"This Week in Sporting,” is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.
1. Double Match Week pt. 3
Sporting Kansas City will wrap up a busy month of May with their third consecutive double match week. The stretch began with Sporting winning a thrilling comeback U.S. Open Cup match against FC Dallas before suffering a road loss at the Portland Timbers, two-weeks ago. The club followed that up with four points in one week, defeating the Colorado Rapids at home and taking a point from the San Jose Earthquakes on the road.
Now, another double match week looms with both contests coming within the intimidating confines of Children's Mercy Park. First up, Sporting will host the Houston Dynamo in a Round of 16 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matchup at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday night. Former Sporting KC midfielder Paulo Nagamura, in his first year at the helm of the Dynamo, is looking to advance in the tournament he won twice as a member of Sporting KC. Following the midweek match, Sporting will host the Vancouver Whitecaps, who they knocked out of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT. Tickets for both matches can be purchased at SeatGeek.com and Wednesday’s matchup can be streamed via an ESPN+ subscription while Saturday’s match will air on 38 The Spot.
2. International Call-Ups
Last week, Sporting KC announced that forwards Daniel Salloi and Marinos Tzionis will be called up for national team duty. Salloi will represent the Hungary Men’s National Team in four UEFA Nation’s League Group Stage matches from June 4-14. The Magyars earned a promotion into League A last season and were placed with England, Germany and Italy in Group 3.
Tzionis will partake in a quartet of UEFA Nations League matches of his own with the Cyprus Men’s National Team. The Sporting KC newcomer helped to keep Cyprus in League C of the Nations League by scoring a bar-down-banger against Estonia in their Nations League relegation battle. Tzionis and Cyprus were placed in Group 2 and will square off with Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Greece.
3. USMNT announces roster
Sticking with the international roster topic, the United States Men’s National Team and Greg Berhalter announced the group of players that will face Uruguay at Children’s Mercy Park at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday, June 5. Headlined by Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie and former Sporting KC defender Erik Palmer-Brown, the squad will look to keep their unbeaten record in Kansas City (10-0-1) alive as they prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar this November. Tickets for the friendly against Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and the rest of the Uruguayan National Team are on sale now.
4. FIFA announces 2026 World Cup hos cities selection dates
While on the topic of FIFA and the World Cup, it was announced that on June 16, 2022, FIFA will make a highly anticipated announcement related to the staging of the FIFA World Cup 2026TM in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Twenty-two cities across the three nations are in the running to host matches for the 48-team tournament with Kansas City still in the pack. Each city made a proposal to FIFA with Kansas City making theirs last October. Kansas City will learn its hosting fate that Thursday.
5. SKC II stays hot
First-year head coach Benny Feilhaber has Sporting KC II blazing hot. Following two comeback victories, SKC II earned their third straight win, jumping out in front of Earthquakes II in the second half of Friday evening’s match and never looking back. Sporting KC's 2022 MLS SuperDraft First Round selection Esai Easley netted his first professional goal off newcomer Kian Alberto’s first pro assist. Guy Michaeli also bagged his first pro goal, giving SKC II a much-needed insurance goal two minutes after Easley headed SKC II in front.
Sporting KC first-team loanee John Pulskamp earned his first win of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro campaign in a strong performance between the pipes. SKC II will play four of their next five matches at Rock Chalk Park with tickets on sale at SeatGeek.com. First up is Whitecaps FC 2 who come to town on Sunday, May 29 for a 1 p.m. CT MLS NEXT Pro showdown.
6. Sporting KC U15s qualify for MLS NEXT Playoffs at MLS NEXT Flex
Thanks to a fantastic showing at the inaugural MLS NEXT Flex, Sporting Kansas City’s U15s have qualified for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs in Frisco, Texas from June 25 to July 3. The U15s won all three of their matches, knocking off New York Soccer Club, Santa Barbra SC and Weston FC in convincing fashion to punch their tickets to the playoffs. Leo Christiano led the side with three goals in the tournament with Johann Ortiz adding two goals of his own. More information on the MLS NEXT Playoffs will be made available at a later date.
7. Jon Parry announces his retirement
Last Friday, Sporting KC Academy Director Jon Parry announced his retirement from soccer after almost 20 years of developing the next generation of talented soccer players. He ran the Sporting Kansas City Academy since 2008, developing the pro player pathway into what it is today. Under Parry's leadership, Sporting has signed 19 Academy Products as MLS Homegrown Talent including players like Daniel Salloi, Gianluca Busio and Erik Palmer-Brown. Nearly 30 Academy products have earned minutes for Sporting KC II since the team was founded in 2016. Sporting KC Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes will begin the search for the club’s new Academy Director immediately.