Sporting Kansas City Weekly Update

Sporting KC MF Luke Sassano undergoes knee surgery

*Sporting KC hosts Columbus Crew tonight at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park
*Arnaud within one match of club appearance record
*Sporting 22 program winners to be honored at tonight’s match
*Playoff race heating up
*Sassano undergoes successful surgery, will miss one month of action
*Bravo goal earns point for Sporting Kansas City in draw with Union
*Sporting KC partners with KC Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze
*Sporting KC, Budweiser launch Designated Driver initiative
*Sporting Kansas City hosted local junior journalists Friday
*Sporting KC technical staff to hold clinic October 10
*Sporting Kansas City to host Club Deportivo Guadalajara October 12
*Sporting Kansas City launches 2012 season ticket sales
*Sporting Kansas City match guide

SPORTING KANSAS CITY HOSTS COLUMBUS CREW TONIGHT AT LIVESTRONG SPORTING PARK

Following a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union, Sporting Kansas City will battle the Columbus Crew at 7:30 p.m. CT tonight at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The match is presented by Pepsi and will be broadcast locally on KSMO TV with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT.

A win for Sporting Kansas City would put them two points clear of the Houston Dynamo atop the Eastern Conference with a total of 44 points through 31 matches.

The first 5,000 fans will be given a Sporting KC t-shirt, courtesy of Pepsi. It is also Buck-a-Brat night sponsored by Johnsonville and Roma Bakery. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the LSP Box Offices.

The Crew (11-11-8) are in second place MLS Eastern Conference, most recently falling to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday by a 1-0 scoreline at Crew Stadium.

ARNAUD WITHIN ONE MATCH OF CLUB APPEARANCE RECORD

Sporting Kansas City captain Davy Arnaud is within striking distance of breaking the club’s all-time record for career regular season appearances. The record of 237 appearances, currently held by assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin, is just one more than Arnaud’s total of 236.

After earning his debut in his rookie year as a fifth-round draft pick out of West Texas A&M, Arnaud has accrued a total of 19,152 minutes since 2002, while scoring 43 goals and contributing 34 assists before earning the captain’s armband prior to the start of the 2010 season.

SPORTING 22 PROGRAM WINNERS TO BE HONORED AT TONIGHT’S MATCH

Sporting Kansas City will honor the 22 recipients of the Sporting 22 scholarship at tonight’s game versus the Columbus Crew.  A video presentation will be shown at halftime in recognition of the 22 local students that have developed initiatives designed to impact the health of children in this community, using soccer or related activities as a tool.

A valedictorian will be announced and scholarships will be awarded in January, once all the programs are complete. Sporting Kansas City players will also be honoring the students with special Sporting 22 patches on their jerseys.

PLAYOFF RACE HEATING UP

With four matches left to play in the 2011 MLS regular season, Sporting Kansas City currently sit in a playoff position with a total of 41points through 30 matches, just one point behind Eastern Conference leadersHouston Dynamo.

If the season were to end today, Sporting would qualify for the playoffs as one of the three automatic births from the Eastern Conference. Despite their favorable position in the table currently, just four points separate first place in the East (Houston) and sixth place (DC United).

Should Sporting Kansas City fail to grab one of the top three spots in the East, they would then need to qualify for a wild card berth, which is determined by the next four teams with the highest point total, regardless of conference.

SASSANO UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL SURGERY, WILL MISS ONE MONTH OF ACTION

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Luke Sassano underwent successful surgery on Tuesday to repair a tear in the lateral meniscus of his right knee. Sassano suffered asprained MCL in Sporting Kansas City’s 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders on August 6th. The surgery is set to keep Sassano out of action for a month.

Since joining Sporting Kansas City prior to the start of the 2011 season from the New York Red Bulls, Sassano has featured in nine matches. The fourth year midfielder scored his first career goal in a 4-1 win for Sporting Kansas City away to FC Dallas on June 12th.

BRAVO GOAL EARNS POINT FOR SPORTING KANSAS CITY IN DRAW WITH UNION

Omar Bravo’s ninth goal of the season secured a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union last Friday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Sporting Kansas City currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining in the MLS regular season. 

