Sporting KC (9-4-2, 29 pts) vs Chicago Fire (7-5-3, 24 pts)
Friday, June 29, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. CT
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park | Kansas City, KS
English TV: NBC Sports Network
English Radio: Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio: La Gran D 1340 AM
VYVX Confirmation 3486751
(June 28, 2012) - Sporting Kansas City will host the Chicago Fire at 7:00 p.m. CT on Friday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in a nationally broadcast rivalry match on the NBC Sports Network. Radio coverage will also be available locally on La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish) and Sports Radio 810 WHB (English), who will also be broadcasting The Program (10am - 2pm) and Between the Lines (2 - 6pm) live from the Members' Club on Friday.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the match, sponsored by U.S. Bank, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park box offices. Additionally, due to the excessive heat warning in effect for Wyandotte County, ticket holders are permitted to bring one sealed bottle of water (20-ounce or smaller), which will be uncapped upon entry at the stadium gates.
Sporting KC holds a five-point lead over the visiting Fire in the Eastern Conference standings and are just one point back of leaders D.C. United and New York Red Bulls for the top spot. Manager Peter Vermes' team will be playing their fifth game in a 14-day stretch and are coming off a 3-0 win in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cupquarterfinals two days ago.
Seven of Sporting Kansas City's 10 all-time wins against the Fire have come at home, though the team is winless in their last five home games in the series dating back to 2008. The two teams met in the inaugural match at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park one year ago and previously played this season, a 2-1 victory for the Fire at Toyota Park last month.
Chicago enters with back-to-back wins over Eastern Conference opponents, defeating the first place New York Red Bulls 3-1 on June 17 and topping the Columbus Crew 2-1 last Saturday. Forward Dominic Oduro leads the club with five goals this season while Marco Pappa has scored four and Sebastian Grazzini has contributed five assists from the midfield.
Fire head coach Frank Klopas, whose first two MLS seasons came in Kansas City from 1996-1997, will be without Costa Rican defender Gonzalo Segares, who will serve a one-game suspension for the red card he received in the club's last match. However, Chicago will have 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder Alex available for the first time this season after he was officially added to the roster this week with the opening of the summer transfer window.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the 7 p.m. CT kickoff and sixth straight home sellout with numerous activities offered in the Sprint Plaza prior to the match, including a Monster Energy BMX stunt show. A stadium flyover will occur during the pre-game ceremonies and the team's annual media game will be held on the field at halftime.