SPORTING KC TRAVELS TO FACE REAL SALT LAKE ON FRIDAY
Sporting Kansas City (9-3-6, 33 points) hits the road for a precursor of the U.S. Open Cup semifinal when they take on Real Salt Lake (6-7-8, 26 points) at 10 p.m. CT on Friday in the club's third game in a seven-day span. The 2013 MLS Cup rematch will be nationally televised on UniMas and UDN (available in English), in addition to three hours of local coverage on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot beginning at 9:30 p.m. CT. Radio listeners can follow the match live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
A win on Friday would see Sporting KC move provisionally into first place in the Western Conference standings. The club leads MLS with 1.8.3 points per game and has just one defeat in their last 14 matches across all competitions, with the lone setback coming last month against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Second-half substitute Olmes Garcia came off the bench in that game to score a 93rd-minute winner after Sebastian Jaime and Dom Dwyer exchanged goals in the opening 30 minutes. Both sides will be without veteran players as Graham Zusi (SKC), Kyle Beckerman (RSL) and Nick Rimando (RSL) are with the United States Men's National Team at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes is one win shy of tying Bob Gansler as the winningest coach in club history. Vermes has 85 regular season wins and 107 victories in all competitions since becoming head coach in August 2009. Both totals are one behind Gansler, who coached the team from 1999-2006.
SPORTING KC ADVANCES TO U.S. OPEN CUP SEMIFINALS WITH 3-1 WIN OVER HOUSTON
Sporting KC secured a berth in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals with a 3-1 comeback victory over the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday at Sporting Park. Will Bruin opened the scoring for a Dynamo side playing with 10 men after Luis Garrido's first half red card, but Sporting KC rallied for three goals in the final 20 minutes on strikes from Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer and Krisztian Nemeth.
With the win—the team's 300th in all competitions and ninth straight at home across all competitions, setting a new club record—Sporting KC moves on to host Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. CT on Aug. 12 at Sporting Park. Single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning at 10 a.m. CT on Monday, July 27. Sporting KC Season Ticket Members have access to an exclusive pre-sale from 10 a.m. CT today until 9 a.m. CT on Monday, July 27 via their Account Manager.
SPORTING KC ACQUIRES AMOBI OKUGO IN TRADE FOR SERVANDO CARRASCO
Sporting KC acquired 24-year-old Amobi Okugo from Orlando City SC on Monday in exchange for midfielder Servando Carrasco. Okugo has been added to Sporting KC’s roster and will be eligible for selection ahead of Friday’s road match at Real Salt Lake.
Okugo has logged 132 MLS appearances as a central defender and holding midfielder in six professional seasons since being selected sixth overall by the Philadelphia Union in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft as a Generation adidas signing out of UCLA. He started all 20 games in his only collegiate season for the Bruins, earning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors and being named the Most Valuable Player at the 2010 MLS Player Combine.
Okugo represented the United States extensively at the youth national team levels and attended the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida for three semesters with the U.S. U-17’s from 2006-2007. He went on to appear at the 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championships before playing for the U.S. U-23’s at the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
In 2011, Okugo was a member of Major League Soccer’s Generation adidas roster that was led by Vermes during a tour of the Netherlands. Between 2012-2014, Okugo led all MLS players with 70 blocks and was fourth in the league with 276 interceptions.
He was included on MLSsoccer.com’s “24 under 24” rankings of the league’s top youth talent each of the past two seasons (8th in 2013, 13th in 2014) and joined Orlando City SC for their inaugural MLS campaign in 2015 after leading the Union through their first five MLS seasons. Okugo appeared in 17 of Orlando City SC’s 22 matches across all competition this year, including two U.S. Open Cup appearances, for the Lions.
SPORTING KC JUMPS TO THIRD-PLACE TIE IN THE WEST AFTER 2-1 WIN OVER MONTREAL
Sporting KC won the team's eighth straight home match across all competitions with a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact last Saturday at Sporting Park. Benny Feilhaber opened the scoring in the fourth minute and earned the game-winning assist on Dom Dwyer's goal 30 minutes later to move Sporting KC into a tie for third place in the Western Conference.
Sporting KC has now won four straight in the series with Montreal, with Dwyer scoring seven goals against the Canadian club during that stretch.
GRAHAM ZUSI AND THE U.S. MNT FACE JAMAICA TONIGHT IN GOLD CUP SEMIFINALS
The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup will conclude this weekend with the third place match (3 p.m. CT on Saturday on FOX Sports 2) and championship (6:30 p.m. CT on Sunday on FOX Sports 1) in Philadelphia. The match-ups will be set tonight during a semifinal doubleheader at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, beginning with USA-Jamaica at 5 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1 followed by Panama-Mexico at 8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 2.
Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi has made two appearances for the U.S. Men's National Team during the tournament and will be available for selection by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann this week.
