C.J. Sapong - Sporting KC at New York Red Bulls - October 30, 2014

SPORTING KC FALLS TO NEW YORK IN EASTERN CONFERENCE KNOCKOUT ROUND
Sporting Kansas City's 2014 season ended with a 2-1 loss last Thursday at the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round of the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs, presented by AT&T. Dom Dwyer scored his team-record 24th goal of the year across all competitions, finishing off an incisive through ball from Benny Feilhaber, to give the visitors a 1-0 lead shortly after halftime. However, New York forward Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the 77th and 90th minutes to complete the comeback.


In the postseason for a fourth straight year and returning to the playoffs as the reigning MLS Cup champions, Sporting KC fell to the Red Bulls for a third time in 2014 and suffered their second such defeat in a five-day span. New York, who earned their first playoff victory at Red Bull Arena and snapped a postseason home winless streak that dated back to 2005, advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against No. 1 seed D.C. United.


The loss snapped Sporting KC's 45-game unbeaten streak (43-0-2) in MLS competition (including playoffs) when leading in the 75th minute dating back to 2011 and brings the 2014 campaign to a close after 43 competitive matches. With Thursday's elimination, Sporting KC will hold the 11th position in Major League Soccer's various player acquisition mechanisms (i.e. MLS SuperDraft, allocation order, etc.) for the upcoming 2015 season. 


DOM DWYER AND GRAHAM ZUSI UP FOR MLS GOAL OF THE YEAR
Dom Dwyer and Graham Zusi are nominees for the 2014 AT&T MLS Goal of the Year. The competition will be decided via fan voting from a field of 64 goals. The First Round consisted of 16 groups of four, with the top two vote-getters in each group advancing to the Second Round. Voting for the Second Round will begin tomorrow, and the Goal of the Year winner will be announced Dec. 3.


Dwyer landed his nomination for a 92nd-minute game-winning goal in a 3-2 triumph at Colorado on March 29. After entering the match in the 83rd minute, Dwyer blasted a near-post effort past John Berner for his 2nd of 22 goals in the regular season, a new single season team record.


Zusi produced two goals that qualified for the first round of voting, the first of which was his right-footed strike to the top corner at Toronto FC on July 26. His second was an 80th minute game-winner in last month's 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire at Sporting Park. The goal was his fifth of the season—second most on the club—to go along with a team-leading eight assists. He is the only MLS player to record at least five goals and seven assists in each of the past four seasons.


TRIO OF SPORTING KC GOALKEEPERS NOMINATED FOR MLS SAVE OF THE YEAR
Eric Kronberg, Jon Kempin and Andy Gruenebaum landed nominations for MLS Save of the Year. The competition will be decided via fan voting from a field of 32 candidates, four of which come from Sporting KC keepers. The first round of voting included Kronberg's goal line save against Columbus (May 4), Gruenebaum's kick save against Chicago (Oct. 10) and a pair of diving stops from Kempin against Vancouver (Aug. 10) and Toronto FC (Aug. 16).


Voting for the Voting for the Second round begins tomorrow and will consist of the 16 remaining saves, placed in four groups of four. The top vote-getter in each group will advance to the Final Group, and the Save of the Year winner will be announced Dec. 3.


SPORTING KC ANNOUNCES 2015 PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Sporting KC's first match of the 2015 preseason will kick off Jan. 31 against the Portland Timbers at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Preseason hosts FC Tucson announced the full schedules for the 2015 Desert Friendlies and 2015 Desert Diamond Cup on Friday with Sporting Kansas City slated to participate in both competitions.


Now in it’s third year, the Desert Friendlies will feature five MLS teams playing from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12. The fifth annual Desert Diamond Cup will also feature five MLS teams, along with FC Tucson, playing on four match dates from Feb. 18-28.


Sporting KC will prepare for its first season in the Western Conference since 2004 by playing six opponents from the West during the preseason, highlighted by a showdown with Supporters' Shield holders Seattle Sounders FC on Feb. 21. The 2015 MLS season will begin in March with all 20 teams playing a 34-game regular season schedule.


Click here for the club's complete preseason schedule and ticket information.


