SPORTING KC TO FACE VANCOUVER WHITECAPS ON SUNDAY
Undefeated in eight MLS matches and riding a five-game road winning streak, Sporting Kansas City visits the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT. The inter-conference clash at BC Place will be televised locally on KMCI-38 The Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. CT. Supporters can listen to the match on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish). The club will host official watch parties at Johnny's Tavern locations in the KC Power & Light District (1310 Grand Blvd.) and Olathe (10384 S. Ridgeview Rd.).
Sporting KC (11-5-6, 39 points) tops the Supporters’ Shield standings and will look to make history with a win in Vancouver. Peter Vermes’ men are within a game of tying the MLS record for longest road winning streak during the non-shootout era (2000-present). The San Jose Earthquakes rattled off six straight victories away from home in 2005.
The Vancouver Whitecaps (6-4-11, 29 points) are sixth in the Western Conference and sit one point outside playoff position. Despite a roster void of MLS All-Stars, Vancouver’s four losses are tied for fewest in MLS. Midfielder Pedro Morales leads the club with seven goals, while his team-high eight assists rank tied for second in MLS.
SPORTING KC QUARTET SET TO FEATURE IN TONIGHT’S MLS ALL-STAR GAME
The 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will feature four Sporting Kansas City players as Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Dom Dwyer and Graham Zusi are among the 23-man squad for tonight’s contest in Portland, Oregon. The summer showcase will air live from Providence Park at 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and UniMas.
For the first time in the event's history, the MLS All-Stars will face a club from Germany's Bundesliga in star-studded FC Bayern Munich. The MLS All-Stars are 6-3-1 all-time against international competition in the All-Star Game and now a meeting beckons with one of the world's premier teams. During the 2013-14 season, Bayern Munich were crowned champions of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and FIFA Club World Cup. They have lifted six of the past 10 German league titles and won the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League.
The All-Star Game will be a familiar spectacle for Besler, Collin and Zusi, who have each played in two previous editions. Dwyer, however, is set to make the first All-Star appearance of his career after replacing injured Toronto FC forward Jermain Defoe on the gameday roster. The 24-year-old is tied for second in MLS with 14 goals and won the MLS Player of the Month award in May.
BENNY FEILHABER NAMED JULY’S MLS PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Midfielder Benny Feilhaber was named Major League Soccer's Player of the Month for July on Tuesday. Feilhaber becomes the third different Sporting KC player to win the award in the past three months, following Dom Dwyer in May and Eric Kronberg in June. Sporting KC is now the first team to claim Player of the Month honors in three consecutive months in the League's 19-year history.
The 29-year-old led Sporting KC to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings with a League-high 13 points (4-0-1) in July. Feilhaber contributed to both goals in a 2-1 win at the Columbus Crew on July 16, setting up C.J. Sapong for a 42nd-minute header before scoring the match-winner in second half stoppage time. Three days later, he scored a sublime free kick goal against the LA Galaxy to hand the four-time MLS champions their only loss in the past 11 games.
Feilhaber currently leads the team with five assists and ranks second among Sporting KC players with four goals in all competition this season. In addition, he has suffered the second most fouls among all MLS players this season (55).
KEMPIN NAMED MVP OF INAUGURAL MLS HOMEGROWN GAME
Sporting KC goalkeeper Jon Kempin was voted the Most Valuable Player of the inaugural Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game in Monday’s 0-0 draw against the Portland Timbers U-23s. The Leawood, Kansas native recorded two impressive saves in 45 minutes of second half action at Providence Park in Portland, first denying Jacori Hayes’ low effort from inside the box and then parrying away Christian Roldan’s 30-yard blast.
Centerback Erik Palmer-Brown, who in the last year has featured for the U.S. U-17, U-18 and U-20 national teams, played 90 minutes at right back for the MLS Homegrown squad and helped Kempin preserve a shutout.
SPORTING KC EXTENDS UNBEATEN STREAK IN DRAW AGAINST PHILADELPHIA
A 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union last Friday lifted Sporting KC atop the Supporters’ Shield standings and extended the club’s MLS unbeaten run to eight matches.
Winger Graham Zusi fired the hosts ahead in the 54th minute, receiving a through ball from midfielder Antonio Dovale and tucking his shot low past goalkeeper Zac MacMath. Zusi now leads Sporting KC’s active roster with 20 career League goals and moves into ninth place on the club’s all-time scoring list. Philadelphia leveled the contest when substitute forward Brian Brown scored his first career MLS goal just two minutes after his 69th-minute introduction.
Without Matt Besler (suspension) and Lawrence Olum (international duty), Sporting KC’s roster rotation continued with the team's 22nd different starting lineup in 22 MLS matches this season. Honduran international Jorge Claros made his MLS debut in the holding midfield position, while fellow summer signing Martin Steuble entered late for his first minutes in a Sporting KC uniform. Manager Peter Vermes has started 28 different players since the 2014 campaign began in March, most in the league and most in club history.
ANDY GRUENEBAUM UP FOR MLS SAVE OF THE WEEK
Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum is one of five finalists for MLS Save of the Week. The Overland Park, Kansas native earned the nomination for his diving save to turn away Vincent Nogueira's free kick in the 41st minute of a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union last Friday. Fans can vote at MLSsoccer.com for their Save of the Week selection.
Voted Man of the Match on SportingKC.com, Gruenebaum made his first of a season-high six saves minutes before halftime when Nogueira struck his free kick from 20 yards out toward the top corner.
Since becoming the starter last month in place of the injured Eric Kronberg, Gruenebaum has led the team to a 4-0-1 record with 13 saves and a 1.00 goals against average. The ninth-year professional was acquired prior to the 2014 season from Columbus, where he was part of their 2008 MLS Cup championship squad and back-to-back Supporters' Shield titles (2008, 2009).
