Sporting KC vs. Portland Timbers | Desert Friendlies | 2015 Preseason

SPORTING KC TO UNVEIL NEW PRIMARY JERSEY ON MARCH 4 AT SPORTING EVOLUTION
Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club 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 Kansas City 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 Kansas City 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.


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 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.


SPORTING KC FALLS TO PORTLAND IN FIRST PRESEASON MATCH OF 2015
Sporting KC opened the 2015 preseason with a 2-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers on Saturday at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Arizona.


Manager Peter Vermes fielded 27 players over 90 minutes in the first match of the Desert Friendlies preseason tournament, resting Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza, Ike Opara, Chance Myers and Saad Abdul-Salaam. In addition, captain Matt Besler and homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin were unavailable while participating in the United States Men’s National Team January Camp.


Sporting KC continues its 2015 preseason schedule Monday at Kino North Stadium against hosts FC Tucson of the USL Premier Development League. The match is set to kick off at 11:30 a.m. CT and will be closed to the public.


Sporting KC travels back to Kansas City on Feb. 10 before returning to Tucson from Feb. 15 through March 1 to compete in the 205 Desert Diamond Cup.


MATT BESLER RECORDS FIRST INTERNATIONAL ASSIST AS U.S. FALLS TO CHILE
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler played 90 minutes and recorded the first assist of his international career last Wednesday as the United States Men’s National Team began its 2015 campaign with a 3-2 defeat to Chile.


Competing in the first of two friendlies during the U.S. MNT January Camp, Besler set up Break Shea’s goal in the sixth minute to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead at Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua, Chile. The 27-year-old Overland Park, Kansas native has made 24 international appearances since debuting in January 2013. He led the U.S. with 11 starts in 2014, including starting roles in each of the United States’ four matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil last summer.


Sporting KC homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin did not feature in the match but traveled with the U.S. senior team squad for the first time in his career. The 21-year-old Leawood, Kansas native has previously represented his country at the Under-14 through Under-23 levels.


Besler and Kempin have participated at the U.S. MNT January Camp since its start on Jan. 12, and the duo is expected to remain with the national team through the camp’s completion on Sunday, Feb. 8, when the U.S. faces Panama at StubHub Center in Carson, California.


Besler and Kempin will then rejoin Sporting KC for the club’s second preseason training camp in Tucson (Feb. 15 – March 1), where the team will compete in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup.


JORGE CLAROS WITH HONDURAS MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM FOR TWO UPCOMING FRIENDLIES
Sporting KC announced Sunday that midfielder Jorge Claros has joined the Honduras Men’s National Team for two upcoming friendlies against Venezuela. Honduras will host tonight’s match at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula before traveling for the away leg next Wednesday at Estadio Agustin Tovar in Barinas.


Ranked No. 72 in the latest FIFA rankings, Honduras opens its 2015 schedule under new manager Jorge Luis Pinto. The reigning CONCACAF Coach of the Year accepted the position in December after leading Costa Rica to the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.


Claros played all three matches for Honduras at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and most recently represented his country in October 2014 during friendlies against Mexico and the United States. He joined Sporting KC in July 2014 from Honduran club Motagua, making 12 appearances in all competitions.


ANDY GRUENEBAUM JOINS SKCTV AS COLOR COMMENTATOR FOR 2015
Sporting KC announced Thursday that Andy Gruenebaum will join the club’s front office for the 2015 season as a color commentator on SKCTV broadcasts and as a Sporting Club Network Liaison for youth soccer initiatives. He ended a nine-year professional career in 2014 after playing in 93 MLS matches (including postseason).


An Overland Park, Kansas native, Gruenebaum will join play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty for SKCTV’s coverage of Sporting KC during the 2015 season. Jake Yadrich will resume his role as SKCTV’s network host and sideline reporter, providing in-game interviews and updates from field level.


