SPORTING KC ENDS THREE-GAME ROAD SWING FRIDAY AT CHIVAS USA
Sporting Kansas City completes a three-game road trip this Friday against Chivas USA at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The match is set to kick off at 9:30 p.m. CT and will be televised locally on KMCI 38 The Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV, with radio coverage available on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish). The Johnny’s Tavern locations at the KC Power & Light District (1310 Grand Blvd.) and in Prairie Village, Kansas (8262 Mission Rd.) will host the team’s official watch parties.
The defending MLS champions (12-10-6, 42 points) have lost four straight matches for the first time since May 2011, but remain second in the Eastern Conference and own a League-best seven road wins this season. Chivas USA (6-15-6, 24 points) sits at the bottom of the Western Conference and will be without star striker Erick Torres (14 goals), who serves the first of a two-game suspension.
DWYER’S 18TH MLS GOAL TIES SINGLE-SEASON CLUB RECORD
Forward Dom Dwyer moved atop Sporting KC’s all-time single season scoring chart on Saturday, notching his 18th goal of the campaign in a 2-1 defeat at the New York Red Bulls. Dwyer’s 54th-minute strike tied him with Preki, whose 18-goal haul in the inaugural 1996 season remained unmatched for nearly 18 years.
New York went ahead when Bradley Wright-Phillips dispatched a first half penalty kick and Thierry Henry doubled the hosts’ lead with an impressive long-range shot in the 52nd minute. Sporting KC cut the deficit in half just two minutes later when Seth Sinovic headed a Graham Zusi free kick across the face of goal. Dwyer, making his 50th MLS appearance, was on hand to side-volley past goalkeeper Luis Robles and enter the club’s record books.
Dwyer is second in the MLS Golden Boot race, trailing Wright-Phillips (21 goals) with six games remaining in the regular season. The 24-year-old leads MLS with five multi-goal games (tied for third most all-time in club history) and leads all players with 13 left-footed goals and three headed goals. A 2014 MLS All-Star, Dwyer has appeared in a team-high 27 League matches this season.
PALMER-BROWN FEATURES FOR U.S. U-20 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM IN ARGENTINA
Sporting KC homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown joined the United States Under-20 Men’s National team for a training camp and three friendly matches in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Sept. 1-10.
Palmer-Brown started in central defense for all three friendlies—a 2-0 win against Racing Club Reserves last Thursday, a 3-2 victory over Defensa y Justicia Reserves on Saturday and a 1-1 stalemate with the Argentina U-20 National Team yesterday. The youngest of 19 players selected for the team’s first international trip of 2014, Palmer-Brown returned to the U-20 squad after appearing in four wins at the 2014 Dallas Cup in April.
Palmer-Brown signed a homegrown player contract with Sporting KC in August 2013 and has played five games for the club in all competitions this season. The Lee’s Summit, Missouri native made his professional debut in May, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to start a regular season match as a defender, for the first of three MLS appearances to date. He also featured in the 2014 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game and this summer’s Champions Shield against Manchester City.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE MATCHES
Single-game tickets for Sporting KC’s two group stage matches at Sporting Park in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League are available to purchase through Ticketmaster.com. The MLS Cup champions will host Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa on Thursday, Sept. 18 before a meeting with Nicaraguan club Real Esteli five days later on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Both games will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and are included in Sporting KC Season Ticket Member packages.
SWOPE SOCCER VILLAGE DEDICATION CEREMONY SET FOR FRIDAY
An official dedication ceremony will be held Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT for the Swope Soccer Village at 6310 Lewis Rd. in Kansas City, Missouri. Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo, 5th District Councilman Michael Brooks, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, KC Parks Commissioners and Sporting KC representative will attend the festivities on the south plaza to celebrate the $15.5 million expansion of the state-of-the-art complex.
After missing the previous three League matches with a shoulder injury, Gruenebaum returned to the field last Wednesday and made four saves against the New England Revolution. His best stop came in the 86th minute when he dove to his right and denied Patrick Mullins from long distance.
An Overland Park, Kansas native, Gruenebaum has made eight starts (4-3-1) during the 2014 MLS campaign, recording 20 saves on 31 shots faced for a 1.60 goals against average. The 31-year-old could become the third different Sporting KC goalkeeper to win the weekly award in 2014. Eric Kronberg won the recognition in May (Week 9), while homegrown keeper Jon Kempin earned back-to-back honors last month (Weeks 22 and 23).
USL PRO REGULAR SEASON CONCLUDES FOR SPORTING KC AFFILIATES
USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC concluded their inaugural season last Saturday, knocking off the Orange County Blues 1-0. Former Sporting KC captain Jimmy Nielsen ended his first year as head coach with a 9-14-5 record (32 points) as 10th place OKC fell five points short of the eighth and final playoff spot.
Five Sporting KC players -- Duke, Kevin Ellis, Jimmy Medranda, Jon Kempin and Mikey Lopez -- saw action for OKC in 2014. Lopez led the group in total appearances (14) and was the lone goal scorer. He was also the only player to feature for Orlando City SC. Duke accumulated the most assists (three) and minutes played (912).
