in all competitions.
With last night's shutout, Sporting KC fans can receive 50% off any regular priced online order at a local participating Papa John's by using the code 'SPORTINGKC' at checkout. This offer is valid through today (Monday).
|Sporting KC||San Jose Earthquakes|
|Shots (on goal)||17 (4)||4 (1)|
Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match for Sporting Kansas City's 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting Park. Voting is open until Sunday evening.
UPDATE - Voting is now closed and Benny Feilhaber has won with 64%.