Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match from Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Sunday night. Voting is open through Monday.
Landon Donovan's illustrious career -- a career that has spanned 299 MLS regular season starts, the first of which came right here in Kansas City -- will come to a close at the end of the 2014 season. The LA Galaxy and U.S. Men's National Team star revealed the news on Thursday, one day after scoring the game-winning goal in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game and collecting MVP honors.
As such, today's Throwback Thursday turns back the clock to April 28, 2001. Just three days after riding the bench for the United States in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at Arrowhead Stadium, a 19-year-old Donovan was in the San Jose Earthquakes starting lineup for the first time in his 14-year MLS career to face the reigning MLS Cup champions on their home field.
"I specifically remember that game because it was Landon's first (start) and there was a lot of hype coming into it," teammate Ian Russell recalled in 2005. "And we got a glimpse of Landon, seeing how dangerous he can be up front for us."
While the game ended in a scoreless draw, Donovan had no shortage of success against Kansas City over the course of his career. His 13 goals and 12 assists in the regular season versus KC make him the only player in MLS history to put up double digits in both goals and assists against Kansas City. And there's also his lone postseason strike in the series: a 117th-minute golden goal in overtime of the 2003 Western Conference Championship en route to his second of five MLS Cup championships.
Then Kansas City Star sports writer Joe Posnanski penned a column dedicated to Donovan back in April 2001 amidst the interest surrounding Donovan's first visit to KC for the dose of club and country double duty. Under the headline "Donovan May Be The Man," he wrote…
What U.S. men's soccer needs is a hero. A goal scorer…Maybe it's Landon Donovan.
The Major League Soccer All-Stars defeatd Bayern Munich 2-1 Wednesday night in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game. Bradley Wright-Phillips and Landon Donovan provided the goals for MLS, while four Sporting KC players - Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Graham Zusi and Dom Dwyer - took to the Providence Park pitch.
The MLS All-Star festivities will conclude tonight when the MLS All-Stars take the pitch against German giants Bayern Munich at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon.
Established in 2012, Sporting Club Network aims to create a more personal relationship between its members, their local communities, Sporting Kansas City and its parent company, Sporting Club. Athletes, coaches and families within the Sporting Club Network are provided with exclusive opportunities to interact with members of Sporting Kansas City’s senior team, receive coaching and education instruction from the senior team technical staff, and be recognized at Sporting Park for their efforts to expand the game in their locality.
The end of the year reception gives Sporting Club Network members the opportunity to meet fellow members, exchange ideas and reflect on the many on-and-off-the field accomplishments achieved throughout the year. In conjunction with the annual reception, Sporting Club Network hosts the Kevin Gray Awards.
The Kevin Gray awards, presented by Pepsi, were established in honor of the late Kansas City Sports Commission President. Kevin’s passion for the game and his desire to see it grow in the Kansas City area are exemplified in the winners of his namesake. The Kevin Gray Player of the Year Award recognizes youth, as well as adult, players for their outstanding performance on the field. The Kevin Gray Coach of the Year Award is given to a Kansas City coach who has led his or her team to remarkable success. The final award, Soccer Ambassador of the Year, is presented to an individual whose commitment to the game and tireless effort in support of its growth reflects the ideals that the Sports Commissioner Gray embodied.
The Kevin Gray Awards, co-sponsored by Sporting Kansas City and Global Sports International, bestowed the following awards, as decided by a panel of soccer leaders in Kansas City:
- Male Youth Player of the Year – Jo Jo Piatczyc
- Female Youth Player of the Year – Cristina DeZeeuw
- Adult Player of the Year – Seth Sinovic
- Coach of the Year – Peter Vermes
- Soccer Ambassador of the Year – Robb Heineman
Gutierrez has a special connection to the club and the Kansas City area. He was a graduate of Blue Springs High School and was a two-time NSCAA All-American at Rockhurst University before joining the club in Major League Soccer’s inaugural season in 1996. He would go on to win the MLS Cup in 1998, four U.S. Open Cup championships and record 40 career playoff appearances (third most in MLS history).
At the conclusion of the reception, guests enjoyed the game and took in the electric atmosphere as they watched Sporting KC go on to beat the Galaxy by a 2-1 scoreline. The award winners, however, were given a truly unique experience as they were escorted onto the field and recognized for their achievements at halftime.
