TopDrawerSoccer.com released their updated Top 150 rankings today for players in the Class of 2016 and the Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy's John Leisman (115) remains among the nation's elite. Leisman has played in 17 games during the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season with one goal and two assists.
TDS tracks and compiles the top players nationally in several age groups. The site provides coverage of college and high school soccer, promoting the game and the players who play it.
Kei Kamara is back in Kansas City (video below) and he's celebrating his return with Sporting KC fans at Chipotle on the Plaza (4851 Main Street, Kansas City, MO) at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
Thanks to Sporting Kansas City partner Chipotle, the burrito bill is covered for the first 100 fans to the party so come early and you’ll leave happy. SKC nation won’t want to miss out on this.
Dinner party at Chipotle on the plaza tonite 6:30pm. Leave you piggy bank at home and bring ya empty belly. #ChipotlePartyWithKei
— KEI KAMARA (@keikamara) May 6, 2013
After arriving in KC late last night, Kamara met with local media today at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Check out the video below and hear from Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes here:
Go in-depth in Sporting Kansas City's 4-0 win against Chivas USA on Sunday at Sporting Park with this week's Fast Facts below.
- With the win, Sporting Kansas City moves into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Red Bulls and the Montreal Impact.
- Sporting KC is now 5-3-2 in 2013 and 3-1-1 at home.
- Sporting Kansas City is 217-209-111 all-time and 144-76-48 all-time at home.
- Sporting Kansas City's record against Chivas USA moves to 8-4-4 all-time and 5-1-2 at home in the series.
- Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in the last five matches against Chivas USA .
- After starting the same lineup in the five previous matches, Sporting KC made three changes to their starting lineup on Sunday. Mechack Jerome started in place of Chance Myers, Ike Opara started for Matt Besler and Jacob Peterson came on for C.J. Sapong.
- Sunday's victory marked back-to-back games witha multi-goal game from one player for Sporting Kansas City.
- With the shutout, Jimmy Nielsen now has six shutouts this season, most in MLS this year.
- Nielsen broke the club's all-time shutout record previously held by Tony Meola with Sunday's shutout. Nielsen now has 38 shutouts in MLS.
- Sporting Kansas City allowed no shots on goal on Sunday for only the eighth time in club history and second time this season.
- Claudio Bieler notched the first goal for Sporting Kansas City in the 41st minute of the match.
- Graham Zusi added his fourth assist of the year on the play tying Real Salt Lake's Joao Plata for first place in the League for assists.
- Zusi moves into sole possession of fifth place on the club's all-time chart for assists with 27.
- The assist is his third game-winning assist of the year, which ties him for the League lead. The assist is the 12th career game-winning assist for Zusi.
- Bieler's game-winning goal was his third on the year, tied for most in MLS.
- Bieler added a second goal in the 57th minute of the match on a penalty kick. The PK marks the first for Sporting KC on the year. Bieler moves into a tie for the League lead for goals with LA Galaxy's Mike Magee and Philadelphia's Jack McInerney (6).
- Bieler is the second player in KC history to score two goals against Chivas USA in one match along with Omar Bravo.
- Bieler's four shots on goal is a personal MLS single-game career high.
- Bieler becomes the 13th player in the League to have a multi-goal game this season.
- Graham Zusi gave Sporting KC the 3-0 lead in the 65th minute on a cross from Josh Gardner. The goal was Zusi's third of the year and 14th of his MLS career.
- Sporting KC surpassed the 750-goal mark in club history on Sunday. Graham Zusi scored the 750th all-time goal for the club.
- Paulo Nagamura also earned an assist on Zusi's goal, his 16th career assist and first of 2013. Nagamura now has at least a point in all nine of his seasons playing in MLS.
- Sunday marked Gardner's debut in a Sporting Kansas City uniform after joining Sporting KC in the offseason. The assist is Gardner's first of the 2013 season and sixth in his MLS career. The assist is his first since August 13, 2011.
- Sunday marked Gardner's 50th regular season game played in his MLS career.
