SPORTING KC HITS THE ROAD TO FACE REAL SALT LAKE ON SUNDAY
Unbeaten in eight games across all competitions, Sporting Kansas City (6-2-6, 3rd place) resumes the regular season campaign Sunday against Real Salt Lake (4-5-6, 9th place) at 9 p.m. CT at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Soccer Sunday match-up will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 and features two teams that have reached the postseason in each of the last four years, highlighted by a meeting in the 2013 MLS Cup final.
Sporting KC hasn't lost a match since April 18 and is currently riding a 386-minute shutout streak in all competitions dating back to May 20. Peter Vermes' side has only two losses in 15 games this season with 23 goals scored and 15 goals conceded. The club is set to welcome back striker Krisztian Nemeth, who missed 1-0 wins over Seattle Sounders FC (June 6) and Saint Louis FC (Tuesday) while on international duty with the Hungary Men's National Team. Nemeth leads the team with six goals this season and is the reigning MLS Player of the Month.
Real Salt Lake has won just two of their last 11 MLS matches but hold one of the strongest home-field advantages in the league. Jeff Cassar's side has lost just twice in 25 MLS contests at Rio Tinto Stadium since the start of 2014. Real Salt Lake's roster includes United States international veterans Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckermann, who played with Sporting KC Designated Players Matt Besler and Graham Zusi at the 2014 FIFA World Cup last summer.
SPORTING KC ADVANCES IN OPEN CUP WITH 1-0 WIN OVER SAINT LOUIS FC
Sporting KC advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 victory over Saint Louis FC on Tuesday at Sporting Park. Graham Zusi scored the game's only goal, heading home a cross from Benny Feilhaber in the 70th minute, while Tim Melia earned his fourth straight shutout.
The club's pursuit of a third U.S. Open Cup title will continue on June 30 or July 1 with the Round of 16 draw to be held at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday via USsoccer.com to determine the opponent, date and location. If Sporting KC is awarded the right to host, the match will again be included in season ticket packages as Special Game A and single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CT on Friday via Ticketmaster.com.
In front of 19,298 fans, the largest fourth round crowd in the tournament's modern era and a new club record for the competition, Sporting KC eliminated their cross-state rivals in the team's first competitive match against an opponent from St. Louis. With the win, Sporting KC extends its unbeaten streak to eight games and remains unbeaten (6-0-1) all-time in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32.
The match also featured the return of defender Chance Myers, who made his first Sporting KC appearance since May 23, 2014, after recovering from an Achilles injury.
NEMETH AND HUNGARY EARN 1-0 WIN OVER FINLAND IN 2016 UEFA EURO QUALIFYING
Sporting KC forward Krisztian Nemeth and the Hungary Men’s National Team defeated Finland 1-0 on Saturday in a 2016 UEFA Euro qualifier. With the win, Hungary solidified their third-place position in Group F and moved within a point of second-place Northern Ireland.
Nemeth began on the bench and entered the match at halftime. The striker provided an immediate spark for the visitors, nearly putting Hungary ahead only moments after the break. In the 52nd minute, the reigning MLS Player of the Month received a pass behind the Finland defense and chipped goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, but D.C. United defender Markus Halsti raced back to clear the ball off the line.
Saturday’s appearance was Nemeth’s 17th for Hungary and his first in Euro qualifying. He will now return to Kansas City ahead of Sporting KC’s road match on Sunday against Real Salt Lake.
ERIK PALMER-BROWN AND U.S. SUFFER QUARTERFINAL LOSS AT FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP
Sporting KC defender Erik Palmer-Brown and the United States U-20 Men's National Team were eliminated from the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup after suffering a penalty kick shootout defeat to Serbia on Sunday. The sides played to a 0-0 draw through 120 minutes before Serbia prevailed 6-5 in the shootout.
Palmer-Brown made his U-20 World Cup debut on June 5 with a spot in the starting lineup for the United States' 3-0 loss against Ukraine. The 18-year-old Lee's Summit, Missouri native played the full 90 minutes at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand in the team's group stage finale.
FAN VOTING OPEN FOR 2015 AT&T MLS ALL-STAR GAME
Major League Soccer has unveiled the fan ballot for the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game featuring eight representatives—as nominated by media—from all 20 teams. Sporting KC’s eligible players for fan voting are as follows:
- Goalkeeper (1): Tim Melia
- Defenders (2): Jalil Anibaba and Matt Besler
- Midfielders (3): Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi
- Forwards (2): Dom Dwyer and Krisztian Nemeth
Voting is open through 2 p.m. CT on July 3 via MLSsoccer.com, social media and EA SPORTS FIFA 15. Eleven total players (one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards) with the highest combined votes will be named to the All-Star Fan XI.
In addition to votes cast online at MLSsoccer.com, fans can also vote through social media by mentioning an eligible player’s first and last name along with the hashtag #MLSAllStar on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Users may only vote for one player per post and votes are limited to one per account each day for up to 10 different players.
