On the eve of Independence Day, this afternoon's #TBT features Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. The duo is in route back to Kansas City after standout performances on the World Stage in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But here's a look at where it all began as the two went from foes to friends.
Besler and Zusi both excelled in the college ranks. Besler became the first player in program history to garner both first-team All-America and Academic All-America honors at the Univeristy of Notre Dame, while Zusi boasts two NCAA championships as a member of the University of Maryland. The photo below is from 2007 when the Fighting Irish played the Terps in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium. Maryland earned a 3-0 victory with Zusi notching the game-winner in the fifth minute.
That September afternoon, quite insignificant when compared to what Belser and Zusi have accomplished post-graduation. Besler was selected eighth overall in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by his hometown of Kansas City and the Longwood, Florida native Zusi was selected in the second round with the 23rd overall pick also by KC. Since then, the pair has experienced tremendous success together including two Eastern Conference championships, a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, an MLS Cup and most recently helped the U.S. Men's National Team advance beyond the "group of death" at the World Cup.
Major props to Sean Carroll for this great find.
Sporting Kansas City and Kia are teaming up for the Kia Total Fan Experience through the month of July to offer a prize package you don’t want to miss. The winner will receive two (2) tickets to Sporting KC’s match against D.C. United on August 23, 2014 at Sporting Park as well as an autographed Sporting Kansas City jersey and the ultimate VIP pre-game and on field experience. Enter online July 1st through July 31st by clicking here. In order for the entry to be valid, the contestant has to be at least 18 years or older and currently living within the Kansas City area. The winner will be selected at random Friday, August 1st, 2014. The full list of rules and regulations for the sweepstakes can be found here.
Created with flickr slideshow.
When a five year old is asked what they want for their birthday, they are usually very anxious and eager to answer with his or her wish list. Perhaps stating the newest iPad or some action figures, or something else they can play with. But for Brody Davis, his sixth birthday would be different.
His birthday party was at the Kansas City Police Academy on Saturday, where he had a wonderful time with his friends and family. But instead of receiving gifts he had asked for, Brody told his guests to bring new soccer items so they could donate to kids in need. This generous and caring six year old was willing to take the focus off himself and highlight those in need.
Once Brody’s mother, Sherri Davis, learned of this selfless act she contacted Sporting KC’s foundation - The Victory Project. The plan is to distribute the donated items this fall at the next Recycle Your Game event, which aims to donate soccer items to disadvantaged youth in Kansas City.
As avid Sporting KC fans and current Season Ticket Members, the Davis family is no stranger to the organization. Little Brody has been able to experience the club and has grown to admire Graham Zusi as his role model. Brody also had the opportunity to give Graham his MLS Cup ring at a ceremony held in Sporting Park this May, after his mom won a fan contest.
Brody is a testament to the fact that there is no age limit to generosity and kindness, showing us that all can start a movement to impact the lives of others. The old saying “big things come in small packages” exemplifies this little boy and his enormous heart for others.
For those interested in hosting their own Victory Project or who want to learn more about the movement, please visit VictoryKC.org or follow on Twitter.
As the official supporters group of the U.S. Men's National Team, the American Outlaws have made a name for themselves during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Founded in 2007 by three soccer fanatics in Lincoln, Nebraska, American Outlaws has more than 20,000 members in 135 chapters nationwide. Check out what makes the Kansas City chapter special with this feature from FOX 4.
The USMNT continues its World Cup run on Tuesday against Belgium in the Round of 16 (3 p.m. CT, ESPN). You can bet the American Outlaws will be in attendance for the watch party hosted at KC Live! in the Power & Light District. Admission is free for all ages, and food and drink specials are available for supporters, as well as limited edition “For Club and Country” merchandise.
The Mosaic Lounge (1331 Walnut St.) in the Kansas City Power & Light District will also host a watch party for Tuesday’s match. Guests ages 21 and up will have access to four domestic beers, a private cash bar, indoor/outdoor viewing spaces with televisions and projectors and a viewing area overlooking the KC Live! Block. Tickets for the game are $20 and can be purchased online. Doors open to Mosaic one hour prior to the match and close one hour after.
Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match for Sporting Kansas City's 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Friday night. Voting is open until Sunday evening.
Sporting Kansas City forward Soony Saad has scored three goals in the team's last three matches including two game-winners in all-competition.
Saad started his first League match of the 2014 season against the Dynamo on June 6 at BBVA Compass Stadium and tallied a 45th minute goal for the visitors, assisted by Benny Feilhaber. Team-leader in goals this season with 11, Dom Dwyer converted a penalty kick in the 70th minute to secure the win, despite Sporting KC midfielder Antonio Dovale's ejection in the 21st minute of play.
Saad also opened the scoring for Sporting KC against Minnesota United in their fourth round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory. Sporting KC defeated Minnesota 2-0 at Sporting Park before bowing out of the domestic tournament with a fifth round loss to the Portland Timbers.
The Timbers scored three consecutive goals to start the match, before Saad struck again to shrink Portland's lead to two goals. At final whistle, Portland led 3-1 and advanced to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. Sporting KC will have a chance at rendemption tonight as the team takes on Portland in League play at 10 p.m. CT at Providence Park.
When Matt Besler and Graham Zusi were named to the U.S. Men's National Team roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it marked the fifth consecutive tournament that a member of Kansas City's professional soccer team went to the World Cup.
Each week, we're highlighting a different World Cup tournament and Kansas City's representation at that tournament. The 1998 edition featured Preki (USA) and Uche Okafor (Nigeria), while the 2002 edition featured Tony Meola (USA). This week, we're throwing it back to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
That year, Bruce Arena named three Kansas City Wizards to the USMNT's roster: Eddie Johnson, Jimmy Conrad and Josh Wolff.
Johnson and Conrad played two matches each during the tournament, while Wolff came on as a sub in the USMNT's first match vs. the Czech Republic.
The United States earned one point during the tournament, falling to Ghana 2-1 in their final group stage match in the first match of what would become a budding rivalry.
Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match for Sporting Kansas City's 3-1 loss against the Portland Timbers at Sporting Park on Tuesday night. Voting is open until Wednesday evening.