Thank you to all of our network members and guests for making this year's Sporting Club Network Reception and Kevin Gray Awards Ceremony such a memorable experience! To stay up-to-date on upcoming events and for all things Sporting Club Network, be sure to follow on Twitter and like the SCN on Facebook.
Delaware North Companies (DNC) is hiring for all food and beverage positions during a job fair from 2-6 p.m. CT on Thursday at Sporting Park (1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, KS). Available positions include beer vendors, stand attendants, utility workers, porters/barbacks, cooks, bartenders and concession supervisors.
Interested candidates must be at least 18 years of age to apply and must be 21 years of age to sell alcoholic beverages. Parking for Thursday's job fair is available in Lot D (click here for map/directions) and all attending should enter through the security entrance on the east side of the stadium across from Best Western. Those unable to attend the job fair are encouraged to apply online.
DNC is a global leader in hospitality and food service with 55,000 associates across the United States and around the world. For more information, contact Brianna Loy at (913) 912-7578 or email@example.com.
It was another exciting day in Portland as we moved one day closer to the 2014 MLS All Star Game that will pit the MLS All-Stars vs. German champions Bayern Munich.
The day began with an open training session at Providence Park. Bayern Munich kicked things off before the MLS All-Stars took the field. Following training, Sporting KC captain Matt Besler joined Max Bretos, Alexi Lalas and Alejandro Moreno for a segment on ESPNFC. Besler discussed midseason friendlies against foreign competition and the growth of soccer in the United States
The afternoon was an eventful one for the quartet of Sporting KC players, as Graham Zusi and Aurelien Collin went to Tursi Soccer for an autograph soccer, while Dom Dwyer did his best DeAndre Yedlin impersonation.
Besler joined Chipotle Homegrown Game MVP Jon Kempin as well as New York Red Bulls' Tim Cahil and Bradley Wright-Phillips, D.C. United's Bobby Boswell and other celebrities for the MLS Footgolf Challenge. A full recap is coming later on MLSsoccer.com, but in the meantime, we'll leave you with this...
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) August 6, 2014
On Saturday afternoon, several Sporting KC players joined NAPA KC and The National Guard to host a barbecue and soccer clinic for local military families affected by injuries obtained during service for our country.
The idea for the gathering was originally proposed by Sporting KC defender Kevin Ellis, who has strong family ties to the United States military. Ellis was joined by teammates Matt Besler, Mikey Lopez, Andy Gruenebaum and Graham Zusi for a pick-up game of soccer with the families before enjoying barbecue and ice cream at the Swope Soccer Village. At the end of the event, each of the families received a signed soccer ball from the players.
"It takes a special person to do what they do and I can't put into words the respect I have for these guys," said Ellis, a Kansas City native who has made 14 MLS appearances for the club this season.
Without a few of the team's top players on the eve of the 2014 MLS All-Star Game, Sporting Kansas City welcomed a star from another sport to their training session on Tuesday at the Swope Soccer Village. NASCAR driver Joey Logano paid a visit to the MLS Cup champions while in Kansas City for a media tour to promote the Hollywood Casino 400 race weekend at Kansas Speedway from Oct. 3-5.
Logano led the first 30 laps and finished third on Sunday in the GoBowling.com 400. His eighth top-five finish of the year moved the 24-year-old up to eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver standings and he is one of only seven drivers to have clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with five races remaining until the field is set.
For all the sights and sounds from Tuesday's training, check out the video above and photo slideshow below. Plus, click here to see the social media chatter captured from the festivities.
After a light training session at Providence Park this morning, each player went their separate ways for various appearances around the city.
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler participated in the MLS All-Star press conference alongside Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry and Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey. Besler answered a variety of questions ranging from "Is Wednesday a revenge game for the World Cup loss to Germany?" to "How do you defend in an MLS All-Star Game?" to "What impact has Landon Donovan had on American soccer?" Watch the video above for the full archive of the press conference, including the first portion with Bayern Munich Manager Pep Guardiola as well as Julian Green, Robert Lewandowski and Franck Ribery.
Monday night is also an exciting one for fans who want to see the future of MLS, as a team comprised of MLS homegrown players - including Sporting KC's Jon Kempin and Erik Palmer-Brown - will square off against the Portland Timbers U-23s at Providence Park. That match will kick off at 9 p.m. CT and can be seen on MLSsoccer.com or on ESPN3.com.