MARTIN STEUBLE STARTS IN PHILIPPINES FRIENDLY WIN 
Sporting KC midfielder Martin Steuble started and played 45 minutes as the Philippines defeated Nepal 3-0 in Doha, Qatar last Friday. Steuble earned his 10th cap for the Philippines, who won their first of a two-game training camp in Doha ahead of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup. The nation will play a minimum of three matches in the tournament, facing Laos (Nov. 22), Indonesia (Nov. 25) and Vietnam (Nov. 28) in the group stage.


The 26-year-old Steuble joined Sporting KC on July 16 from Swiss club FC Wil 1900. He featured in Sporting KC's international friendly against Manchester City on July 23 before making his MLS debut against the Philadelphia Union on Aug. 1 for the first of three league appearances.


SPORTING CLUB AND WWI MUSEUM TO CO-HOST SECOND ANNUAL TRUCE TOURNAMENT
Sporting Club and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial will host the second annual Truce Tournament on Dec. 26. The Kansas City soccer community is invited to participate in the 3v3 tournament that will be played on Liberty Hill and attend an English Premier League Watch Party inside the WWI Museum.


Following a tradition that began last year, the 2014 Truce Tournament comes on the 100th Anniversary of World War I and pays homage to the time-honored story of the Christmas Truce. According to legend, WWI battles temporarily ceased around Christmas 1914 as members of both warring armies ventured into No Man’s Land to exchange gifts, sing carols and play soccer.


Registration for the event is now open at www.TheTruceKC.comClick here for more information on the Truce Tournament.


TICKETS ON SALE AS 2014 BIG 12 SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF TODAY
Tickets for the 2014 Big 12 Soccer Championship at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City are now available at Big12sports.com/buytickets or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. Today's quarterfinals feature eight teams in action with games kicking off at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. CT. Today's winners will advance to the semifinals on Friday, played as part of a doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. CT. The Championship match will then be held at 3:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, live on FOX Sports 1, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship at stake.


Sporting Club and the University of Kansas will again co-host this year’s championship, which will feature the Big 12’s top eight teams competing for the Conference’s postseason title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship.


In conjunction with the tournament, the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League champion FC Kansas City will also host a free youth clinic on Saturday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. CT at Swope Soccer Village. A new educational session will be held during the clinic where parents will have the opportunity to learn the importance of concussion awareness as well as how to create a positive environment for young athletes. To register for the clinic, visit sportkc.org.


SPORTING CLUB RELEASES NEW CLOTHING LINE
Sporting Club has released its new fashion line for the defending MLS champions, offering fans an extensive selection of new clothing and merchandise. The Sporting Club brand -- featuring recently released men's and women's items -- is available for purchase on Sporting Style’s website while supplies last.


KANSAS CITY STEAK COMPANY HOSTS SPORTING KC FAN SWEEPSTAKES
Sporting KC fans can visit SportingKC.com/meatandgreet to enter for a chance to win The Meat and Greet Sweepstakes presented by Kansas City Steak Company. The winner, selected at random on Dec. 3, will receive a year’s supply of meat from Kansas City Steak Company and a dinner with a Sporting KC player.


AC78 GRAND OPENING EVENT TODAY IN GARMENT DISTRICT
Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin will host a grand opening event today in Kansas City's Garment District (1350 Main Street) for his new AC78 fashion line. The event will run from 4-7 p.m. CT and will include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and music from DJ Allen Michael.


AC78 is a collaboration between Collin and business partner Tom Paolini. The line started with a series of men's suits and has branched out into T-shirts for both men and women.


TICKETS ON SALE FOR NCAA D-II FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP AT SPORTING PARK
Tickets are on sale to the general public for the NCAA Division II Football Championship to be played at Sporting Park on Dec. 20. Hosted by the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Associations and the Kansas City Sports Commission, the championship game will be held inside the state-of-the-art stadium for the next four years. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com while supplies last.


FOLLOW SPORTING KC ONLINE
Sporting KC fans looking to keep up with the club online now have a place to go. The Social Media page on SportingKC.com features Twitter account information for the club, its players and several staff members. Fans may also take advantage of the Media Recap page for all the latest independent news coverage.