SPORTING KC RESUMES DESERT DIAMOND CUP ACTION TONIGHT VS. REAL SALT LAKE
Sporting Kansas City continues preseason play tonight against Real Salt Lake at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. A rematch of 2013 MLS Cup, the game will kick off at 9 pm. CT with a live stream available on SportingKC.com.
Real Salt Lake and Sporting KC occupy the top two spots in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup heading into the final round of group stage matches. Real Salt Lake has won their previous two games in the tournament, a 1-0 decision against the New England Revolution last Wednesday and a 3-1 triumph over FC Tucson on Saturday. Sporting KC has collected four points through two games, drawing the Colorado Rapids 2-2 last Wednesday before defeating Seattle Sounders FC 3-2 on Saturday.
The Desert Diamond Cup concludes Saturday with placement matches for first, third and fifth place. Sporting KC is one of five MLS clubs in the competition alongside Real Salt Lake, the Colorado Rapids, Seattle Sounders FC and the New England Revolution. USL Premier Development League host FC Tucson rounds out the six-team field.
ZUSI SCORES IN PRESEASON DEBUT AS SPORTING KC TOPS SEATTLE 3-2
Sporting KC recorded their first win in the Desert Diamond Cup after defeating Seattle Sounders FC 3-2 on Saturday. Goals from Graham Zusi, Krisztian Nemeth and James Rogers condemned the defending Supporters' Shield champions to their first defeat in the tournament.
Zusi opened the scoring at Kino North Stadium in the 34th minute, his goal coming at the tail end of his preseason debut. The winger had missed Sporting KC's first three preseason contests while recovering from a stress reaction injury. Sporting KC doubled their lead five minutes later through Nemeth, who netted his team-leading fifth goal of the preseason.
The second half saw wholesale changes from both teams as 2015 MLS SuperDraft first round pick Saad Abdul-Salaam made his preseason debut in defense. James Rogers, another 2015 draft selection, scored the game-winner in the 73rd minute with an impressive left-footed strike into the top corner. Seattle notched two consolation goals through Victor Mansaray and Kenny Cooper, but Sporting KC preserved their lead to the final whistle.
Sporting KC's win over Seattle came on the heels of a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids last Wednesday in the first match of the Desert Diamond Cup at Kino North Stadium. Newly acquired forwards Nemeth and Bernardo Anor scored in the second half as Sporting KC erased a two-goal halftime deficit. Their strikes in the 77th and 78th minutes -- a penalty kick from Nemeth and a close-range effort from Anor -- cancelled out early goals from Gabriel Torres and Dominique Badji.
SPORTING KC SIGNS 2015 SUPERDRAFT PICK JAMES ANSU ROGERS
Sporting KC announced Wednesday that the club has signed forward James Ansu Rogers, the 53rd overall selection (third round) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The University of New Mexico product has been added to the team’s roster.
Ansu Rogers, 21, was a member of the United States Under-20 Men's National Team in 2012 after first representing the U.S. at the under-15 level in 2007. A native of Sierra Leone, Ansu Rogers moved to the U.S. at age 11 and competed for the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake academies prior to being recruited to the University of New Mexico. He contributed 22 goals, fourth most in program history, and 20 assists during a four-year collegiate career, leading the Lobos to three straight first-place finishes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (2011, 2012) and Conference USA (2013).
SPORTING KC PARTS WAYS WITH MIDFIELDERS JORGE CLAROS AND JAMES MARCELIN
Sporting KC announced Tuesday that the club has waived midfielder James Marcelin and mutually agreed to part ways with midfielder Jorge Claros.
Claros appeared in eight MLS matches (including postseason) and four games during the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League group stage since being acquired by Sporting KC last July. The 29-year-old played at the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2014 FIFA World Cup as a member of the Honduras Men’s National Team.
Marcelin was acquired by Sporting KC in December and appeared in three preseason matches for the club. The 28-year-old has twice represented Haiti at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, as well as in Olympic and World Cup qualifying, and has 39 career MLS appearances over two seasons with the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas.
SPORTING KC HIRES KACIE MCDONNELL AS SKCTV'S NEW NETWORK HOST
Sporting KC announced Monday the hiring of KSHB-TV, 41 Action News reporter Kacie McDonnell as SKCTV’s new network host. McDonnell will anchor Sporting KC's pregame and postgame shows and conduct in-game interviews from the sidelines during locally televised matches in 2015.
McDonnell joins play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty, color commentator Andy Gruenebaum and lead analyst Jake Yadrich on the SKCTV broadcast team for the club’s 20th season in Major League Soccer. KSHB’s sister station, KMCI-TV, is the local broadcast partner of Sporting KC, airing all regular season matches not nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 or ESPN2. In addition, KMCI’s television host Crystle Lampitt will return as a contributing feature reporter for select locally televised matches.
While working for Sporting KC, McDonnell will continue to work in her current position on KSHB-TV. She can be seen weekday mornings from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., providing traffic updates and reports.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR NEW PRIMARY JERSEY LAUNCH AT SPORTING EVOLUTION
Sporting KC will unveil its new primary jersey at Sporting EVOLUTION next 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.
In addition, fans can secure a free ticket to Sporting EVOLUTION with any online purchase of at least $25 at shop.sportingkc.com. The ticket will be delivered via mail with the packaged online order.
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.
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.
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.