Weekly Update: Jan 2, 2013

All the latest news and notes from Sporting KC

Confetti Celebrate US Open Cup 2012

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Sporting KC'S Open Cup Cup win voted 2012 MLS Moment of Year
Matt Besler named 2012 MLS Breakout Player of the Year
Roger Espinoza out of contract with Sporting KC
Sporting KC Academy U18 goalkeeper signs with Atletico Madrid
Support the U.S. Soccer Foundation Creating Chances campaign
2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic schedule announced
Sporting Style launches new online store
Sporting KC announces 2013 pre-season destinations
Sporting KC now taking deposits for 2013 reserved seating
Follow Sporting KC online

SPORTING KC'S OPEN CUP WIN VOTED 2012 MLS MOMENT OF YEAR
MLS fans voted sporting Kansas City's dramatic win over the Seattle Sounders in the final of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as the 2012 Moment of the Year. Sporting KC's triumph beat out 20 other memorable moments from around the League to clinch the award via online voting.  

Many factors contributed buzz to the epic night, including a penalty kick shootout, as Sporting Kansas City ended the Sounders three-year reign as Open Cup champions. The team secured Kansas City's only professional sports trophy of the year and qualified Sporting Kansas City for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.

MATT BESLER NAMED 2012 MLS BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR
One year after midfielder Graham Zusi took home MLS Breakout Player of the Yearhonors in 2011, defender Matt Besler was chosen for this year's honor as revealed by MLSSoccer.com in their Best of 2012 series.

Besler, who signed a new deal with the club last month, also hauled in MLS Defender of the Year and Best XI recognitions this offseason.

ROGER ESPINOZA OUT OF CONTRACT WITH SPORTING KC
As of January 1, midfielder Roger Espinoza is out of contract with Sporting Kansas City. The 26-year-old Honduran international is expected to join Wigan Athletic in the English Premier League during the January transfer window.

"I want to thank the teammates and the coaching staff," Espinoza said. "The reason I am moving to the Premier League is because of them. They gave me the opportunity to become a better player.  

"I would also like to thank the fans for everything they've done for the club and for me over the years. They were there for every game supporting us. I grew up as a player here and to me, they are the best fans in the League. I know another championship is coming very soon for Sporting Kansas City. 

"I'm very happy, but I'm also sad to leave the club where I learned everything and made friends. I'm excited for the opportunity to play in the Premier League. It's been a dream of mine that I've been working very hard for and I can't wait to prove myself over there."

Espinoza, a 2012 MLS All-Star, was drafted by Kansas City in the first round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft out of Ohio State University and was named the team's Rookie of the Year in 2008. He appeared in 120 MLS matches (including playoffs) over the past five seasons with two goals and 11 assists.

He has represented Honduras at the sport's highest levels, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

SPORTING KC ACADEMY U18 GOALKEEPER SIGNS WITH ATLETICO MADRID
Sporting KC Under-18 Academy goalkeeper Jacole Turner recently signed with Spanish side Atletico Madrid and will play for Atlético de Madrid C in Spain's Tercera Division.

Turner, 18, graduated from Lee's Summit North High School in May and will now make the leap to the professional level after trialing with clubs in Croatia and Spain before signing with Atletico Madrid.

Turner was selected to attend the United States Under-18 Men's National Team for a training camp in March.  While a starter for the Sporting KC Academy, Turner trained with Sporting Kansas City's senior team and appeared in two MLS Reserve League matches for the club.

He was named to the U-15/16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy's Central Conference Starting XI for the 2010-11 season. In high school, he was voted Class 3 Goalkeeper of the Year in Missouri and was a First Team All-State honoree. He also received extensive recognition from ESPNHS, including a spot on their Starting XI and State All-Stars lists.

SUPPORT THE U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION CREATING CHANCES CAMPAIGN
Fans can support the U.S. Soccer Foundation's Creating Chances campaign this holiday season by donating money towards their Soccer for Success 2013 initiative. Your donation provides 90 minutes of instruction per day for three days a week for 24 weeks in the year, as well as a uniform and soccer ball. Donations help the U.S. Soccer Foundation in their mission to grow the game of soccer nationwide in the new year. Visit secure.creatingchances.org/donate and select a giving level to make your contribution today. 

The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has provided more than $57 million in funding to create and sustain innovative programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Proven to deliver positive health and social outcomes, the Foundation's affordable initiatives offer safe environments in which both boys and girls thrive.

2013 DISNEY PRO SOCCER CLASSIC SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
The schedule has been announced for the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic. The six Major League Soccer (MLS) teams participating in Central Florida Soccer Spring Training, as well as Orlando City Soccer Club (USL) and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL), will compete in two weeks of group play, with Group A consisting of Orlando City, Philadelphia Union, Toronto Football Club and Columbus Crew. Teams in Group B will include the Tampa Bay Rowdies, D.C. United, Montreal Impact and Sporting Kansas City. All games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.

Travel packages are available that include lodging, Disney Pro Soccer Classic game tickets, attraction tickets and exclusive VIP experiences. Additionally, Soccer Spring Training will include a number of events aimed at increasing excitement for soccer in Central Florida, including a College Combine, International Trials and amateur soccer tournaments.

For more information about Central Florida Soccer Spring Training and to book a travel package, please visit www.SoccerSpringTraining.com or call the official travel provider, GET Travel, at 888-877-4445, option 3. 

SPORTING STYLE LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE STORE
Find all of the latest Sporting Kansas City merchandise on Sporting Style's new site at shop.sportingkc.com. For the latest news on new merchandise, follow @sportingstyle on Twitter.  

SPORTING KC ANNOUNCES 2013 PRE-SEASON DESTINATIONS
Sporting Kansas City will travel to Tucson, Ariz. and Orlando, Fla. for the team's 2013 pre-season. The team will arrive in Tucson on Jan. 20 for a two-week stay and will participate in The Desert Friendlies presented by FC Tucson against other MLS competition at the Kino Sports Complex. The matches will be open to the public with tickets to go on sale later this month. Visit FCTucson.com for more information. The upcoming pre-season will mark the third straight year that Sporting Kansas City has selected Tucson as a pre-season site. 

After returning home to Kansas City on Feb. 2, the club will depart for the second leg of the 2013 pre-season in Orlando on Feb. 7. Sporting Kansas City will be one of several MLS teams once again competing in the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from Feb. 9-23. Sporting Kansas City supporters can follow the club to Central Florida to see the team compete in the tournament while enjoying all of the world class attractions Orlando has to offer. Travel packages are available that include lodging, match tickets, attraction tickets and exclusive VIP experiences. Visit SoccerSpringTraining.com for details.

In addition to the MLS regular season schedule, Sporting Kansas City's 2013 campaign will be highlighted by the club's defense of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title and participation in the 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League. Season tickets for the 2013 season at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park start at $300 for a20-game package and are available to purchase by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. 

SPORTING KC NOW TAKING DEPOSITS FOR 2013 RESERVED SEATING
Sporting Kansas City supporters can now place 2013 Season Ticket Deposits for all Reserved Seating at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park by calling 888-4KC-GOAL or visiting www.SportingKC.com. 

FOLLOW SPORTING KC ONLINE
Sporting Kansas City fans looking to keep up with the club on the worldwide web now have a place to go. The new social media page on SportingKC.com features Twitter account information for the club, its players as well as many staff members. Additionally, fans may take advantage of the Media Recap page for all the latest independent news coverage available online.