- C.J. Sapong scored Sporting KC's fourth goal of the match, his first goal of the year and 15th of his career.
- C.J. Sapong has goals in three of four all-time matches against Chivas USA. His three goals are most among active KC players against Chivas USA.
- Sunday marked C.J. Sapong's 75th regular season game played and he surpassed 5,000 minutes played in the regular season in his MLS career.
- Mechack Jerome and Oriol Rosell each earned as assist on Sapong's goal.Jerome's assist marks his first point in MLS and Rosell's assist marks his first career assist in MLS.
- Ike Opara is 8-0-3 in his last 11 MLS regular season starts. The last time a team lost a regular season game with him in the starting lineup was April 16, 2011.
- The midfield trio of Oriol Rosell, Paulo Nagamura and Peterson Joseph started a match together for the first time on Sunday.
- Jacob Peterson and Peterson Joseph made their first starts of the 2013 season.
- Sporting Kansas City scored four goals on Sunday, the most goals the club's scored in one match since a 4-1 victory over Toronto FC at Sporting Park on July 23, 2011. The victory was the largest margin of victory for Sporting KC since March 27, 2010 against D.C. United and the largest ever margin of victory at Sporting Park since its inauguration.
- Dan Kennedy received a red card in the 54th minute of the match for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. The red card is the first of the year by a Sporting KC opponent.
- Patrick McLain made his MLS debut replacing Dan Kennedy after the red card.
- Jimmy Nielsen has appeared in 71 straight MLS matches, including postseason, for Sporting Kansas City, dating back to June 12, 2011. The streak covers a span of 6,390 straight minutes of MLS action.
- Sporting Kansas City outshot Chivas USA 17-3. Sporting KC is 4-2-2 when outshooting an opponent this season.
- Sporting KC's 14 goals this year are second most in the East and third most in MLS this season.
- Sporting Kansas City's +6 goal differential is second best in MLS this year.
- Sunday marks the first time Chivas USA have not had a shot on goal this season.
- Sunday marks the fewest fouls committed by Chivas USA in a match this season with 11.
- Sporting Kansas City's nine goals at home are the most in MLS this year.
- Nielsen's five wins are the most in MLS this year.
- Zusi leads MLS with 43 corner kicks this year.
- Sporting Kansas City's 83 shots against is second fewest in MLS this year.
- Sporting KC has 32 straight wins when scoring four or more goals in a match.
- Nielsen's 1.00 all-time goals against average is lowest among goalkeepers with a minimum of 4,000 minutes played.
- Peter Vermes notched his 50th win on Sunday which ties him with Ron Newman for second most in club history and puts him 20th all-time among MLS managers.
- Vermes has the best winning percentage among managers in club history (.550).
- Sporting KC leads MLS all-time in shots with 7,338.
- Sporting Kansas City is 3-0-0 when leading at the half and 4-1-0 when scoring first.
- Kacey Ellwein was the Victory Suite honoree at Sunday's match.
- Erik Palmer-Brown started for the U.S. Under-15 Boys' National Team in all four matches at the Tournament Delle Nazioni, falling 2-1 in the semifinals against Croatia on Saturday.
- Orlando City SC earned a 7-2 victory over Antigua Barracuda FC on Saturday. Sporting KC on-loan forward Dom Dwyer scored a hat trick in the match.
- Deffenbaugh Industries was Sunday's match sponsor.
- Attendance at Sunday's match was 18,811 marking the 21st consecutive sellout for an MLS home match (including playoffs).
- Sporting Kansas City unveiled the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game logo at halftime on Sunday.
- Matt Besler and Chance Myers missed Sunday's match due to injury.
- Sporting Park hosted Jewish Heritage Day on Sunday, with local rabbis delivering the match ball pre-game and kosher hot dogs available in stadium.
- With Mechack Jerome on the field, Sporting KC has allowed no goals and only one shot on goal in 272 minutes this season. The lone shot on goal came from 40 yards out and was saved by Jimmy Nielsen in the team's home opener on March 16 against the Chicago Fire. In that time, Jerome has recorded two shots on goal himself.
