"The Week in Review,” is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.
1. Sporting takes six-match win streak at home into 2023
Sunday, Sporting Kansas City sank the Seattle Sounders 1-0 at Children's Mercy Park in the club's 2022 home finale. With the 1-0 victory, Sporting KC has now won their last six home matches, tied for the longest home win streak in Children's Mercy Park history. In that span, Sporting has outscored opponents 17-4, outshot opponents 99-54 and earned three clean sheets.
In the contest against Seattle, Sporting outlasted their Western Conference foes, taking the match to them for the full 90 minutes, firing 11 shots on target. Forward Willy Agada netted his eighth goal in eight starts and is now tied with Johnny Russell for the most on the club in the regular season. Daniel Salloi picked up his team-high fifth assist and now has the third-most goal contributions (38 goals plus assists) in the league since the start of 2021. After the defeat, Seattle was eliminated from playoff contention and will miss the postseason for the first time in franchise history.
2. Decision Day in Dallas
Following the home finale win, Sporting will head south for a Decision Day duel with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT. Coverage will be provided by 38 The Spot and will begin 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the Sporting KC Pregame Show. Dallas has locked up a postseason berth and will look to secure home-field advantage for the first round with a result or if the LA Galaxy or Nashville SC drop points.
Sporting has faced Dallas twice this season, battling to a 2-2 draw at home in the regular season, and earning a 4-2 extra-time win in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32. In the Open Cup clash, Marinos Tzionis netted the latest regulation goal in club history, a 97th-minute score, to level the match and send it to extra time. Khiry Shelton forced an own goal and then netted one for himself to secure the victory and propel Sporting into the Round of 16.
3. Logan Ndenbe and Marinos Tzionis rejoin Sporting KC
Two Sporting KC newcomers rejoined the club after heading out on international duty during the FIFA international window. Defender Logan Ndenbe linked up with the Belgium U-21s for a pair of friendlies as they prepare for the 2023 UEFA Under-21 Championship next summer. Ndnebe earned a cap in Belgium's 2-2 draw on the road against France, coming on as a substitute at halftime.
Forward Marinos Tzionis started both of Cyprus' final two UEFA Nations League matches. The winger scored his second career international goal in the form of a match-winning goal against Greece at home. He earned a start in the UEFA Nations League finale against Kosovo but Cyprus fell 5-1. The Cypriots will now face Gibralter in a play-out to avoid relegation from League C. Tzionis' first international goal came against Estonia in March 2022 to help Cyprus stave off relegation from the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League.
4. MLS announces ballot for annual awards featuring 13 Sporting KC nominees
Major League Soccer announced Friday the nominees for the 2022 End of Year Awards. Voting began Friday and will last through Oct. 10. The awards will be determined through voting from three groups; current MLS players, MLS clubs (coaches, technical directors/general managers) and select media members representing local and national outlets who consistently covered the 2022 MLS regular season. Fans will have the opportunity to weigh in on the top plays of the season. Both the AT&T Goal of the Year and MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate will be determined via fan votes cast on MLSsoccer.com from Oct. 12-14.
CLICK HERE for the list of nominees for each award, including the following Sporting Kansas City representatives:
Sporting KC Nominees: 2022 MLS End of Year Awards
- Landon Donovan MLS MVP: Daniel Salloi and Johnny Russell
- Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Tim Melia
- MLS Defender of the Year: Andreu Fontas and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin
- MLS Newcomer of the Year: Willy Agada and Erik Thommy
- Young Player of the Year: Cam Duke and John Pulskamp
- MLS Comeback Player of the Year: Felipe Hernandez and Ben Sweat
- MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year: Khiry Shelton
- Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year: Peter Vermes
5. Tyler Whaley honored as Blue KC Sporting Samaritan
Tyler Whaley, a special education teacher at Peiper Early Childhood Center has been honored as October's Blue KC Sporting Samaritan. Whaley is in his eighth year of teaching and loves to help his students develop independent skills and learn new concepts. He wants to instill empathy, respect and personal responsibility into each of his students by setting and sticking to certain standards. He constantly reminds himself that kids are kids first and that no matter what, everyone is more alike their peers than they are different.
Blue KC Sporting Samaritans will continue to be recognized monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games. Fans are encouraged to nominate teachers and students who are making a positive impact on their schools and communities by using the form online at https://www.sportingkc.com/BlueKC.