Sporting KC Weekly Update: June 18

 

SPORTING KC KICKS OFF U.S. OPEN CUP TONIGHT VS. MINNESOTA UNITED FC
Sporting Kansas City will host Minnesota United FC (NASL) at 7:30 p.m. CT tonight at Sporting Park as the two-time Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions enter the competition in the fourth round. Tickets, starting as low as $14, are available for the match online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park box offices. The match will be streamed live on SportingKC.com and broadcasted on Sports Radio 810 WHB.

Due to the heat advisory in effect for today, all ticket holders will be permitted to bring one bottle of water into Sporting Park. The bottle must be sealed and no larger than 20 ounces, and the bottle's cap will be removed at the gate upon entrance.

Minnesota United were crowned champions of the North American Soccer League (division II) spring season on June 7. The winner of tonight’s match will advance to host the Portland Timbers in the tournament’s round of 16 on June 24.

The U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s national championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional teams affiliated with U.S. soccer. The oldest annual team tournament in American sports history has its origins in 1914 and is named after Sporting KC’s original founder Lamar Hunt. The single-elimination tournament will continue through the championship match on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1 with the winner receiving $250,000 in prize money and a berth in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League. Sporting KC are two-time champions in the competition, winning the title in 2004 and 2012.

ZUSI PROVIDES GAME-WINNING ASSIST AS U.S. BEATS GHANA 2-1
The United States began its 2014 FIFA World Cup with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Ghana on Monday in Natal, Brazil. Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi assisted the game-winning goal with an 86th-minute corner kick as the Americans avenged losses to Ghana in the previous two World Cups.

The U.S. raced to a dream start as Clint Dempsey scored the earliest ever American World Cup goal just 32 seconds into the match. The Black Stars leveled through Andre Ayew in the 83rd minute, but the U.S. would quickly regain the lead, this time for good, as defender John Brooks headed home Zusi’s corner kick late in the second half.

Defender Matt Besler started the match and Zusi entered in the 77th minute, making Sporting KC the only club to feature multiple players who saw action in the game for the Americans. Besler became the second player to start a World Cup match for the U.S. while playing club soccer in Kansas City (Jimmy Conrad, 2006).

The victory puts the U.S. in second place in Group G on goal differential. Germany beat Portugal 4-0 earlier Monday afternoon. The Americans have five days off before their second group stage match against Portugal on Sunday (5 p.m. CT, ESPN) in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

FIVE CLUB GREATS NOMINATED FOR 2014 SPORTING LEGEND
Sporting Club announced on Tuesday the five nominees for the 2014 Sporting Legend: Jimmy Conrad, Mo Johnston, Chris Klein, Peter Vermes and Kerry Zavagnin.

Sporting Legends, an initiative launched by Sporting Club that pays tribute to club icons and provides a platform for inductees to re-engage with the local soccer community, will induct one new Legend annually beginning this year. The 2014 Legend will be selected on a weighted vote through social media and SportingKC.com. Fan voting will take place from June 17-30, and the leading vote getter will be unveiled as the newest member of the Sporting Legends in a halftime induction ceremony at a Sporting KC match later this summer at Sporting Park. Fans can vote online and on Twitter using the hashtag #VoteSporting.

In August 2013, Sporting KC and Sporting Club selected Predrag “Preki” Radosavljevic, Tony Meola and Bob Gansler as members of the inaugural Sporting Legends class to recognize their integral roles within the organization and in the growth of soccer in Kansas City.

WORLD CUP WATCH PARTIES CONTINUE AT POWER & LIGHT
Summer in the Soccer Capital, presented by The Sprint Framily Plan, resumes Kansas City’s official 2014 FIFA World Cup watch parties hosted at KC Live! in the Power & Light District. Continuing through the World Cup final on July 13, every matches will be shown live on Kansas City’s largest outdoor video screen in the center of the KC Live! Block, as well as screens in surrounding bars.

Admission to the KC Power & Light District for Summer in the Soccer Capital is free for all ages. Food and drink specials are available for supporters, as well as limited edition “For Club and Country” merchandise. Additional programming, including VIP opportunities, will be provided for all remaining U.S. Men’s National Team matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup:

Sunday, June 22: United States vs. Portugal at 5 p.m. CT
Thursday, June 26: United States vs. Germany at 11 a.m. CT

The Mosaic Lounge (1331 Walnut St.) in the Kansas City Power and Light District will host World Cup watch parties for the next two U.S. Men's National Team matches. Guests ages 21 and up will have access to four domestic beers, a private cash bar, indoor/outdoor viewing spaces with televisions and projectors and a viewing area overlooking the KC Live! Block. Tickets are $20 per game and can be purchased online. Doors open to Mosaic one hour prior to each game and close one hour after.

SPORTING KC CHAMPIONSHIP ALE HITS STORES
Central States Beverage Company on Tuesday began their deliveries of Sporting Kansas City Championship Ale, a collaboration between the MLS Cup champions and Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company.

Similar to other one-off releases in Boulevard’s Smokestack Series, only a limited amount of Sporting Kansas City Championship Ale can be produced and released. Roughly 2,000 cases of the 750mL bottles are being distributed throughout the Kansas City area. For a list of locations around Kansas City receiving the citrusy ale, follow @csbev on Twitter.

BOULEVARDIA GIVES BACK TO THE VICTORY PROJECT
The inaugural Boulevardia took place in Kansas City’s West Bottoms this past weekend. The beer, food and music festival started Friday and concluded on Sunday evening. All tips as well as a percentage of beer sales will go toward The Victory Project, Sporting Kansas City's charitable arm which helps local children thrive through life's challenges. Nearly 50 volunteers from LiveKC, The Victory Project and partner organizations helped serve beer and provide information at the Sporting KC bar next to the main stage.

For those interested in volunteering for future events, learning more about The Victory Project or making a donation, visit VictoryKC.org and follow @victorykc on Twitter.

MEET AND GREET THURSDAY WITH COLLIN AND SINOVIC
Sporting KC defenders Aurelien Collin and Seth Sinovic will be at Shop MO Sports (840 Missouri 291, Liberty, MO 64068) on Thursday for a meet and greet with fans. The duo will be available for pictures and autographs from 6:30-8 p.m.

MLS ALL-STAR VOTING
Major League Soccer has released the fan ballot for the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on Aug. 6 in Portland, Oregon. The ballot features players from each of the 19 clubs as voted on by media. Sporting KC’s nominees eligible for selection are goalkeeper Erik Kronberg, defenders Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin and Seth Sinovic, midfielders Benny Feilhaer and Graham Zusi, and forward Dom Dwyer. Fans can vote online at MLSsoccer.com through July 11. Votes will also be tallied via Twitter from July 2-6.

FOLLOW SPORTING KC ONLINE
Sporting KC fans looking to keep up with the club on the worldwide web now have a place to go. The Social Media page on SportingKC.com features Twitter account information for the club, its players as well as many staff members. Additionally, fans may take advantage of the Media Recap page for all the latest independent news coverage available online.
 

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