It’s every kid’s dream to hang out with a group of famous soccer players, let alone have the opportunity to lead them out to the field. Last week, this dream came true for nine-year-old Make-A-Wish candidate Vince Pham.
Vince, who was diagnosed with a rare form of muscular disorder, had his wish to escort Sporting KC captain Matt Besler onto the field come true thanks to the Make-A-Wish Missouri Foundation and The Victory Project.
Prior to his big moment, Vince and his family had the opportunity to visit with Sporting KC players at Swope Soccer Village. In addition to watching the players run drills and getting various Sporting KC items signed by the team, he also received a special message from Manager Peter Vermes and a special visit from ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman after training.
The next day, decked out in their Sporting gear, Vince and his siblings watched the players warm up from the sidelines at Sporting Park. During pregame, Vince and his family were recognized on the videoboard and received a visit from Sporting mascot Blue.
Finally, the moment was here. With his father’s assistance, Vince got to live his wish by escorting the World Cup veteran onto the field in front of a sold-out crowd during the pre-game ceremony shown live on ESPN2.
Four points in two goals against two of the top teams in Major League Soccer. That was Sporting KC's previous week in a nusthell after a 4-2 win over the New England Revolution at Sporting Park and a 0-0 draw vs. the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field. The four points in two games kicked off a difficult stretch for the club which will place five 2014 MLS Cup Playoff opponents in five matches. The next match in that stretch will take place Friday night when Sporting KC welcomes FC Dallas to Sporting Park.
To recap a busy week and look ahead to Friday's match, Sporting KC captain Matt Besler joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810. In addition, goalkeeper Tim Melia - who has two shutouts in four starts - joined Soren Petro on The Program. Listen to the two interviews below:
Matt Besler on The Border Patrol
Tim Melia on The Program
Summertime is soccer time! The Sporting Club Network (SCN), presented by Price Chopper, is excited to announce that its summer events are now open for registration!
Just as in the past, all members of clubs in partnership with Sporting Club are eligible for participation in these events, most of which will be free. Located at venues across the Kansas City metro area -- from Sporting Park to the newly-opened, state-of-the-art Swope Soccer Village -- these events will provide players, coaches and parents with countless opportunities to enhance their soccer knowledge and skills, interact with some of Sporting KC’s stars and take advantage of the benefits of their Sporting Club membership.
Beginning with a Women’s World Cup social media contest on June 5, SCN will host numerous events each month in hopes of engaging its members so as to create a closer tie between Sporting Club and the various youth/adult athletic clubs organized throughout the Midwest. Also featured on this year’s calendar are the popular SCN mini clinics, open training sessions, pre-game “chalk talks” given by SKC technical staff, as well as other fun social media contests, engagements and initiatives.
Be sure to stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as these events quickly approach.Check out the full calendar of events here. To sign up, click on the event(s) for which you’d like to register.
If your club or organization is interested in joining the Sporting Club Network to gain access to these exclusive events, please contact Alex Firchau at afirchau@SportingKC.com.
"It's a special time to be an athlete in Kansas City."
Matt Besler wasn't kidding when he uttered those words on Thursday afternoon. The night before, a sold-out Sporting Park crowd watched Sporting Kansas City defeat the New England Revolution 4-2 on national TV. Across town, 30,000+ fans packed into Kauffman Stadium to watch the Kansas City Royals defeat the Cincinnati Reds. And did we mention that day was the coldest May 20 in Kansas City history?
Well Sporting KC captain Matt Besler took notice and wanted to give thanks to the Kansas City faithful that support the teams in this city. On his drive to the airport on Thursday, Besler called into Kevin Kietzman's show on Sports Radio 810 WHB to express his gratitude. Listen to the full call here:
Drive around the streets of Kansas City in the evenings or on the weekends and you will most certainly find soccer being played. Athletes of all ages and levels play the beautiful game while enjoying the benefits of teamwork, comradery and physical activity. With a new partnership between the Special Olympics and MLS WORKS, teams from around the league are partnering with local Special Olympics chapters to host exchange games in their stadiums in order to give athletes with intellectual disabilities a taste of what being a professional soccer player would be like.
On Saturday, Special Olympics Colorado traveled to Kansas City for an exchange game versus Special Olympics Kansas at Sporting Park. Both teams were given the first team experience – including a pregame meal, locker rooms complete with full team uniforms, a pre-game visit from midfielder Roger Espinoza and a special message from Manager Peter Vermes. Following the first team match, the teams were scheduled to take the field for warmups and be announced to the crowd before playing on the pitch in front of the supporters. This was before a series of thunderstorms delayed and ultimately cancelled the evening's games.
With Special Olympics Colorado traveling from Denver, both sides decided to meet on Sunday morning at the Sporting KC training facility located within Swope Soccer Village to play the much anticipated game. Both unified teams consisted of Special Olympians or “Athletes” and neuro-typical classmates or “Partners." Two 20-minute halves were played and the game was full of excitement with goals being scored throughout. Ultimately, Special Olympics Colorado traveled home with a 3-2 victory but not before both teams received commemorative medals and exchanged scarves.
In August, Special Olympics Kansas will travel to Colorado for the second half of the home-and-away series following the Sporting KC versus Colorado Rapids match on August 29. To learn more about the upcoming game or other Community events, please follow @VictoryKC on twitter or visit VictoryKC.org.
Krisztian Nemeth scores his fifth goal of the season in the 46th minute (assisted by Jacob Peterson and Benny Feilhaber) at Sporting Park against the New England Revolution.
Benny Feilhaber scores his third goal of the season in the 43rd minute at Sporting Park against the New England Revolution.
Krisztian Nemeth scores his fourth goal of the season in the 39th minute (assisted by Benny Feilhaber) at Sporting Park against the New England Revolution.
Dom Dwyer scores his fourth goal of the season (assisted by Krisztian Nemeth and Jalil Anibaba) in the 29th minute at Sporting Park against the New England Revolution.
Sporting Club Uphoria released a new update this week that is available for Sporting Kansas City fans to download on the App Store or Google Play. The new update, arriving conveniently before Wednesday's match against the New England Revolution at Sporting Park, features a variety of enhancements, including:
- A visually improved home screen feed for your news and in-game offers
- Push notification options for kickoff, final whistle, goals and fan-targeted communications (offers, contests, announcements, etc.)
- All of the club's aggregated content under the redesigned "News, Photos & Videos" tab
In addition to enjoying the app's upgrades, fans will be able to redeem another limited-time offer just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. Shortly after Wednesday's game begins, Uphoria will offer a free 2-liter Pepsi product courtesy of Kansas City area Price Chopper locations. The offer will remain valid all day Thursday, May 21, so be sure to get your free soda before the long weekend arrives.
NOTE: First-time Uphoria users must register an account through Facebook, Twitter or email. Do not skip this step, or you won't receive the offer. If you have already registered, sign in via one of these three options.
As always, Uphoria users will also have access to live stats, exclusive video content, Sporting Park seat upgrades and chances to win free prizes throughout Wednesday's match.
Uphoria's gameday content differs every home game, so keep a close eye on the app during all matches at Sporting Park this season. Whether you're in attendance at the stadium or in the comfort of your own home, Uphoria is your comprehensive mobile companion for the club.