— Track Sweeper (@TrackSweeper) March 8, 2015
In 2014, Sporting KC launched an initiative to engage the SWAG -- "Sporting Wives And Girlfriends" -- to have the group participate in philanthropic events around Kansas City to further the mission of The Victory Project in helping children thrive through life’s challenges.
Last Friday, the group partnered with the Shadow Buddies foundation to host a Pink Party at Children’s Mercy Hospital. The Pink Party was for girls diagnosed with Turner Syndrome (TS), a chromosomal disorder that affects one in 2,000 female births. There are approximately 70,000 women and girls affected with TS in the United States.
Every four month's Children’s Mercy hosts an all-day clinic for girls in the area diagnosed with TS and it was our job to pamper those in attendance. The morning was spent painting nails, doing hair, applying make-up and talking with the nearly 45 girls and their families. Each participant also left with a Shadow Buddy and a goodie bag filled with items any girl would love.
“All of the Sporting families have been tremendously blessed by the Kansas City community and this was a great opportunity for some of the wives and girlfriends to get together to give back to some well deserving young ladies," said Amanda Besler. "The pink party was a great event for girls of all ages to get together for a day of pampering in hopes to make their long day of doctor’s appointments a little easier."
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler (shown on right at Sporting EVOLUTION) joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB on Friday morning. Hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John welcomed the World Cup veteran in studio for a 25-minute interview, available for listeners below.
Besler enters his eighth professional season and leads all current Sporting KC players with 181 appearances across all competition for the club. The Overland Park, Kansas native has started each of the team's last five season openers and is set to his lead his side onto the field this Sunday when Sporting Kansas City welcomes the New York Red Bulls for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff at Sporting Park.
Later on Friday, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman was a guest on Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman. The two discussed the team's 20th season including developments on and off the field, as well as the recent agreement reached with the MLS Players Union for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A limited number of tickets are available for Sunday via Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices on gameday. The match will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes with radio coverage available locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).
— Matt Besler (@MattBesler) March 6, 2015
There are many exciting things to look forward to in 2015 - new players, new teams, new stadiums - but top of the list are the new broadcast deals with ESPN, FOX and Univision that offer MLS fans a set schedule of matches on a weekly basis.
Looking ahead to the first week of the season, four matches will be broadcast on national TV, highlighted by Sporting KC's 2015 debut on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday at 6 p.m. CT. Here is a list of the other national TV matches to watch this weekend:
LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire - Friday, March 6 | 9pm CT | UniMas
The defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy open the 2015 MLS regular season at home against a revamped Chicago Fire. Friday's match is the first of the year on UniMas. It's also the first opportunity for fans to test out the new SAP feature for those wanting to watch UniMas matches in English in 2015. Click here or watch the video above for details.
Orlando City vs. New York City FC - Sunday, March 8 | 4pm CT | ESPN2
ESPN's first match of the year has everything you could ask for in a season opener including the only MLS player to have also won a Ballon d'Or (Kaka). Throw in World Cup winner David Villa and 60,000+ fans at the Citrus Bowl and Sunday's match is must-see TV.
Sporting KC vs. New York Red Bulls - Sunday, March 8 | 6pm CT | FOX Sports 1
Sporting KC does not have to wait long to seek revenge on the team that knocked them out of the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs as the New York Red Bulls visit Sporting Park this weekend. Sunday's match is the first for FOX under the new broadcast deals and features the top two goalscorers in MLS from 2014 - New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sporting KC's Dom Dwyer.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. New England Revolution - Sunday, March 8 | 8:30pm CT | FOX Sports 1
After Sporting KC's game finishes on Sunday, you're going to want to stay glued to FOX Sports 1. The Seattle Sounders are expecting another sold-out crowd as they welcome the 2014 MLS Cup runners-up. With Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Lee Nguyen expected to take the field, you can expect a high-scoring match at CenturyLink Field.
The Sporting KC Show returned to the airwaves last night with its debut episode of 2015. SKCTV's Nate Bukaty and Andy Gruenebaum were joined by Carter Augustine to discuss Sporting KC's offseason transformation and look ahead to the 2015 season. The trio was also joined by Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes who offered his thoughts on Sporting KC's roster and the offseason move to the Western Conference.
Listen to the full podcast of the show below:
On the field, Sporting Kansas City has seen a lot of turnover from 2014 to 2015. With 13 new players on the roster, Peter Vermes had a busy winter retooling a roster that finished in fifth place in the Eastern Conference last year.
But that turnover has not been limited to on the field. In the broadcast booth, Sporting Kansas City has welcomed three new faces including 41 Action News reporter Kacie McDonnell, who will join Nate Bukaty (Play-by-Play), Andy Gruenebaum (Color Commentator) and Jake Yadrich (Lead Analyst) on SKCTV broadcasts in 2015.
McDonnell has been busy over the past week making the media rounds, with features in both Ink and Pitch. Pick up your copy of both papers on newsstands starting today!
Sporting Kansas City will kick off their 20th season in Major League Soccer on Sunday evening against the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park (Buy Tickets). The match will kick off at 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes with radio coverage on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340.
Leading up to the opening weekend, MLSsoccer.com has created video previews for each team. Check out Sporting KC's video preview to see where experts think Peter Vermes' club will finish in 2015 as well as which individual hardware could find itself in KC by year's end.
As he has repeatedly shown during his time at Sporting Kansas City, Dom Dwyer is one of the most vibrant personalities in Major League Soccer. Even during a typical day of preseason training in Tucson, Arizona -- where Dwyer's team is competing in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup -- the Englishman is quick to embrace the words of MLS veteran and fellow friend Mike Magee: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
MLSsoccer.com followed Dwyer on a sunny Tucson afternoon earlier this month. Check out the video above, as the newlywed 24-year-old shows off his new tattoos, goes ding dong ditching with his teammates and enjoys a little poolside relaxation.
With Sporting Kansas City in the midst of preseason, there are lots of great storylines coming out of preseason training camp. Sports Radio 810's Nate Bukaty, who will also be the voice of Sporting KC in 2015, has been in Tucson over the past few days covering the team's camp. Bukaty has been interviewing players as well as joining his 810 colleagues on their various shows to provide updates from Tucson. Check out the podcasts below to hear three different interviews from Friday.
Nate Bukaty chats with Matt Besler on The Border Patrol
Nate Bukaty joins Soren Petro on The Program KC (includes interview with Peter Vermes)
Nate Bukaty joins Kevin Kietzman on Between the Lines (includes interview with Kevin Ellis)
Dom Dwyer also had the opportunity to speak with 610 Sports Radio's Bob Fescoe and Josh Klinger on Friday about his recent marriage to U.S. Women's National Team star Sydney Leroux and his goals for the upcoming season. Listen closely to hear which U.S. Men's National Team star audiobombs the interview!