The 2015 MLS All-Stars will play Barclays Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur at 8 p.m. CT on July 29 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. Four of Sporting KC’s eight nominees are in contention for the first All-Star honors of their MLS careers, including World Cup veteran Benny Feilhaber who leads the League with a career-high seven assists this season. Besler and Zusi have each been named MLS All-Stars on three occasions while Dwyer (2014) and Espinoza (2012) have also received All-Star recognition during their respective careers.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR CONCACAF GOLD CUP DOUBLEHEADER ON JULY 13
Tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster.com for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader to be played at Sporting Park on July 13. The United States Men's National Team will face Panama at 8:30 pm. CT in the Group A finale after Haiti takes on either Honduras or French Guiana at 6 p.m. CT. CONCACAF announced the group stage matchups for the 12-team tournament in March.
All tickets provide entry to both matches with prices starting at $35 for general admission seating in the South Stand or Members Stand. Sporting KC could feature players on three of the teams competing at Sporting Park that evening—Matt Besler and Graham Zusi of the U.S., Haitian midfielder Soni Mustivar and Honduran midfielder Roger Espinoza.
The Gold Cup is the region’s marquee national team tournament and the headline competition for the United States Men’s National Team in 2015. This year’s tournament carries additional significance as it will determine CONCACAF's representatives at the Centennial Cup America in 2016 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017.
BOULEVARDIA TO BE HELD FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY IN THE WEST BOTTOMS
Sporting KC is once again a proud supporter of Boulevardia, which will be held Friday through Sunday in KC's 12th Street Bridge Historic District in the West Bottoms. Tickets are available online for the annual beer, food and music festival, which will feature four Sporting KC players -- Kevin Ellis, Ike Opara, Jon Kempin and Chance Myers -- as celebrity bartenders from 7-8:30 p.m. CT on Friday. In addition, Roger Espinoza and Marcel de Jong will be making special appearances from 7-8:30 p.m. CT on Friday at Sporting Kansas City's VIP tent, where all tips received will go toward The Victory Project.
PAULO NAGAMURA TO HOLD THURSDAY MEET-AND-GREET WITH FANS AT JACK IN THE BOX
Sporting KC midfielder Paulo Nagamura will make a special appearance from 5:30-7 p.m. CT on Thursday at Jack in the Box (211 S. 18th Street) in Kansas City, Kansas for a meet-and-greet with fans. The 11-year MLS veteran is in his fourth season with Sporting KC, playing every minute in the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 2013 MLS Cup championships.
MATT BESLER TO PLAY IN BIG SLICK CELEBRITY CLASSIC SOFTBALL GAME ON FRIDAY
On Friday, Sporting KC captain Matt Besler will participate in the annual Big Slick Celebrity Classic softball game at 5 p.m. CT at Kauffman Stadium. Besler will be joined by Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet and many more local stars as Big Slick Celebrity Weekend kicks off when gates open at 4:30 p.m. CT.
LOPEZ COMES OFF THE BENCH AS ENERGY FC TAKES FIRST PLACE WITH 2-0 WIN
OKC Energy FC reclaimed first place in the USL's Western Conference with their seventh straight win on Saturday, a 2-0 victory over expansion side Tulsa Roughnecks FC (4-6-2) at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City. Sporting KC midfielder Mikey Lopez, on loan with the club's official USL affiliate since March, came off the bench for the third straight match as a second-half substitute.
Lopez did not feature in Energy FC's 4-1 defeat to FC Dallas in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round on Tuesday.
ACADEMY U13'S AND U15'S TO COMPETE IN REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEKEND
The Sporting KC Under-13 and Under-15 Academy teams will begin play at the 2015 US Youth Soccer Region II Championships this weekend in Fox Cities, Wisconsin. The top teams from across the 13-state region will take the field at USA Youth Sports Complex and Southwest Park when the annual tournament kicks off on Saturday.
Sporting KC's two representatives each won Kansas State Cup earlier this month and will now be seeking a berth in the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Visit SportingKC.com for each team's roster and match schedule as the squads compete against the top teams from a 13-state region for a berth in the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships.
SPORTING KC U18'S DRAWN INTO GROUP F OF 2014/15 USSDA PLAYOFFS
The Sporting KC Academy U18's were drawn into Group F last Wednesday -- alongside the Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls and Blau Weiss Gottschee (NYC) -- ahead of the 2014/15 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs from June 23-26 at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.
Led by head coach Istvan Urbanyi, the Sporting KC U18's will be one of 32 teams at the annual U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs later this month. The top finisher from each of the eight playoffs groups will qualify for the Development Academy Knockouts, where teams are matched up for a single-elimination game at the site of the higher seed. Knockout stage winners then advance to the Academy Championships on July 16 (semifinals) and July 18 (third place and final) at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center in Carson, California.
SPORTING KC AND BOULEVARD BREWING CO. RELEASE NEW COLLABORATIONS
Sporting KC and Boulevard Brewing Co. have released a new line of co-branded apparel that is now available for purchase on Shop.SportingKC.com. The apparel will also be available throughout Boulevardia this Friday through Sunday. Boulevard will also carry the merchandise in its Dry Goods store and the apparel will be available for purchase.
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE FOR SECOND HALF OF SPORTING KC'S SEASON
Single-game tickets for Sporting KC home matches from July through October are now on sale via Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available for the first time for the following matches:
- Saturday, July 18: Sporting KC vs. Montreal
- 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
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.