Gruenebaum, 32, will also serve an important role as a liaison between the Sporting Club Network and its 59 affiliate members. He completed his USSF National “B” License Course in December and will help develop a youth soccer curriculum for use throughout the network. He will utilize his goalkeeping expertise and Major League Soccer experience at youth camps and clinics, Academy Affiliate All-Star events and visits to the SCN’s 13 Academy Affiliates throughout the Midwest.


In 2014, Gruenebaum posted an 8-4-2 record in all competitions for Sporting KC with four shutouts and a 1.19 goals against average. His .636 winning percentage during the 2014 regular season ranks fourth best on the club’s all-time single-season charts, and he closed out the campaign with a career-best 308-minute shutout streak.


SPORTING KC TO ENTER 2015 U.S. OPEN CUP IN FOURTH ROUND
U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday the competition format for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. All MLS clubs based in the United States will enter this year’s tournament in the fourth round, to be played June 16-17.


The 102nd edition of the tournament will kick off in late April and feature a single-elimination, one-game-knockout format through the final on Sept. 29 or 30. This year’s competition will include 91 teams, making it the largest field during the modern era (1995-present). A new, geographically-based random draw will result in a fixed bracket from the Round of 16 onward.


The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Club Championship and is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 101 consecutive years dating back to 1914 and Sporting Kansas City has twice claimed the tournament title (2004, 2012).


ACADEMY’S CAMERON DUKE JOINS U.S. U-14 BOYS’ NATIONAL TEAM FOR TRIP TO SPAIN
Sporting Kansas City Under-14 Academy defender Cameron Duke was named to the United States Under-14 Boys’ National Team roster on Monday ahead of a training camp in Madrid, Spain from Feb. 6-16. During the trip abroad, the 20-player U.S. squad will face Academy sides from Real Madrid (Feb. 10), Rayo Vallecano (Feb. 11) and Extremadura (Feb. 14).


Duke has been invited to join the U.S. U-14 Boys’ National Team for each of the age group’s first three training camps during the new cycle. The 13-year-old Olathe, Kansas native previously joined 48 players last October at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California. He then joined the 36-player roster for the U.S. U-14’s first camp of 2015 last month in Bradenton, Fla.


SPORTING KC ACADEMY U18'S SIGN NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT
Seven players from the Sporting KC Academy U18 squad made their college commitments on Wednesday by signing National Letters of Intent with NCAA Division I universities.


Andrew Blalock (goalkeeper) - Drake
Jack Freeman (defender) - Ohio State
Bryce Gibson (defender) - Creighton
Ryan Krutz (goalkeeper) - Notre Dame
Zane Moxley (defender) - Air Force
Hector Solorio (midfielder) - Niagara
Tucker Stephenson (midfielder) - West Virginia


A special college commitment ceremony will be held for these players and their families on Feb. 11 at the Three Points Club (1511 Baltimore Avenue) in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
Established in 2007, the
Sporting KC Academy
 features four teams from Under-12 through Under-18 playing in regional and national competitions. Led by Director of Coaching Jon Parry, the Academy teams train and host home matches at the Swope Soccer Village. Sporting KC has signed five former Academy players to professional contracts.
For more information on the Sporting KC Academy, visit 
SportingKC.com/academy
 and follow 

 and 
.

LEGENDS HOSPITALITY TO OPERATE CONCESSIONS AND PREMIUM CATERING AT SPORTING PARK
Sporting KC has selected Legends Hospitality to operate all on-site food and beverage concessions and premium catering at Sporting Park, the club announced Monday.


Legends Hospitality will debut its new culinary program—based on popular regional fare, quality and customer service—at Sporting Park during Sporting KC’s 2015 home opener on March 8 against the New York Red Bulls.


Sporting KC joins a prominent list of Legends Hospitality professional sports partners, including the New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium), Dallas Cowboys (AT&T Stadium), Los Angeles Angels (Angel Stadium) and Manchester City FC (Etihad Stadium).


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.