SPORTING KC BEGINS 2015 PRESEASON IN TUCSON, ARIZONA
Sporting Kansas City players departed Sunday for the first of two preseason training camps (Jan. 25 - Feb. 10 and Feb. 15 - March 1) in Tucson, Arizona. The club will train and play six friendly matches—at least four of which against fellow MLS Western Conference opponents—at the Kino Sports Complex over the course of the next month.
Sporting KC's first two preseason contests come during the first phase of training camp as part of the 2015 Desert Friendlies slate. The club will face the Portland Timbers this Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. CT before meeting hosts FC Tucson on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
A brief return to Kansas City on Feb. 10 will see the club link up with Besler and homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who are currently competing at the United States Men’s National Team January Camp. Five days later, the squad heads back to Tucson for the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup. Matches against the Colorado Rapids (Feb. 18), Seattle Sounders FC (Feb. 21) and Real Salt Lake (Feb. 25) will set the stage for the tournament’s placement matches on Feb. 28.
BESLER AND KEMPIN NAMED TO USMNT ROSTER FOR WEDNESDAY'S FRIENDLY IN CHILE
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler and homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin were selected Saturday to the 23-man roster for the United States Men's National Team ahead of today's international friendly against Chile. The match in Rancagua, Chile, will kick off at 5 p.m. CT with live television coverage on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and UDN.
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. plays Panama at StubHub Center in Carson, California (3 p.m. CT on ESPN, UniMas, UDN).
Besler has earned 23 caps for the U.S. since debuting in January 2013. The 27-year-old centerback led the national team with 11 starts in 2014, including starting roles in all four games at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Besler has made 161 MLS appearances (including postseason) over six seasons since being selected in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of Notre Dame. He is a three-time MLS All-Star (2011, 2013, 2014) and has twice been named to the MLS Best XI (2012, 2013) to go along with an MLS Defender of the Year honor in 2012.
Kempin, 21, is part of the senior U.S. Men's National Team for the first time in his career after previously representing his country at the Under-14 through Under-23 levels. The Leawood, Kansas native was most recently a member of the U.S. Under-21 Men's National Team during a breakthrough 2014 campaign in which he made his MLS debut. In doing so, he became the youngest at his position to play in MLS since 2012 and also entered the record books as the youngest goalkeeper to start an MLS match in club history. Kempin earned back-to-back MLS Save of the Week honors in his first two appearances and was named MVP of the 2014 MLS Chipotle Homegrown Game.
SPORTING KC SIGNS KEVIN ELLIS AND SERVANDO CARRASCO
Sporting KC has signed Kevin Ellis and midfielder Servando Carrasco to new contracts, the club announced Tuesday.
Entering his fifth season at Sporting KC, Ellis set career highs for the club in 2014 with 27 appearances in all competitions, one goal and three assists. The 23-year-old right back scored his first competitive goal against Cruz Azul in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals and his two game-winning assists during the MLS regular season were tied for the team lead.
Ellis became the team's second Homegrown Player upon signing in 2011 as a product of the Sporting KC Academy. He made his MLS debut in 2013 and also played a combined 10 games in the USL PRO while on loan with Orlando City SC (2013) and OKC Energy FC (2014) over the last two seasons.
Carrasco has played 60 MLS matches in four seasons (including playoffs) with Seattle Sounders FC (2011-12) and Houston Dynamo (2013-14). He won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with Seattle during his rookie season in 2011 and helped Houston advance to the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship.
The 26-year-old defensive midfielder was selected in the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of California, where he recorded 13 goals and 13 assists during his collegiate career and was a three-time All-PAC 10 selection.
Carrasco, who married U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan last month, holds dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico. Sporting KC acquired his rights from the Houston Dynamo during the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for the club’s second round selection.
SPORTING STYLE WAREHOUSE SALE SET FOR SATURDAY AT SPORTING PARK
SportingStyle will hold a warehouse sale in the Boulevard Members Club at Sporting Park this Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Deals include 25 percent off Sporting KC secondary jerseys, $9.97 T-shirts and $19.97 sweatshirts. Supporters can visit shop.SportingKC.com to shop for club gear and follow @SportingStyle on Twitter for the latest merchandise updates.
SPORTING KC ACADEMY U16'S AND U18'S GO UNDEFEATED IN DALLAS
The Sporting KC Academy went unbeaten last weekend as the U16's and U'18s both earned four points from two games in Dallas. The Sporting KC U16's defeated Andromeda FC 4-0 on Saturday before drawing 1-1 with the Dallas Texans on Sunday, while the U18's began with a 1-1 tie against Andromeda FC and capped the weekend with a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Texans.
SPORTING CLUB NETWORK ADDS SPORTING LEE'S SUMMIT AS NEW ACADEMY AFFILIATE
The Sporting Club Network added its 13th Academy Affiliate last Thursday with the addition of Lee's Summit Soccer Association of Lee's Summit, Missouri. Now rebranded as Sporting Lee's Summit, the club is the network's fifth Academy Affiliate in the state of Missouri and the third local affiliate along with Sporting Blue Valley and Sporting Kaw Valley.
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR SPORTING KC YOUTH CAMPS IN 2015
Sporting KC will again be 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 KC RELEASES 2015 MLS SCHEDULE
Sporting KC has released its 34-game regular season schedule for the 2015 Major League Soccer season. Single-game tickets for the club’s first 10 regular season home games will go on sale to the general public on Feb. 2, and current 2015 Season Ticket Members will have access to an exclusive pre-sale opportunity. Call 888-4KC-GOAL for information on group ticket packages and partial season ticket packages for the 2015 season.
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.