"The Week in Review,” is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.
1. Sporting loses frustrating one at home
Sporting Kansas City faced the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, July 3 at Children’s Mercy Park and slipped to a 1-0 defeat. U.S. Men’s National Team defender Aaron Long scored the lone goal of the match in the 53rd before Sean Nealis was sent off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity with a handball in the 70th. Sporting fired four shots on target with three being saved by Carlos Coronel and one being cleared off the goal line in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time. After taking all three points, the Red Bulls took sole possession of the top spot in the east. Sporting and New York could potentially meet again at Children’s Mercy Park in September, if both teams emerge from their Open Cup semifinals match victorious.
2. CF Montreal coming up next
Following Sunday’s loss, Sporting is back on the road for a battle north of the border against CF Montreal at Saputo Stadium on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT. The match will air on 38 The Spot and can be streamed for free at SportingKC.com or in the Sporting KC Mobile App. Saturday’s contest marks the beginning of a three-match road trip in which Sporting will face Montreal, Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake in an eight-day span.
Sporting has not seen Montreal since March 30, 2019, when they bashed them 7-1 at Children’s Mercy Park. This will be Sporting’s first match in Montreal since June 30, 2018. Montreal beat Sporting 2-0 off two second half goals in that instance. The all-time series tips in Sporting’s favor with the Kansas City side posting a 7-4-3 record against Montreal. Sporting even boasts a winning record on the road (3-2-2-) against Montreal.
3. MLS Secondary transfer window opens
Thursday, July 7, Major League Soccer’s Secondary Transfer Window opens up before closing on Aug. 4. Sporting has already announced the acquisition of two players, William Agada and Erik Thommy who will be added to the roster once the window opens.
Agada joins Sporting after scoring 37 goals in Israel. In the Israeli Premier League, Agada scored eight goals for Hapoel Jerusalem as they returned to the top flight of Israeli soccer. The 22-year-old Nigerian is a striker excited to “play for a huge club.” Thommy spent nine seasons in his home nation of Germany, scoring 42 goals, and adding 33 assists. He made 96 appearances in the Bundesliga, is a versatile attacking midfielder with the ability to play anywhere and is looking forward to playing in front of Sporting’s great fans.
4. SKC II and R4UF S4LIFU knock off North Texas SC
Saturday night, Sporting KC II hosted Frontier Division front runners North Texas SC in the club’s final match at Rock Chalk Park in 2022. SKC II left the Lawrence, KS crowd with a memorable night as forward Rauf Salifu became the first MLS NEXT Pro player to score four goals in a match. With his four-goal performance, John Pulskamp’s eight saves and an all-around well-played match, SKC II sank North Texas 4-2. With 10 MLS NEXT Pro matches remaining in the regular season, SKC II has two straight road matches before returning to the Swope Soccer Village on Friday, July 22 against Tacoma Defiance. Fans can purchase tickets to SKC II matches at SeatGeek.com and all SKC II matches can be streamed for free at MLSNEXTPro.com.
5. Central Bank announced as SKC II Jersey Front Partner
Saturday night also saw SKC II debut their brand-new jersey front partner Central Bank in their 4-2 win over North Texas. Thanks to an enhanced partnership between the two, Central Bank, the official checking account partner of Sporting Kansas City, will be on the front of both SKC II’s home and away kits through the 2026 MLS NEXT Pro season. SKC II will be in their Central Bank kits on Sunday at Colorado Rapids 2 at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can tune in on MLSNEXTPro.com to stream the action for free.
6. 2021-22 MLS NEXT season concludes
The 2021-22 MLS NEXT season has come to a close with Sporting KC’s U15s and U19s eliminated from MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. It was a successful season for the Sporting KC Academy in all age groups. The U19s qualified for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs and had Alex Umana called into the El Salvador U20s on multiple occasions. The U17s placed second in the group stages at the Generation adidas Cup, barely missing out on the knockout round after defeating AS Roma 5-4 in penalties.
The U15s posted an 8-0-2 record in the regular season, taking first place in their division. They earned automatic qualification to the playoffs after winning MLS NEXT FLEX with a three-win showcase. The U15s also placed first in their group at GA Cup, defeating Manchester United in the showcase after suffering a defeat in the Round of 16. Sporting’s U14s earned 31 points in league play, the U13s won their league and the U12s won the Easter International Cup.
Fans can keep up with the Sporting KC Academy by following @SKCAcademy on Twitter for updates.