KRISZTIAN NEMETH HAT-TRICK LEADS SPORTING KC PAST FC TUCSON
Sporting Kansas City defeated FC Tucson 4-2 on Monday in the club’s final match of the Desert Friendlies preseason tournament at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Krisztian Nemeth scored a second-half hat-trick and provided the game-winning assist to Jimmy Medranda as the visitors twice came from behind to earn the victory. Nemeth, 26, joined Sporting KC in the offseason from Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade and has extensive international experience for Hungary's youth and senior national teams.
After a scoreless first half in which midfielder Roger Espinoza made his preseason debut, FC Tucson went ahead in the 48th minute through Marquis Brooks. Nemeth recorded his first of two equalizers on the hour mark, burying a penalty kick after Mikey Lopez was fouled in the penalty box.
Derek Boggs briefly restored FC Tucson's lead in the 74th minute, but Nemeth restored the deadlock with an impressive side-volley off a cross from 2015 MLS SuperDraft third round selection James Rogers. Nemeth then turned provider in the 77th minute when he squared a pass to Jimmy Medranda, whose one-time shot gave Sporting KC their first lead of the match.
Sporting KC sealed the result in the final minute when Amadou Dia, a first round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, set up Nemeth for his third goal of the match.
Sporting KC will travel back to Kansas City on Tuesday before returning to Tucson from Feb. 15 through March 1 to participate in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup. Captain Matt Besler and homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who participated at the United States Men’s National Team January Camp from Jan. 12 to Feb. 8, will rejoin the club for its second training camp at the Kino Sports Complex.
SPORTING KC LAUNCHES "MADE IN KANSAS CITY" MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Sporting KC introduced the club's "Made in Kansas City" marketing campaign in two television spots that debuted Sunday during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards on KCTV5.
A joint collaboration between Sporting KC and Liquid 9, the spots include cameos from Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, Roger Espinoza and Graham Zusi -- four members of Sporting KC who blossomed into MLS All-Stars while playing in Kansas City.
The television spots also feature music from the band Radkey, a punk rock trio from St. Joseph, Missouri. Sporting KC established a relationship with the band -- consisting of brothers Dee (21), Solomon (19) and Isaiah Radke (17) -- when it opened one of the concerts that the Kansas City Power & Light District hosted during 2013 MLS All-Star Game festivities.
Radkey has already made waves in the punk rock landscape with two EPs and live shows across the U.S., U.K. and parts of Europe. Currently in England recording their first full-length album, the band is slated to perform in April at Coachella, a renowned music festival in Southern California.
In addition to the new TV commercials, Sporting KC’s marquee players will be prominently displayed on four billboards throughout the metropolitan area. The outdoor campaign debuted three billboards on Monday, with an additional billboard to be unveiled on Feb. 16.
MATT BESLER EARNS 25TH CAP AS U.S. DEFEATS PANAMA 2-0
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler collected the 25th cap of his international career on Sunday, playing 90 minutes for the United States in a 2-0 win over Panama at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Besler's 25 appearances for the U.S. are second most among all players since the start of 2013, one fewer than Jozy Altidore. The 28-year-old is the only member of Jurgen Klinsmann's squad to play every minute in each of the past three matches.
The U.S. improved to 12-1-2 all-time against Panama and won their sixth straight in the series. Michael Bradley scored the game-winning goal, curling a corner kick inside the far post in the 27th minute, and Clint Dempsey doubled the lead 10 minutes later as the annual January Camp ended on a victorious note.
Besler, who recorded his first international assist last month against Chile, helped limit Panama to just one shot on goal. In addition to making four interceptions and four clearances, he completed 67 of 68 passes for a 98.5 percent passing accuracy clip.
Besler will now return to Sporting KC along with club teammate Jon Kempin, who was one of three goalkeepers in the U.S. camp, for the second phase of preseason training in Tucson, Arizona.
JORGE CLAROS WITH HONDURAS FOR TONIGHT'S FRIENDLY VS. VENEZUELA
Sporting KC midfielder Jorge Claros and the Honduras Men's National Team will face Venezuela tonight at Estadio Agustin Tovar in Barinas, Venezuela (5:30 p.m. CT). The international friendly is the final tune-up for Honduras, No. 72 in the latest FIFA rankings, before meeting French Guyana on March 25 (away) and March 29 (home) in a play-in series for the final berth in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Claros played 45 minutes last Wednesday in Los Catrachos' opening match of 2015, a 3-2 home loss to Venezuela. He entered the game at halftime for his first minutes under new head coach Jorge Luis Pinto.
Claros, who has earned 56 international appearances since his 2006 debut, played all three matches for Los Catrachos at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and has also represented Honduras at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The 29-year-old joined Sporting KC in July 2014 from Motagua of the Honduran Liga Nacional. He made eight MLS appearances and featured in all four of the club's matches in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League group stage.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR NEW PRIMARY JERSEY LAUNCH AT SPORTING EVOLUTION
Sporting KC will unveil its new primary jersey at Sporting EVOLUTION on Wednesday, March 4 at the Uptown Shoppes Event Space (3600 Broadway Avenue, Kansas City, MO). Doors will open at 6 p.m. CT, one hour prior to the show’s start at 7 p.m. CT, on the day of the event.
