Peter Vermes addresses crowd at Sporting Takeoff on Tuesday | USA Today Sports Images
Manager Peter Vermes and his Sporting Kansas City squad depart for Seattle on Thursday afternoon, 48 hours before taking the field against the Sounders on Saturday live on NBCSN. Prior to leading the team through one last training session in Kansas City at the Swope Soccer Village, Vermes joined Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio to share his thoughts on the season opener and the 2014 campaign ahead.
"The big thing in this season is that we have a lot of variables to deal with, moreso than we did last year, when you pick and choose who are going to be the guys playing in the upcoming game. It's definitely not going to be easy from the coaching staff's perspective when you look at league play, you look at Champions League which we start next Wednesday here at home, you have U.S. Open Cup, and then we have Champions League again starting in August...and then we have World Cup with some of our guys. There are going to be so many challenges over the course of this season and there are going to be guys that are getting a lot of playing time...and they're going to have to step up and take advantage of those opportunities. They're going to have to be good. That's going to be the biggest challenge for us this year."
Throughout the 10-minute interview, Vermes continued to comment on the team's goals -- both short term and long term -- and the importance of staying "hungry and motivated" after winning MLS Cup. Listen to the full podcast below...
Sporting KC goalkeeper Jon Kempin at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic | Photo by Joe Petro
Sporting Kansas City homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin will make a special appearance from 3-4:30 p.m. CT on Friday in conjunction with Kia's programming at the KC Auto Show. If you're going to the annual event -- held at the Bartle Hall Convention Center (301 West 13th St.) in downtown Kansas City -- stop by Kia, an official partner of Sporting Kansas City, to meet Kempin and get your picture taken with the Major League Soccer and USL PRO champion. The Leawood, Kan. native will be signing personalized autographs so be sure to have your Sporting KC gear in hand.
Kempin, 20, started two games for Sporting Kansas City last month at the 2014 Disney Pro Soccer Classic with a clean sheet against Fluminense FC U-23's in a 3-0 win before adding another victory over the Montreal Impact to clinch the team's first-place finish in Group B. He enters the 2014 season, his fifth with the club since turning pro at age 17, after helping lead affiliate Orlando City SC to the USL PRO title in 2013 while on loan with the Lions.
Sporting KC unvieled the 2014/15 secondary kits Tuesday night in front of 2,000+ fans at Sporting Takeoff. Sports Radio 810-WHB's Between the Lines broadcasted live from Hangar 1, as Danny Clinkscale and Kevin Kietzman interviewed Sporting KC defender Matt Besler.
From 7-8 p.m., Callum Williams and Andy Edwards previewed the 2014 season with a new edition of the Sporting KC Show, featuring an interview with goalkeeper Eric Kronberg. Later in the night, T.J. Carptenter spoke with Dom Dwyer to get his thoughts on the coming season.
Lastly, after being named the new Sporting KC captain, Matt Besler joined Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty on Wednesday morning's The Border Patrol. Listen to the podcasts of all of the interviews below:
Matt Besler on Between the Lines
Dom Dwyer with T.J. Carpenter
The Sporting KC Show
Matt Besler on The Border Patrol
Sporting Kansas City supporters filled the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport on Tuesday night as Sporting Takeoff, presented by Ivy Funds, took over Hangar 1. The team's brand new secondary jerseys were unveiled -- and are now available to buy at shop.sportingkc.com while supplies last -- and Matt Besler was introduced as the 2014 team captain.
The Victory Project held a silent auction to raise funds in its mission to help children thrive through challenges, Recycle Your Game collected gently used soccer equipment donations and a handful of fans walked away with once-in-a-lifetime prizes, including a day with the MLS Cup trophy and authentic MLS Cup champions medallions.
Check out all the sights and sounds in the photo slideshow above, as well as the video features below:
Sporting KC unveils new secondary kit
Matt Besler named captain
Peter Vermes addresses the fans
The Sporting KC Show will air tonight on Sports Radio 810 WHB live from #SportingTakeoff. Hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards will be joined by Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg and Seattle Sounders broadcaster Ross Fletcher. Both guests will preview the upcoming season along with Saturday's season opener against the Sounders (2 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network).
Tonight's show will air from 7-8 p.m. CT on 810 AM, online at 810WHB.com, and through the 810 WHB App (Android, iOS). You can join the conversation for tonight's show by calling 913-3-810-810 or tweeting your questions to CalWilliamsSKC and @AndyEdMLS.
ESPNFC's Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman cover all things Sporting KC in the latest Big Head Red Head Season Preview.
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
That's a wrap. Sporting Kansas City's 2014 preseason came to a close on Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. and while the team had to settle for a second place finish in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Claudio Bieler's 87th minute volley capped off a phenomenal preseason as the Designated Player enters his second MLS campaign in 2014. After leading the team with 11 goals in MLS competition last year, Bieler started 2014 with five goals and six assists in seven preseason appearances.
Check out the full stat sheet below...
Major League Soccer's 19th season kicks off a week from today, when Sporting KC travels to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Sounders. That match will kick off at 2pm CT and can be seen nationally on NBC Sports Network.
Forget about Matt Besler's long throw-ins, did Chance Myers just unveil Sporting KC's new weapon?