Last Monday, Matt Besler became the first Kansas City-born player to feature in a FIFA World Cup when he started the United States' 2-1 win over Ghana. Kansas City fans had even more to cheer about on Monday when Sporting KC winger Graham Zusi came off the bench to provide the game-winning assist in the win.
But did you know that Besler and Zusi were not the first two players to play in a World Cup while playing their professional soccer in Kansas City?
That honor goes to Uche Okafor and Preki in 1998, who represented Nigeria and the United States, respectively.
Four years later, Tony Meola became the third Kansas City Wizards player to be named to a World Cup roster, when head coach Bruce Arena named the New Jersey native as his third goalkeeper behind Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller.
After playing every minute for the United States at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, Meola did not feature again for the national team until January 1999, opting to pursue a career as a professional kicker in the NFL. Meola returned to the national team picture in 1999, but did not see time for the United States at the 2002 World Cup.
Meola retired from professional soccer in 2006 as one of the most decorated goalkeepers in MLS and Kansas City history. He won MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, MLS MVP and MLS Cup MVP in 2000, in a year that saw the Wizards win their first MLS Cup title.
As part of the League's 10th anniversay in 2005, MLS named Meola to the MLS All-Time Best XI squad. Meola was inducted in the inaugural Sporting Legend class in 2013.
Sporting Kansas City is on a talent search. However, no prior playing history is necessary. The club is seeking musically gifted indviduals who want to sing the National Anthem in front of 20,000+ onlookers. To be considered, sumbit your National Anthem YouTube recording to Anthem@SportingKC.com. The deadline to enter your submission is 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 27.
Sporting KC players and front office staff will collaborate to select 10 finalists, whose videos will be published online. Sporting Kansas City supporters will then be able to vote and the finalist receiving the most votes will have the opportunity to sing the National Anthem before Sporting Kansas City's Eastern Conference clash against D.C. United on August 23 at Sporting Park.
A few Sporting Kansas City players believe they have what it takes; we think they should stick to their day jobs. You be the judge:
Sporting Kansas City advanced to the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament defeating Minnesota United FC 2-0 last night. Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, affectionately known as G-baum, recorded a shut out in his first competitive match for the team. Ever vocal, G-baum is shouting about something and we need you to tell us what! The winning entry will receive two (2) tickets to our next home match against the Portland Timbers on June 24 as we continue our Open Cup run. All submissions must be in by 5:30p.m. CT on Friday. Good luck!
Cast your vote below for the Man of the Match for Sporting Kansas City's 2-0 victory over Minnesota United FC at Sporting Park. Voting is open until Thursday evening.
Tuesday was a day long-anticipated by Sporting KC fans as Central States Beverage Company began their deliveries of Sporting KC Championship Ale, a collaboration between the MLS Cup champs and Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company.
Sporting Kansas City Championship Ale is a crisp, refreshing Saison-style ale, featuring late hopping with Mandarina Bavaria, a new German hop with distinct tangerine and citrus flavors. Similar to other one-off releases in Boulevard’s Smokestack Series, only a limited amount of beer can be produced and released.
Roughly 2,000 cases of the 750mL bottles are being distributed throughout the Kansas City area. For a list of locations around Kansas City receiving the ale, be sure to follow @csbev on Twitter.
A day after the United States began its 2014 FIFA World Cup by knocking off Ghana 2-1, defender Chance Myers and club owner and CEO Robb Heinemann appeared on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Myers talked to Nate Bukaty about the United States' win and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi's game-winning assit. Heinemann, who has traveled to Brazil for the World Cup, talked to Kevin Kietzman about attending the U.S. match and other eye-opening experiences.
Chance Myers on The Border Patrol
Robb Heinemann on Between the Lines
This past weekend Boulevardia took over the West Bottoms in Kansas City.
The beer, food and music festival started Friday evening and concluded on Sunday evening ... and The Victory Project was there for it all. There were nearly 50 volunteers from LiveKC, The Victory Project and partner organizations who helped serve beer and provide information at the Sporting KC bar next to the main stage.
All tips as well as a percentage of beer sales will go toward The Victory Project, Sporting Kansas City's charitable arm which helps local children thrive through life's challenges.
The Victory Project would like to thank everyone who donated to the cause. For those interested in volunteering for future events or for those interested in making a donation learning more about The Victory Project, please visit VictoryKC.org or follow @victorykc on Twitter.
Thousands of soccer fans packed Kansas City Power & Light on Monday as the United States kicked off its 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 win over Ghana. The World Cup Watch Party, presented by The Sprint Framily Plan as part of Summer in the Soccer Capital, produced some moments that won't soon be forgotten. Catch them all here.
The United States will kick off their World Cup campain on Monday when they play Ghana in Natal, Brazil. And while Sporting KC's Matt Besler and Graham Zusi have been with the team for almost a month preparing for the start of the tournament, for others, the journey starts this weekend.
KCTV5's Sandra Olivas sat down with Diane Besler - Matt's mother - to discuss the family's preparations ahead of their journey to Brazi.