Weekly Update: October 30, 2013

All the latest news and notes from Sporting KC

Sporting KC to face New England in Conference Semifinals
Tickets on sale for playoff match at Sporting Park on Nov. 6
Sporting Park to host playoff viewing party on Saturday
Sporting KC closes regular season with 2-1 win at Philadelphia
Sporting KC sets new attendance record in 2013
Lawrence Olum earns Team of the Week honors
Sporting KC to face Cruz Azul in 2013-14 CCL quarterfinals
Claudio Bieler nominated for FutbolMLS.com's Latino del Año
Graham Zusi strike nominated for MLS Goal of the Year
Bob Gansler inducted into Sporting Legends
Annual team awards unveiled at Pitch Black
Graham Zusi appears on The Sporting KC Show
Tickets on sale for Big 12 Soccer Championship in KC
Braden's Hope/Sporting KC calendars now on sale
Sporting Park box office shifts to gameday hours only
Enter to win Chipotle catering for 20
Secure 2014 season tickets at Sporting Park
Follow Sporting KC online

SPORTING KC TO FACE NEW ENGLAND IN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

Sporting KC will open their 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs campaign, presented by Ivy Funds, on Saturday when they take on the New England Revolution in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and can be seen locally on KSMO-TV and outside the Kansas City market on KMTW (Wichita), WIBW (Topeka), MC22 (check local listings) and nationwide on the NBC Sports Network. The match can also be heard on radio on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR PLAYOFF MATCH AT SPORTING PARK ON NOV. 6

Tickets are now available to purchase for Sporting Kansas City's home playoff match against the  New England Revolution at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Sporting Park in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Tickets can be secured online via Ticketmaster.com.

The Conference Semifinals are decided by total goals scored over the two games and Wednesday's home match will decide which team advances to the Eastern Conference Finals.

SPORTING PARK TO HOST PLAYOFF VIEWING PARTY ON SATURDAY

Fans are invited to the Boulevard Members Club at Sporting Park for Saturday's playoff match against the New England Revolution. Doors will open at 6 p.m. CT with parking available in Lot D.

Every guest in attendance will be entered to win a pair of tickets to the home playoff match against New England on November 6. Food and drink specials include $3 Boulevard KC Pils and Bud Light, $6 hot dog and fries, $7 bratwurst and fries, $8 hamburger and fries and $8 chicken tenders and fries. Click here for more information.

SPORTING KC CLOSES REGULAR SEASON WITH 2-1 WIN AT PHILADELPHIA

Lawrence Olum's stoppage-time goal gave Sporting KC a 2-1 win in the final game of the 2013 MLS regular season. Sporting KC jumped out to a lead in the 47th minute when Graham Zusi got on the end of a Matt Besler long throw-in. Jack McInerney tied the match up late for Philadelphia, but Olum's goal sealed the three points for the visitors and knocked the home side out of playoff contention.

Sporting KC ended the season on a four-game unbeaten streak and allowed only one goal during that span.

SPORTING KC SETS NEW ATTENDANCE RECORD IN 2013

Sporting Kansas City has set a new club attendance record of 335,058 (19,709 per match) for the 2013 Major League Soccer regular season. The number improves on last season's record attendance of 19,404.

Sporting KC sold out all 17 regular season home matches this season and dating back to 2012 has sold out 33 consecutive MLS matches. Along with the season record, the club broke the single-game record with 21,304 in attendance on August 3 versus the New York Red Bulls.

It's been a very successful year at Sporting Park in which the stadium has hosted the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game and the United States Men's National Team for a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

LAWRENCE OLUM EARNS TEAM OF THE WEEK HONORS

Sporting KC midfielder Lawrence Olum has been named to the MLS Team of the Week following Saturday's performance against the Philadelphia Union.

Olum tallied his first MLS assist and first MLS goal in a 2-1 win over the Union. The Kenyan midfielder out-jumped a defender on Matt Besler's throw-in to find Graham Zusi for the club's first goal just after halftime. He then scored the game-winner in the second minute of stoppage-time with a one-time finish past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

SPORTING KC TO FACE CRUZ AZUL IN 2013-14 CCL QUARTERFINALS

Sporting KC will square off with Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals next March. Sporting KC won their group with a 2-0-2 record and finished as the No. 7 overall seed in the tournament. They will host Cruz Azul in the first leg at Sporting Park and travel to Mexico City for the second leg the following week.

Cruz Azul are the most successful team in CCL history, winning the tournament five times (tied for most among all clubs) and finishing runners-up in both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 editions. The team's 29 wins are most in CCL history to go along with six draws and nine losses all-time in the tournament.

CLAUDIO BIELER NOMINATED FOR FUTBOLMLS.COM'S LATINO DEL AÑO

Sporting Kansas City forward Claudio Bieler is a candidate for FutbolMLS.com's Latino del Año 2013. Earlier today, El Taca was revealed as a Group F nominee alongside Osvaldo Alonso (SEA), Michel (DAL) and Hendry Thomas (COL).

A total of 32 MLS players will compete for the fourth annual Latino del Año award. Voting begins on November 4, with the group stage winners announced on Nov. 7.

Bieler, 29, led all MLS newcomers with 10 goals this season and also added four assists in 28 appearances. He became the fourth player in team history to score 10 goals in his debut season (Takawira, Preki, Molnar) and first since the 2000 season. His 10 goals are also most by a Designated Player in team history, one more than Omar Bravo scored in 2011 when he won the Latino del Año.

