SPORTING KC TO HOST COLORADO RAPIDS ON SATURDAY
Sporting Kansas City (6-3-6, 24 points) will aim for the team's sixth consecutive home victory when the club hosts the Colorado Rapids (2-4-9, 15 points) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Sporting Park. A limited number of tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com and the first 10,000 fans inside the gates will receive a Sporting KC cinch bag courtesy of the Darol Rodrock Foundation.
Saturday's match will air live on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot locally and on SKCTV affiliates across the Midwest with three hours of coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. In addition, radio broadcasts will be available for local listeners on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).
The Western Conference match-up is part of Major League Soccer's Heineken Rivalry Week and will be the first of three regular season meetings between the clubs in 2015. Sporting KC has played the Colorado Rapids more than any other opponent (66 times in all competitionS) dating back to the inaugural MLS season in 1996.
Sporting KC is unbeaten in 10 straight MLS matches against Colorado dating back to 2009 with a 5-0-5 record (including postseason). In addition, Kansas City has not lost to the Rapids at home since September 2002, a run of 14 straight league games without defeat (10-0-4 record including postseason).
ZUSI AND DE JONG NAMED TO FINAL 2015 CONCACAF GOLD CUP ROSTERS
CONCACAF announced on Tuesday the 23-man rosters for each of the 12 countries competing in the 2015 Gold Cup from July 7-26 across the U.S. and Canada. Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi was named to the U.S. Men’s National Team roster, while defender Marcel de Jong was named to the roster for Canada’s Men’s National Team.
A veteran of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Zusi receives the first Gold Cup selection of his international career. The three-time MLS All-Star has 28 caps for the U.S. with three goals and six assists since his debut in 2012. Zusi is a two-time MLS Best XI selection (2012, 2013) and he ranks in the top 10 on Sporting KC's all-time regular season charts with 43 assists (third) and 23 goals (10th).
De Jong, 28, is poised to make his fourth straight appearance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup for Canada after representing his country at the 2009, 2011 and 2013 editions. The defender, acquired in March from FC Augsburg in Germany, has 33 earned caps for Canada, most recently starting in a pair of victories over Guatemala (March 27) and Puerto Rico (March 30).
Zusi and de Jong will be available for Sporting KC this Saturday for the club’s home match against the Colorado Rapids. Zusi will then travel to Nashville for a training camp ahead of the USMNT’s July 3 friendly versus Guatemala (5:30 p.m. CT, FOX Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deportes Network). De Jong, meanwhile, will join the Canada MNT in California for a training camp ahead of their Gold Cup opener on July 8 versus El Salvador.
SPORTING KC'S EIGHT-GAME UNBEATEN RUN SNAPPED IN 2-1 LOSS AT REAL SALT LAKE
Two years after scoring in the final minute at Rio Tinto Stadium for a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, Sporting KC's fortunes were reversed on Sunday as the club's eight-game unbeaten run was snapped in dramatic fashion. Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia scored in the 93rd minute on a fortuitous deflection to secure his team's first win in the series since 2011.
The Western Conference rivals exchanged goals in the first half with Real Salt Lake Designated Player Sebastian Jaime opening the scoring in the 15th minute and Dom Dwyer equalizing for Sporting Kansas City 15 minutes later. The scoreline remained level until Garcia - 10 minutes after entering the match as a second-half substitute - struck a low shot that skipped off the foot of Kevin Ellis and carried over goalkeeper Tim Melia to match the latest game-winning goal in Real Salt Lake history.
SPORTING KC TO PLAY FC DALLAS ON JULY 1 IN U.S. OPEN CUP ROUND OF 16
Sporting KC will face FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. CT on July 1 at Sporting Park in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, U.S. Soccer announced last Thursday. Tickets for the match are included in Sporting KC Season Ticket Member packages as Special Game A. Single-game tickets are now on sale to the general public via Ticketmaster.com.
Sporting KC advanced to the Round of 16 with a 1-0 victory over St. Louis FC (USL) on June 16 in front of a standing-room only crowd at Sporting Park. The club, which has twice lifted the Dewar Challenge Trophy as champions of the competition in 2004 and 2012, will continue the U.S. Open Cup campaign in two weeks time versus a Western Conference rival. Sporting KC has played FC Dallas on only one occasion in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a 4-0 victory in the 2004 quarterfinals en route to the team’s first U.S. Open Cup championship.
The winner between Sporting KC and FC Dallas will earn a berth in the tournament quarterfinals and will meet the victor from the Houston Dynamo-Colorado Rapids match-up. If Sporting KC advances, the quarterfinal round would be played at Sporting Park on July 21/22.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has been held annually since 1914 and is open to all amateur/professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The 2015 edition is headlined by the largest field in the modern era (1995-present) with 89 teams in contention when the first round began. This year’s winner will earn a $250,000 grand prize and will qualify for the 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
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.