BESLER, FEILHABER AND ZUSI NAMED TO MLS ALL-STAR GAMEDAY ROSTER
Major League Soccer announced the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star gameday roster on Saturday featuring Sporting KC's Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi on the 22-player squad. The MLS All-Stars will face English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday, July 29 live on FOX Sports 1 and UniMas from Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Besler and Zusi each earn MLS All-Star honors for the fourth time, including Zusi's distinction as the only field player to be an MLS All-Star each of the last four seasons. Feilhaber is a first-time MLS All-Star during a career-year in which he ranks second in MLS with 10 assists while also contributing six goals.
ERIK PALMER-BROWN NAMED TO 2015 CHIPOTLE MLS HOMEGROWN GAME ROSTER
Sporting KC defender Erik Palmer-Brown was named to the MLS Homegrown Team on Monday to face the Club America U-20’s during the 2015 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game. Palmer-Brown started and played the full 90 minutes in last year’s inaugural event in a scoreless draw against the Portland Timbers U-23’s.
Palmer-Brown, 18, has appeared in eight matches for Sporting Kansas City across all competition—including the team’s 2015 season opener and a 1-1 draw at Supporters’ Shield leaders D.C. United in May—since signing as a Homegrown Player in August 2013. He made his MLS debut in 2014 at age 17 and remains the youngest player to appear in a Major League Soccer match in club history.
The Lee’s Summit, Missouri native attended the prestigious U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida for the Spring 2013 semester and was named one of five finalists for U.S. Soccer’s 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year. Last month, Palmer-Brown represented the United States at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Palmer-Brown is one of three Sporting KC Academy products on Sporting Kansas City’s roster along with goalkeeper Jon Kempin and defender Kevin Ellis. The Sporting KC Academy formed in 2007 and features five fully-funded teams from the under-12 through under-18 age levels that train at Swope Soccer Village and compete at the highest levels.
Led by head coach Landon Donovan, the MLS Homegrown Team will play the Club America U-20’s at 8 p.m. CT on July 28 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado on the eve of the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. The event will showcase the top academy products from MLS clubs among the nearly 150 Homegrown Players who have signed professional contracts since the initiative began in 2008.
ACADEMY U-15S MAKE WINNING START AT US YOUTH SOCCER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
On Tuesday, the Sporting Kansas City Academy U-15s began play at the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma with three games in as many days. The U-15s have won their first two group stage matches in the competition, defeating South Carolina United FC 99 Elite 5-2 on Monday before claiming a 2-1 triumph over United FA 00 Premier (Georgia) this morning. The team will look to secure first place in the group and qualification for Saturday's semifinals when they face Surf Aguilar (California) tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Led by head coach Jon Parry, the U15's were crowned Kansas State Cup champions in May and Region II champions in June to secure their berth as one of eight national finalists in the under-15 age group. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates throughout the tournament.
SPORTING KC OFFERS MOBILE CONCESSIONS ORDERING IN BOULEVARD MEMBERS CLUB
Sporting KC has announced a new service designed to enhance the fan experience at Sporting Park. Fans with tickets in the Boulevard Members Club now have the ability to order and pay for concessions on their smartphones and then pick up their orders via a fast lane.
The new service, created in partnership with Kansas City-based Lantern Software, is simple. Fans download the Gameday™ app from the App Store or Google Play, choose the items they want and pay with a credit card or PayPal. The app provides an alert when the concessions staff has begun working on the order as well as another once the order is ready. Users will then pick up their order from a separate fast lane to expedite the concession process.
AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE OFFERING FREE ROAD TRIP TO SPORTING KC ROAD GAME
A partnership between Sporting KC and American Family Insurance now allows fans to register for a free road trip to see Sporting KC face the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 16. The match will be played at Avaya Stadium, San Jose’s new state-of-the-art venue that opened in March.
The contest is open to all Sporting KC fans 21 years of age and older who live in Kansas or Missouri and will run through Sept. 13. Supporters can register by visiting https://contests.amfam.com/sportingkc and filling out the entry form or by visiting the American Family Insurance booth at the following Sporting KC home matches: July 18, Aug. 1, Aug. 15 and Aug. 19.
One contest will reward one grand prize winner who will receive free airfare, four game tickets, a $1,000 bank card and more. Visit SportingKC.com for additional information.
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE FOR FINAL THREE MONTHS OF SPORTING KC'S SEASON
Single-game tickets for Sporting KC home matches from August through October are now on sale via Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available for the first time for the following matches:
- Saturday, Aug. 1: Sporting KC vs. Houston
- Saturday, Aug. 15: Sporting KC vs. Vancouver
- Wednesday, Aug. 19: Sporting KC vs. San Jose
- Friday, Sept. 18: Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas
- Sunday, Sept. 27: Sporting KC vs. Seattle
- Sunday, Oct. 25: Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy
BUZZ BEACH BALL SET FOR SATURDAY AT SPORTING PARK
Alt-J, Awolnation and Taking Back Sunday are among the dozen bands that will take the stage at Sporting Park this Saturday during Buzz Beach Ball presented by Mazda and 96.5 the Buzz. Doors will open at 2 p.m. CT for the sold-out event and additional information is available online at beachballkc.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.