Tickets are available in advance via Ticketmaster.com or at the Uptown Theater box office (hours), and can also be purchased on March 4 prior to entry. Sporting EVOLUTION is open to all ages and the $10 cost of admission comes with a $10 Sporting Style gift card to be used toward Sporting KC and/or Sporting Club merchandise purchased at the party. Parking for the event is free and available on site.
The season kick off celebration will transform the Uptown Shoppes Event Space through use of video mapping technology, lasers and lighting effects, as well as electronic concert level sound. Sporting KC players and coaches will be in attendance to interact with fans and the team’s brand new primary jersey will be available to purchase for the first time.
In addition, concession-style drinks will be on sale until the event’s completion at 10 p.m. CT and a silent auction will be held to benefit The Victory Project in its mission to help kids thrive through life’s challenges.
ACADEMY U16'S AND U18'S COLLECT WINS IN SEASON-HIGH SCORING PERFORMANCES
The Sporting KC Under-16 and Under-18 Academy teams posted season-high goal scoring totals in consecutive wins over the San Antonio Scorpions Youth Academy on Saturday at Swope Soccer Village. The U18's opened the doubleheader with a 7-1 victory, followed by the U16's 5-2 triumph to sweep the first of two meetings during the 2014-15 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.
Looking ahead, the U16's will compete in this second phase of the 2014-15 Generation adidas Cup this Friday through Monday at the Houston Sports Park in Texas.
The U16's and U-18's both return to U.S. Soccer Development Academy action on Sunday, Feb. 22 when they host Andromeda FC at Swope Soccer Village.
ACADEMY'S CAMERON DUKE FEATURES FOR U.S. U-14'S IN WIN OVER REAL MADRID
The Sporting KC Academy's Cameron Duke featured for the United States Under-14 Boys' National Team on Tuesday in a 2-0 victory over Real Madrid. A native of Olathe, Kansas, Duke is one of 20 players in Spain for a training camp that began Feb. 6 and will continue through Feb. 16.
Led by head coach Brian Johnson, who played professionally in Kansas City from 1997-2001, the U.S. will play two more academy sides before returning home. The U-14's face Rayo Vallecano today before meeting Extremadura on Saturday. Follow @ussoccer_ynt on Twitter for updates.
TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR SPORTING KC’S FIRST 10 HOME GAMES OF 2015 SEASON
Single-game tickets for Sporting KC’s first 10 home matches of the 2015 MLS regular season are now on sale at Ticketmaster.com. Individual match tickets for fixtures in the opening four months of Sporting KC’s 2015 home schedule can be secured at the links below:
March 8 vs. New York Red Bulls
March 21 vs. Portland Timbers
April 5 vs. Philadelphia Union
April 11 vs. Real Salt Lake
May 3 vs. Chicago Fire
May 16 vs. Colorado Rapids
May 20 vs. New England Revolution
May 29 vs. FC Dallas
June 6 vs. Seattle Sounders FC
June 27 vs. Colorado Rapids
For information on group ticket packages and partial season ticket packages for the 2015 season, call 888-4KC-GOAL.
Single-game tickets for Sporting KC’s final seven regular season MLS home games will go on sale to the general public in June. Visit SportingKC.com/schedule for the club’s full 34-game regular season schedule in 2015.
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR SPORTING KC YOUTH CAMPS IN 2015
Sporting KC is offering a series of youth camps to foster the next generation of soccer players in the region. Registration for upcoming camp opportunities is now open at SportingKC.com/camps, beginning with the Spring Break Development Camp from March 16-18 at Swope Soccer Village. For more information on the youth camps available to boys and girls, visit SportingKC.com.
SPORTING PARK TO HOST K-STATE FOOTBALL'S SPRING GAME ON APRIL 25
Sporting Park will host Kansas State University's 2015 Purple/White Spring Game at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 25, the school announced last Thursday. The game will include several activities for fans and families of all ages, including hospitality opportunities, interactive games for children, autographs and appearances from Willie Wildcat and K-State cheerleaders, and performances from the Pride of Wildcat Land Marching Band.
The annual spring game will be held at Sporting Park due to construction of the new Vanier Football Complex on the Kansas State University campus. Tickets for the game go on sale to Ahearn Fund members on Feb. 23 and to the general public on March 2.
Parking lots will open at noon CT and tailgating is permitted. For complete ticket information on the spring game, visit www.k-statesports.com or call 800-221-CATS.
FOLLOW SPORTING KC ONLINE
Sporting KC fans looking to keep up with the club online have a place to go. The Social Media page on SportingKC.com features Twitter account information for the team, its players and several staff members. Supporters may also take advantage of the Media Recap page for all the latest independent news coverage.