SPORTING KC PARTNERS WITH KC PUMPKIN PATCH & CORN MAZE

The KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze has dedicated their annual corn maze to Sporting Kansas City. The maze, complete with the Sporting Kansas City crest, is located at 29755 W. 191st Street in Gardner, Kansas. Admission is just $8 for adults and free for children under the age of four.

SPORTING KC, BUDWEISER LAUNCH DESIGNATED DRIVER INITIATVE

Sporting Kansas City and Budweiser distributor Schatz Distributing Co. announced the launch of the Good Sport program at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Good Sport is a comprehensive action plan designed to promote a positive environment by reminding fans to act responsibly, respect the rights of others and use a designated driver. 

Good Sport rewards participants who sign up to be the designated driver for their group with a free bottled water. In addition, one lucky participant is selected as the “Designated Driver of the Game” during each home game and he/she receives two tickets to the next Sporting Kansas City home game. In addition, a “Designated Driver of the Season” is selected who will receive an exclusive opportunity with the Sporting Kansas City team.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY HOSTED LOCAL JUNIOR JOURNALISTS FRIDAY

The Sporting Kansas City communications department hosted journalism students from Shawnee Mission West High School last Friday at the Sporting Kansas City versus Philadelphia Union game. The students are aspiring journalists involved in Shawnee Mission West’s newspaper staff and broadcast program.  Throughout the match, the students worked to create video packages and photographs that will be posted on www.sportingkc.com. They were joined by guest lecturers Assistant Sports Editor to The Kansas City Star Tom Ibarra, and KCTV5 anchor Kelly Jones.

SPORTING KC TECHNICAL STAFF TO HOLD CLINIC OCTOBER 10

The Sporting Kansas City technical staff will hold a clinic for coaches from 6-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park.  Space is limited to the first 50 coaches to RSVP to SCN@SportingKC.com.

SPORTING KC TO HOST CLUB DEPORTIVO GUADALAJARA OCTOBER 12

SportingKansas City will play Mexico’s most successful soccer team Club Deportivo Guadalajara at 7:30 p.m. CT on Oct. 12 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.  This is the first time the two clubs will meet. Club Deportivo Guadalajara played Mexican side Club America in a friendly in September of 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium. CD Guadalajara won 2-1 in front of 26,119 fans.

Sporting Kansas City Designated Player Omar Bravo starred for Club Deportivo Guadalajara for more than a decade as one of the most decorated players in the team’s history after debuting at age 20 in 2000. He is the club’s second all-time leading scorer with 108 goals throughout his career with the Mexican club.

Tickets are available for purchase at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park Box Offices or online at Ticketmaster.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY LAUNCHES 2012 SEASON TICKET SALES

Sporting Kansas City is now accepting initial payments for new Season Ticket Members for the 2012 season at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. 

Fans may reserve their seats to see all the exciting Major League Soccer action and other soccer events at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park next season by making an initial payment of $100 per seat. Those making an initial payment for season tickets in 2012 will also receive priority access for tickets to any home playoff matches at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in2011.   Fans ages 21 and older now have the option to purchase season tickets in the Budweiser Corner at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, an all-inclusive terrace area which provides stadium-style food options and draft beer choices.

Another new seating package for 2012 is the Sporting Family Plan. Offered exclusively in the Providence Sporting Zone, the Sporting Family Plan gives fans the option to purchase two season tickets and receive two more for children ages 12 and under for free. Season tickets in the Providence Sporting Zone start at $380 for the entire 2012 season.

Current Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members are encouraged to renew their 2011 season tickets by September 28th. Seating priority for the 2012 season will be available to all current Sporting Kansas City season ticket members who renew their 2011 season tickets before the renewal deadline.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY MATCH GUIDE

When Sporting Kansas City takes the pitch, there are a number of ways to follow the action across a series of different mediums. Excluding nationally televised matches, every Sporting Kansas City match home and away is broadcast live by KSMO.

For those that can’t be near a television at kickoff, Sporting Kansas City provides play-by-play coverage on Twitter and a link to the MLS MatchCenter is available on SportingKC.com.

To keep up-to-date on all independent coverage of Sporting Kansas City, visit www.sportingkc.com/media-recap.