"The Week in Review,” is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.
1. Sporting picks up point against the Galaxy
Sunday night, Sporting Kansas City earned a hard-fought point against the LA Galaxy after a topsy-turvey matchup at Dignity Health Sports Park. Chicharito netted the first goal of the contest in the fourth minute to propel the hosts out in front. Despite multiple well-worked advancements, Sporting was unable to find the equalizer before halftime. After a Derrick Williams handball in the box in the 65th, team captain Johnny Russell stepped up to take the kick from the spot. Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond went the right way, got a hand on the attempt and redirected it off the post. The ball rolled along the goalline before settling into the side netting over the line, evening the score at one apiece.
In the 76th, Sporting KC Academy product Felipe Hernandez received a brilliant pass from forward Willy Agada, dashed into the area, settled himself and fired home to give Sporting the lead. Chicharito then sank a penalty of his own in the 88th. However, he was denied a late, potential match-winning penalty in stoppage time by goalkeeper John Pulskamp. The former Mexican international, on a hat-trick, strutted up to the ball and got cheeky with it, chipping it towards goal. Pulskamp held his line catching the panenka with ease. The match concluded 2-2, as Sporting grabbed their first draw since July 13 at Minnesota United.
2. Two-match road stand concludes in Houston
Before returning home for three consecutive matches at Children's Mercy Park, Sporting will take on Western Conference rivals the Houston Dynamo at PNC Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10. This will be the third time these teams have met in 2022 after Sporting defeated the Dynamo 1-0 in Kansas City on March 5, and bounced the Houston side out of the U.S. Open Cup on May 25 with a 2-1 triumph.
Saturday will be the 40th all-time meeting between Sporting and Houston in the MLS regular season. The series is perfectly even at 13-13-13, making Saturday the rubber match. Just five Sporting KC matches remain in the campaign and Saturday is the penultimate road match for the group. The Kansas City club slipped to a 1-0 loss the last time they were in Houston on May 12, 2021, and will look to right that loss this weekend.
3. Daniel Salloi inks new deal
Sporting Kansas City announced last Wednesday that forward Daniel Salloi had signed a new, four-year contract keeping him with the club through 2026. Showtime Salloi ranks eighth in team history with 37 regular season goals and fifth with 47 goals in all competitions at just 26 years old. He is the club's all-time leading goal scorer in the Open Cup, bagging seven goals in the storied competition. The Hungarian international is tied for the most game-winning goals in team history, with 13 winners.
Salloi signed as a Homegrown Player in 2016 after two seasons in the Sporting KC Academy. His 40 goals in MLS matches rank fifth amongst all MLS Homegrown talent and have helped Sporting enjoy a successful stretch of soccer in which they have made five MLS Cup Playoff appearances, finished first in the West twice and hoisted an Open Cup trophy. Salloi even scored the match-winner in the 2017 Open Cup final against the New York Red Bulls in front of the Blue Hell.
4. Erik Thommy's Team of the Week honors after San Jose match
Following a superb showing against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, Aug. 27, Sporting KC midfielder Erik Thommy was selected for the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi. In Sporting's 1-0 victory over the Earthquakes, Thommy led all players in shots (six), chances created (four), passing accuracy (96.7 percent), duels (nine) and recoveries (eight). One of the chances he created led to the match's only score. After Thommy torched Tommy Thompson at midfield, he made a beeline for the box before laying the ball off. A blocked shot later and Salloi snuck it past the keeper. His efforts in the defensive third was a major reason for Pulskamp's clean sheet that night and placed him on the Team of the Week for the first time.
5. United States Women's National Team takes down Nigeria at Children's Mercy Park
While Sporting was in Tinsel Town some other stars took the stage at Children's Mercy Park. The United States Women's National Team faced Nigeria in their first friendly on US soil since qualifying for the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. After 90 minutes of action, the US emerged victorious, keeping both national teams' perfect record in Kansas City alive and well.
Sophia Smith tallied a first-half brace with her goals sandwiching a Lindsey Horan score in the 24th. On the other side of halftime, Mallory Pugh drew a penalty after being ripped down from behind inside the 18. Alex Morgan sent the keeper the wrong way and zipped her penalty into the bottom corner to give the US a 4-0 lead. That scoreline would hold the remainder of the match. The USWNT now travels to Washington D.C. for another friendly with Nigeria before heading across the pond to take on rivals England at Wembley Stadium in London.
6. Major League Soccer and Continental Tire partner for Kick Childhood Cancer campaign
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Major League Soccer has partnered with Continental Tire for the 9th annual "Kick Childhood Cancer" campaign. The 2022 Kick Childhood Cancer campaign (KCC), focuses on raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancer and will benefit Children's Oncology Group, the world's biggest organization dedicated exclusively to childhood cancer research. Every 2022 Kick Childhood Cancer Match throughout September will feature:
- A commemorative edition adidas 2022 MLS WORKS Kick Childhood Cancer Official Match Ball will be used in match play
- 2022 MLS Kick Childhood Cancer adidas Pre-Match Tops will be worn by players during pregame and warmups as well as on the bench, sidelines and during training and in community outreach efforts
- Gold corner flags, goal nets, and captain’s armbands
- Gold ribbon jersey patches
- PRO referees will sport wristbands featuring a Kick Childhood Cancer ribbon
Fans can visit www.TheContinentalKCCChallenge.com to donate to a local KCC charity on behalf of their favorite MLS club and Continental Tire will match each donation up to $50,000. A KCC auction consisting of game-used, autographed jerseys from September matches will also provide an additional fundraising opportunity from October 31 through November 14.
7. Lauren Weeks honored as Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for August
Lauren Weeks, an English Language Arts teacher at Kansas City International Academy was honored as Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for the month of August. Weeks strives to create a fun, safe learning environment for her diverse classes in a school featuring students from nearly 30 countries who speak more than 15 languages. Weeks was voted 2021 Teacher of the Year’ for Kansas City International Academy, by her colleagues. “When she heard of transportation struggles of a student’s family, she raised enough funds to get the student a bike, meet some basic family needs like bedding and even some toys," said Monica Smith, Weeks' nominator.
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.