GRAHAM ZUSI STRIKE NOMINATED FOR MLS GOAL OF THE YEAR

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi's eighth minute goal vs. Chicago on July 7 has been nominated for MLS Goal of the Year.

Zusi's strike won Goal of the Week honors for Week 19, which was one of his two game-winning goals in the 2013 MLS regular season. It was a perfectly hit curling shot from Zusi who beat the goalkeeper and extended Sporting KC's lead to 2-0 over the Chicago Fire. The other nominees in Group A are Portland's Diego Valeri, Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales, and New England's Ryan Guy.

Voting is open until Thursday evening with the winner advancing into the next round of the competition.

BOB GANSLER INDUCTED INTO SPORTING LEGENDS

At halftime of Friday's 1-0 victory over D.C. United, former KC manager Bob Gansler was formally inducted into the inaugural class of Sporting Legends . Gansler managed eight seasons in Kansas City (1999-2006) and his 95 career wins rank seventh most in MLS history. In 2000, Gansler was named MLS Coach of the Year for his role in the team's MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield trophies. In 2004, he lifted the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and led KC back to the MLS Cup final.

ANNUAL TEAM AWARDS UNVEILED AT PITCH BLACK 

On Saturday, Sporting Park hosted Pitch Black, a year-end awards ceremony and celebration for Sporting Kansas City. The event, presented by Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City recognized Sporting Kansas City players and allowed fans to mingle with their favorite team members.

Sporting Kansas City players, coaches, media members and fans voted on the following awards: 

  • 2013 Most Valuable Player, presented by Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City: Graham Zusi
  • 2013 Offensive player of the Year, presented by Providence Medical Center: Graham Zusi
  • 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Ivy Funds: Matt Besler
  • 2013 Goal of the Year, presented by Power Partners: Benny Feilhaber, Aug. 31 vs. Colorado Rapids at Sporting Park
  • 2013 Newcomer of the Year, presented by UMB Bank: Ike Opara

Additionally, the club chose the following awards:

  • 2013 Golden Boot, presented by US Bank: Claudio Bieler
  • 2013 The Victory Project Humanitarian of the Year: Aurelien Collin
  • 2013 Bob Gansler Award (Outstanding Academy Player), presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City: David Leichty
  • 2013 Sporting Club Network Club of the Year, presented by Pepsi: Kansas Rush Soccer Club
  • 2013 Academy Affiliate Club of the Year, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City" Sporting StL Rangers.

GRAHAM ZUSI APPEARS ON THE SPORTING KC SHOW

The Sporting KC Show aired on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT on Tuesday with hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine discussing all the news around Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer.

Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi and New England Revolution defender Andrew Farrell joined the conversation. Click here to listen to the full podcast.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR BIG 12 SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP IN KC

Tickets for the 2013 Big 12 Soccer Championship are now available through Ticketmaster. The Championship will take place Nov. 6, 8 and 10 at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City. To purchase tickets visit Big12Sports.com. Day passes cost $9, three-day tournament passes are $14 and 20-ticket group packages are available for $120.

Sporting Club and the University of Kansas will co-host this year's championship, which will feature the Big 12's top eight teams competing for the Conference's postseason title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division 1 Women's Soccer Championship.

BRADEN'S HOPE/SPORTING KC CALENDARS NOW ON SALE

For the second consecutive year, Sporting KC has partnered with Braden's Hope to raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer. Sporting KC fans can support the cause by purchasing the Braden's Hope/Sporting KC calendar. The 2014 calendar features 12 different Sporting KC players paired with childhood cancer heroes.

Calendars can be purchased at Sporting Style stores at Sporting Park as well as online at bradenshope.org. All of the proceeds from calendar sales go directly to raise awareness and funds for targeted treatments of childhood cancer.

SPORTING PARK BOX OFFICE SHIFTS TO GAMEDAY HOURS ONLY

The Sporting Park Box Offices will only operate on gamedays for the remainder of the 2013 season. Please note the following gameday box office hours:

  • East Box Office

    • 10 a.m. CT - Halftime
  • West Box Office
  • 3 hours prior to kickoff - Halftime

All tickets for upcoming Sporting KC home matches and additional events at Sporting Park may be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com.

ENTER TO WIN CHIPOTLE CATERING FOR 20

Sporting KC and Chipotle Mexican Grill are teaming up for a sweepstakes that will give away two prize packages featuring free Chipotle for 20. Text "SKCParty1" to 888222 through Oct. 31 and you'll be entered to win a feast for 20 of Chipotle's gourmet burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads. For official rules, visit Chipotle.com/SKCSweeps.

Chipotle, which opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and now operates more than 1,500 restaurants worldwide, is an official partner of Sporting Kansas City and offers catering at their Missouri and Kansas locations.

SECURE 2014 SEASON TICKETS AT SPORTING PARK

Sporting Kansas City is now taking deposits for new season ticket members for the 2014 season at state-of-the-art Sporting Park. The non-refundable deposits are $150 per seat for premium areas and $50 per seat for all other sections and provide fans with priority position for securing full season tickets in 2014.

Additionally, all fans on the Sporting Kansas City season ticket member waiting list will be given access to pre-sale opportunities for select special events at Sporting Park (subject to availability). For more information, click here or stop by the Sporting KC sales tables tonight at Sporting Park -- conveniently located on the concourse near the Budweiser Corner or by the East Stand.

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 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.

Also, Sporting Kansas City's 2013 media guide is now available online and fans can find all the latest information for Sporting Kansas City matches at SportingKC.com/GameOn.