The Week in Review: Oct. 31, 2022

The Week in Review

"The Week in Review,” is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.

1. Sporting KC signs defensive midfielder Nemanja Radoja

Last Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City announced the signing of Nemanja Radoja, a 29-year-old defensive midfielder with 181 appearances in Spain's top-flight league La Liga. Radoja has inked a three-year MLS contract through the 2025 season with an option for 2026. He will occupy an international roster spot and marks the first of Sporting KC's offseason roster moves ahead of the much anticipated 2023 campaign.

Radoja, a native of Novi Sad, Serbia, refined his skills in the Vojvodina academy system before signing with their senior team in 2011. After brief loan spells with a pair of Serbian clubs, he became a key figure in Vojvodina's 2012-13 season, making 22 appearances in the Serbian SuperLiga en route to a third-place finish. Following a successful 2013-14 season in which he lifted the Serbian Cup and debuted in the UEFA Europa League, Radoja joined up with La Liga outfit Celta Vigo. Playing alongside fellow Sporting KC defender Andreu Fontas, Radoja guided Celta to two Copa del Rey semifinals and a Europa League semifinal. He transferred to Levante in La Liga before the 2019-20 season and, after two more seasons in Spain, is ready to make a move to Major League Soccer.

2. World Cup watch parties are back at KC Power & Light District

Sporting Kansas City and the Kansas City Power & Light District are partnering to host official World Cup watch parties at KC Live! and No Other Pub throughout the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Fans of all ages are welcome to come and experience a tradition that has cemented Kansas City's title as the Soccer Capital of America. Since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, these watch parties have turned heads at the international level as one of the nation's largest and most energetic events.

Match commentary will play throughout the covered outdoor venue in English for USMNT matches and in Spanish for El Tri matches. Tickets for admission to the watch parties are free and available to reserve in advance via SeatGeek at the links below. Entry to the events will be on a first-come, first-served basis beginning two hours prior to kickoff until venue capacity has been reached. Ticketholders are advised to arrive early and enter KC Live! via Walnut Street.

Group Stage Watch Parties in KC Live!

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No Other Pub will be open for all knockout round matches during the World Cup as well as group stage fixtures kicking off at 9 a.m. CT or later (excluding Thanksgiving Day) for indoor watch parties utilizing the venue’s 10 foot by 15 foot video wall and surrounding HDTV screens. Food and drink specials will be available throughout the World Cup – including $6 wells, $25 domestic beer buckets and 50% off nachos -- and attendees can enter to win giveaways including Sporting KC prizes.

3. Kayden Pierre joins up with USMNT U-20s for training camp

Defender Kayden Pierre has joined up with the United States U-20 Men's National Team for a training camp in Frisco, TX that will run from Oct. 25 through Nov. 6 at Toyota Soccer Center. Head coach Mikey Varas called in a group of 16 players for the second training camp of 2022 after the players last trained together in April. This year proved fruitful for the U-20s when they punched their tickets to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris after taking home first place in the Concacaf U-20 Championship in July.

Pierre, 19, enters the camp and the 2022 offseason after a breakout year with Sporting Kansas City. He made 23 competitive appearances throughout the 2022 campaign, earning his MLS debut in March. The outside back picked up his first career assist, setting up Johnny Russell's equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Minnesota United on July 13. A Homegrown talent, Pierre joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2018, signed with the first team in early 2021 and made 28 appearances for Sporting Kansas City II in the USL Championship in his first professional season. The Homegrown has earned playing time with the US U-14s, U-16s and U-20s, most recently playing in three Revelations Cup matches in November 2021.

4. Sporting KC Academy goalkeeper Jack Kortkamp joins USMNT U-15s for training camp

Current Sporting KC Academy goalkeeper Jack Kortkamp received a nod to the United States U-15 Men's National Team training camp in Kansas City last week. Kortkamp, 14, participated in a 24-player, week-long camp from Oct. 23-30 under the guidance of head coach Tom Heinemann at Compass Minerals National Performance Center. The keeper is the first Sporting KC Academy player to join the U.S. U-15s this year and the third to receive an international call up. A highly touted keeper, Kortkamp joined Sporting KC's Acadmey in the summer of 2021 and competes with the club's U-15s in MLS NEXT led by head coach Luis Pacheco.