COLLIN, DOVALE AND ZUSI TAKE TEAM OF THE WEEK HONORS
Winger Graham Zusi was named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week on Monday, the third time he has earned such honors this season. The United States international scored in the 54th minute of Friday’s 1-1 draw against Philadelphia, marking the first time he had notched goals in consecutive MLS matches during his six-year career, and was a constant threat for the Union defense.
Fellow playmaker Antonio Dovale won Team of the Week accolades for the first time in his career, landing a spot on Bleacher Report’s squad. The Spaniard assisted Zusi’s goal, made two additional key passes and completed 83 percent of his passes in 69 minutes of action.
Goal.com and Sports Illustrated awarded Aurelien Collin for his commanding defensive performance without suspended centerback partner Matt Besler. The Frenchman led all players with 12 duels won, five aerial duels won and nine clearances.
SPORTING LEGENDS INDUCTS HUNT, VERMES AND CONRAD IN CLASS OF 2014
Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes, former Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad and the late Lamar Hunt were inducted into the 2014 Sporting Legends class during an on-field ceremony last Friday at Sporting Park. Clark Hunt, Chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs, joined Vermes and Conrad on his father's behalf to receive halftime recognition.
Vermes and Conrad were selected among five finalists through a weighted vote on social media and SportingKC.com. Sporting Club selected Hunt as an honorary inductee for his pivotal role in founding Major League Soccer, the Kansas City professional soccer organization and pioneering the sport's growth in the United States.
An initiative launched in 2013, Sporting Legends pays tribute to club icons and provides a platform for inductees to re-engage with the local soccer community. For more content on the 2014 class, visit SportingKC.com/SportingLegends.
LAWRENCE OLUM AND KENYA BATTLE LESOTHO TO 0-0 DRAW
Midfielder Lawrence Olum started for Kenya on Sunday in a scoreless draw with Lesotho at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi. Despite the shutout, Kenya was eliminated from 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying on aggregate after falling 1-0 in the away leg two weeks earlier.
Olum made his third career international appearance for the Harambee Stars since making his competitive debut in May. He had previously started a pair of matches against Comoros in the first round of AFCON qualifying.
ZUSI WINS MLS GOAL OF THE WEEK
Graham Zusi's game-tying goal at Toronto FC on July 26 was voted the MLS AT&T Goal of the Week for Week 20. The MLS All-Star midfielder earns his second Goal of the Week honor in as many seasons after beating Chicago Fire goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi from distance in July 2013.
Jackson put Toronto FC ahead 1-0 in the first half at BMO Field, jeopardizing Sporting KC's four-game road unbeaten streak. In the 48th minute, however, Zusi ignited his team’s first come-from-behind win of 2014 with a well-placed strike into the corner of the net. Midfield substitute Jacob Peterson netted the game-winner 10 minutes from time.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE MATCHES
Single-game tickets for Sporting KC’s two group stage matches at Sporting Park in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League are now available to purchase via Ticketmaster.com. The MLS Cup champions will host Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa on Sept. 18 before a meeting with Nicaraguan club Real Esteli five days later on Sept. 23. Both matches will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and are included in Sporting KC Season Ticket Member packages.
DNC JOB FAIR AT SPORTING PARK TOMORROW
Delaware North Companies (DNC) is hiring for all food and beverage positions during a job fair from 2-6 p.m. CT on Thursday at Sporting Park (1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, KS). Available positions include beer vendors, stand attendants, utility workers, porters/barbacks, cooks, bartenders and concession supervisors.
Interested candidates must be at least 18 years of age to apply and must be 21 years of age to sell alcoholic beverages. Parking for Thursday's job fair is available in Lot D (click here for map/directions) and all attending should enter through the security entrance on the east side of the stadium across from Best Western. Those unable to attend the job fair are encouraged to apply online.
DNC is a global leader in hospitality and food service with 55,000 associates across the United States and around the world. For more information, contact Brianna Loy at (913) 912-7578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPORTING KC PLAYERS TO APPEAR AT AREA SUBWAY RESTAURANTS
Subway and Sporting KC are kicking off the month of August with several player appearances at various Subway locations in Kansas City and surrounding areas. The player appearances began yesterday in Topeka, Kansas and resume today in St. Joseph, Missouri (3114 North Belt Highway). All player appearances will be from 3:30-5 p.m. CT and one Sporting KC player will be in attendance to meet fans and sign autographs. The first 100 fans at each location will receive a free t-shirt.
Click here for a full schedule of all upcoming player appearances at local Subway locations.
SPORTING KC AND UMKC KICK OFF FAN SWEEPSTAKES
Sporting KC and the University of Missouri-Kansas City are kicking off Rally with the Roos month in August with a fan sweepstakes, sponsored by UMKC. Ten winners will receive two Sporting KC tickets with all-inclusive food and beverage, one parking pass, two Rally with the Roos T-shirts and one team-signed soccer ball. Fans can enter to win online until Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. CT.
UMKC Night at Sporting Park will be on Sept. 26 as Sporting KC hosts the New England Revolution at 7 p.m. Visit UMKC.edu/SportingKC for more information.
BUZZ BEACH BALL TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Tickets are now on sale for Buzz Beach Ball, presented by 96.5 The Buzz and Sporting KC. The concert is set for Sept. 5 at Sporting Park with tickets starting as low as $30 on Ticketmaster.com. Buzz Beach Ball acts include Arctic Monkeys, Weezer and The 1975. For more information, visit BeachBallKC.com.
FOLLOW SPORTING KC ONLINE
Sporting KC fans looking to keep up with the club online 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.