Orlando City SC, meanwhile, lifted their third USL PRO Commissioners Cup in four seasons, ending the regular season at 19-4-5 (62 points), seven points clear of second place Sacramento Republic FC. The affiliate club begins their defense of the USL PRO crown when they host the Harrisburg City Islanders in this Saturday's quarterfinal round.
Next year, Orlando City will become Major League Soccer's 21st franchise and the first located in the state of Florida since the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny folded in 2001.
MATCHUPS SET FOR CONCACAF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP AT SPORTING PARK
Last Friday’s official draw for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship determined the group stage matchups for the eight-team tournament that will kick off at Sporting Park on Oct. 15 and 16.
The No. 1 ranked U.S. Women’s National Team will face Trinidad and Tobago at 7:30 p.m. CT on Oct. 15. All eight nations, including regional rival Mexico, will begin their World Cup qualifying campaigns at Sporting Park during doubleheaders on consecutive days.
Series tickets to see all four games at Sporting Park are on sale via Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Please note: tickets will not be sold at the Sporting Park box offices. The top three teams from the tournament will directly qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next summer, while the fourth place finisher will advance to a playoff.
2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship matches at Sporting Park:
• Game 1: Guatemala vs. Haiti – Oct. 15 (5 p.m. CT)
• Game 2: USA vs. Trinidad and Tobago – Oct. 15 (7:30 p.m. CT)
• Game 3: Costa Rica vs. Mexico – Oct. 16 (5 p.m. CT)
• Game 4: Jamaica vs. Martinique – Oct. 16 (7:30 p.m. CT)
SPORTING KC AND SPECIAL OLYMPICS KANSAS CONTINUE PARTNERSHIP IN NEW YORK
A Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer match between Special Olympics Kansas and Special Olympics New Jersey was played at Red Bull Arena immediately after Sporting KC’s match against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.
The Special Olympics Kansas team received an all-access experience throughout their trip, including a two-night stay at the official team hotel, use of the visiting locker room at Red Bull Arena and tickets to Yankee Stadium for Sunday’s baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees.
The partnership between Sporting KC and Special Olympics is in its second season and provides a forum for Special Olympics athletes to demonstrate their talents, build confidence, develop friendships and learn teamwork. Athletes interact with Sporting KC players through clinics and exclusive access to club events. Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic serves as an Ambassador to Kansas Unified Sports League for Special Olympics Kansas.
ZAC BROWN BAND TO PERFORM TOMORROW AT SPORTING PARK
Three-time GRAMMY winners and multi-platinum artists Zac Brown Band will visit Sporting Park tomorrow as part of the band’s Great American Road Trip Tour 2014. Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000 while supplies last.
SPORTING KC PLAYERS TO APPEAR AT AREA SUBWAY RESTAURANTS
Subway and Sporting KC continue their partnership in September with player appearances at various Subway locations in Kansas City and surrounding areas. The appearances resume Monday when Eric Kronberg will visit the Subway in Ottawa, Kansas (902 S Main St.). All player appearances will be from 5-6:30 p.m. CT and one Sporting KC player will be in attendance to meet fans and sign autographs. The first 100 fans at each location will receive a free t-shirt.
Click here for a full schedule of all upcoming player appearances at local Subway locations.
PARK UNIVERSITY TO PRESENT SPORTING KC’S “SALUTE TO TROOPS PLATFORM”
Sporting KC and Park University are partnering to honor those who serve their community and country as part of the club’s season-long “Salute to Troops” armed forces military appreciation platform.
The partnership strives to raise awareness and appreciation for current and retired U.S. military members in the Kansas City area. The program provides game tickets in Sporting Park’s “Zone of Courage” section and VIP experiences for the game’s honoree and his/her family. In addition, those recognized will be featured on the Salute to Troops homepage at SportingKC.com.
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 is available for purchase on Sporting Style’s website and at Sporting KC’s remaining five home games while supplies last.
JOSTENS RELEASES SPORTING KC FAN COLLECTION
Jostens, the leading national custom jewelry designer and producer, has unveiled a fan collection to celebrate Sporting KC’s 2013 MLS Cup championship. Items available in the collection include fan rings (men’s and women’s), championship fan paperweights, fan pendants, key rings and championship posters. All can be purchased online at Jostens.com/sportingkc.
Founded in 1897, Jostens has produced championship rings for professional sports teams and athletes for more than 60 years. In addition to creating Sporting KC’s 2000 and 2013 MLS Cup championship rings, Jostens has worked with other Kansas City-area professional sports organizations including the Kansas City Chiefs for their NFL Super Bowl IV Championship rings.
THE PITCH NOMINATES SPORTING KC IN BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2014
The Pitch has revealed the finalists in their Best of Kansas City 2014 ballot. Sporting KC is nominated for multiple honors, including Best Place to Watch KC Pro Sports and Best Stadium (Sporting Park), Best Local Hero (Matt Besler) and Best Thing That Changed KC in the Past Year (Sporting KC). Voting is open until Sept. 17 and the winners will be revealed in The Pitch’s annual Best of KC issue on Oct. 9.
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.