Jurgen Klinsmann's squad, ranked No. 27 in the world, returns to Sporting Park for the fourth time since the state-of-the-art stadium first hosted the U.S. during the 2011 Gold Cup. All tickets provide entry to both matches with prices starting at $35 for general admission seating in the South Stand or Members Stand.
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.
CONCACAF LAUNCHES SWEEPSTAKES OFFERING VIP GOLD CUP WEEKEND PRIZE PACKAGE
On Monday, CONCACAF launched a Text-To-Win Sweepstakes offering a VIP Gold Cup weekend prize package that includes:
- Flights for two to Philadelphia
- Three-night hotel stay
- Two tickets to 3rd place (July 25) and Championship (July 26) matches
Fans can text 'SPORTING' to SOCCER (762237) for a chance to win before the sweepstakes ends on July 15.
DAROL RODROCK FOUNDATION TO COLLECT DONATIONS SATURDAY FOR AREA YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE
In addition to giving away Sporting KC cinch bags to the first 10,000 fans inside Sporting Park on Saturday, the Darol Rodrock Foundation will also be collecting donations for area children in foster care. Donation bins will be set up at the Sprint Plaza and Boulevard Members Club gates for fans to drop off a variey of recommended household items for local teenagers transitioning from foster families to independent living.
Sporting KC and Rodrock Development entered a three-year partnership earlier this year to raise awareness for the Darol Rodrock Foundation in its mission to provide support for local foster care families and children. For more information, visit DarolRodrockFoundation.org or Rodrock.com.
SPORTING KC WAIVES JAMES ANSU ROGERS
Sporting KC announced on Monday that the club has waived forward James Ansu Rogers. The 21-year-old rookie was selected 53rd overall in the third round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of New Mexico, where he contributed 18 goals and 21 assists in 80 games for the Lobos over a four-year collegiate career.
Ansu Rogers appeared in six preseason matches for Sporting KC with one goal and one assist. He was signed on Feb. 25 and was included in the team’s gameday roster on four occasions this season.
FAN VOTING OPEN FOR 2015 AT&T MLS ALL-STAR GAME
Major League Soccer has released 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.
FREE WATCH PARTY ON FRIDAY FOR USA-CHINA IN WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup continues Friday as the United States faces China at 6:30 p.m. CT in the quarterfinals, marking a rematch of the famous 1999 World Cup Final in which the U.S. won a penalty kick shootout. The Boulevard Members Club at Sporting Park will host a free watch party for fans of all ages with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. CT and parking available in Lot D. Food ($3 nachos or hot dogs, $4 hamburgers/cheeseburgers or pretzels), drinks ($3 waters or Gatorade, $4 sodas or Red Bull) and merchandise will be available to purchase at the event, which is co-hosted by Sporting KC, FC Kansas City and WIN for KC.
ACADEMY UPDATE: U15'S ADVANCE TO REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, U18'S KICK OFF USSDA PLAYOFFS
The Sporting KC Under-13 and Under-15 Academy teams continue their runs at the 2015 US Youth Soccer Region II Championships this week in Fox Cities, Wisconsin. The U-15's will face the Des Moines Menace today at 10 a.m. in the regional championship for a berth in the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Led by head coach Jon Parry, the U-15's won yesterday's semifinal match in a penalty shootout over Ohio Premier Green after the sides played to a 2-2 draw through regulation. The U13's, coached by Matt Trump, were eliminated on Monday after losing their final group stage match to D.C. United.
Meanwhile, the Sporting KC Under-18 Academy has kicked off the 2014-15 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in Westfield, Indiana. The U-18's, led by head coach Istvan Urbanyi opened the tournament with a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Fire yesterday. The remaining two Group F matches will see the U-18's face their Academy counterparts from New York Red Bulls (today) and Blau Weiss Gottschee (Friday) with the group winner advancing to the Development Academy Knockouts round.
Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates throughout the tournaments.
SPORTING CLUB NETWORK ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF ACADEMY AFFILIATE LEAGUE
The Sporting Club Network, presented by Price Chopper and in conjunction with Heartland Soccer Association, announced on Tuesday the formation of the Sporting Kansas City Academy Affiliate League (SKC-AAL). This approach will further align the ever-growing Academy Affiliate network of clubs with Sporting KC’s Development Academy. This includes but is not limited to style of play, training habits, tactical approach and overall methodology to improving youth development.
Visit SportingKC.com for more information on the new Academy Affiliate League and follow @SportingKC_SCN on Twitter for all Sporting Club Network updates.
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.