- Similarly, Sporting KC has not allowed a goal or shot on goal in Ike Opara's two starts this season.
- Kevin Ellis was in the gameday 18 for first time since August 4, 2012.
Sporting Kansas City recorded their fifth win of season with an emphatic 4-0 victory against Chivas USA. It was a dominating victory with Chivas USA failing to have a shot on goal and the largest margin of victory at Sporting Park.
Man of the Match
There could have been several players selected but Graham Zusi gets the nod. Zusi had a complete game with one goal and one assist in 67 minutes. The winger also set up Bieler's goal by slotting a perfectly timed through ball for Paulo Nagamura, who was tripped by the goalkeeper. It's been a great start to the season for the 2012 MVP finalist who should be in contention for that award this season.
Dan Kennedy's red card in the 54th minute all but sealed Sporting KC's victory. Claudio Bieler stepped up and calmly converted the ensuing penalty kick to make it 2-0. Chivas USA didn't create many chances before the red card and playing with 10 men put even more pressure on their three-man backline. Sporting KC didn't let up after Bieler's goal and would score two more before the final whistle. The final result might not have changed without the red card and penalty kick but certainly ended any realistic hope of a Chivas USA comeback.
A few stats
- Jimmy Nielsen sets the all-time club record with 38 shutouts
- Claudio Bieler is tied for the league lead in goals with six
- Graham Zusi is tied for the league lead in assists with four
- The victory is Peter Vermes' 50th regular season win with KC
- Sporting KC did not allow a shot on goal for the eighth time in club history
What your thoughts on Chelis and what he's brought to Chivas & MLS?
"He's a character. He's a very charasmatic guy. He doesn't really have a major playing pedigree. He's very unorthodox."
"He's a coach who will take a lot of risks tactically. He wants to entertain."
"He knows how to motivate players. Herculez Gomez played for him at Puebla and has nothing but good things to say about him. He knows how to instill confidence in his side and I think he's done a very good job so far. You look at the talent on that roster and it's really not all that impressive but he's been able to extract some pretty good performances out of people. I think Chivas haven't done great but they've certainly done a lot better than expected."
What are your thoughts on Chivas USA's play this season?
"They are a team that takes a lot of risks. They play with three at the back so it's really kind of a high wire act that they employ. It puts a lot of stress on the outside backs (wing-backs) to get back and help out defensively."
What do you expect for Sunday's match?
"It's going to be wide open. I don't think Chivas is going to come there and bunker in. I think they are going to come in there and try to do what they can to get goals. What's helping Chivas is that they get a couple guys back who were suspended in Bobby Burling and Edgar Mejia. Burling is one of their major defenders who gives them some height and Mejia is one of their midfielders provides a lot of defense. That will give them a boost to get those guys back but I expect it to be wide open affair. I expect there to be quite a few goals."
What are your thoughts on Chelis?
"Chelis is an interesting guy. What he's really brought to the team is a belief in themselves and a spirit and togetherness that I don't think they've ever had."
"He's not an easy guy to figure out. It seems there's much more to him than what is there on the surface. He's got the team believing in itself and they've played pretty well."
What does team captain Dan Kennedy mean to Chivas USA?
"Dan Kennedy is fantastic. He's a great goalkeeper. He's kept them in games that they had no business being in. He did that both years under Robin Fraser and he's done that this year. He's a leader. He's got that ability to inspire the guys. He's a real good guy, an upstanding guy. In a lot of ways, he really is the most important player for them. He sets the tone in some many ways. He sets the tone in the locker room."
Photo courtesy of @nickbarbir
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown was in the starting lineup for the United States Under-15 Boys' National Team for their fourth straight match on Saturday at the Tournament Delle Nazioni. The U.S. fell 2-1 to Croatia in the semifinals, held in Kotschach, Austria. The Yanks lone goal came from Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) from the penalty spot in the first half.
Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit resident, will now return to Bradenton, Fla. where he is a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program. Croatia advances to the final and will play the winner between Japan-Mexico.
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes was a guest on SiriusXM FC's Counter Attack last night, joining fellow Hall of Famers Tony Meola and John Harkes. Vermes discusses his team's upcoming two games in a four-day stretch, as well as the latest developments around Kei Kamara's loan to Norwich City in the English Premier League. Listen to part of the interview below...
Vermes also spoke with local media on Friday at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park as part of the team's weekly press conference. Check out the video below for his comments ahead of Sunday's match against Chivas USA at Sporting Park:
Sporting Kansas City will face Chivas USA for the 16th time MLS (regular season) on Sunday afternoon. This is the only regular season meeting between the two sides in 2013.
Sporting KC is currently on a four match unbeaten streak against Chivas USA with three wins and one draw. The teams last met in 2012 at the Home Depot Center on April 1st with Sporting KC getting a 1-0 victory.
All-Time Head To Head
Home Matches: 4-1-2 (13 goals scored, 9 goals conceded)
Away Matches: 3-3-2 (10 goals scored, 10 goals conceded)
|Sporting KC||Stat||Chivas USA|
|Claudio Bieler 4||GOALS||Juan Agudelo 2|
|Feilhaber/Zusi 3||ASSISTS||Jorge Villafana 3|
|Claudio Bieler 8||SHOTS||Tristan Bowen 13|
|Aurelien Collin 16||FOULS||Bobby Burling 16|
|Jimmy Nielsen 18||SAVES||Dan Kennedy 36|
|Jimmy Nielsen 0.89||GAA||Dan Kennedy 1.29|
|Sporting KC||Chivas USA|
|Shots (on goal)||129 (36)||87 (30)|
|Fouls Committed (Suffered)||134 (140)||133 (102)|
|Duels Won (Avg)||51.9%||44.7%|
|Completed Passes (Avg)||431||312|
|Passing Accuracy (Avg)||76.6%||68.6%|
Last 10 Regular Season Meetings
|09/22/2007||1-2||L||The Home Depot Center|
|09/27/2008||2-1||L||The Home Depot Center|
|10/10/2009||2-0||L||The Home Depot Center|
|09/19/2010||2-0||W||The Home Depot Center|
|03/19/2011||3-2||W||The Home Depot Center|
|04/01/2012||1-0||W||The Home Depot Center|
Sporting Kansas City will play their third consecutive Western Conference opponent on Sunday afternoon as they host Chivas USA. The Goats are a team with a lot of changes since the end of last season after the arrival of new manager Juan Luis Sanchez Sola aka "El Chelis" in December 2012.
Juan Agudelo and Oswaldo Minda are listed as out for Sunday's match while Jose Correa, Walter Vilchez, and Miller Bolanos are all questionable. Bobby Burling (caution accumulation) and Edgar Mejia (red card) will both return after being unavailable against San Jose.
The team has played various formations early in the season but recently played a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3. The three defenders leaves Chivas USA vulnerable at times but also makes them one of the more dangerous sides going forward. It's a formation that puts an emphasis on attacking much more so then defending.
Style of Play
Chivas USA are not a side that plays for 0-0 or 1-0 scorelines and heac coach "El Chelis" has publicly stated he aims to play entertaining soccer. They are a physical side that are second in MLS in fouls committed and will not hesitate to committ a tactical foul when needed to prevent a counterattack. A wide open match where they generate and concede multiple good scoring opportunities is expected.
Dan Kennedy - The team captain is widely viewed as one of the best goalkeepers in MLS and capable of keeping his team in matches even when they are outplayed.
Jorge Villafana - A talented, creative midfielder and who leads the team with three assists and was apart of the U.S. U-23 team for 2012 Olympic qualifying.
Edgar Mejia - An defensive midfielder who is currently on loan from sister club Club Deportivo Guadalajara and provides a physical presence in the middle of the pitch.
|at Real Salt Lake (April 20th)||vs SJ Earthquakes (April 27th)|