Sporting KC Weekly Update: July 8, 2015

SPORTING KC RESUMES MLS ACTION SUNDAY AT VANCOUVER WHITECAPS
Following the club's second bye week of the 2015 season, Sporting Kansas City (7-3-6, 27 points) returns to MLS action Sunday when they face Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10-7-2, 32 points) at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. The match will kick off at 8 p.m. CT with live television coverage on KMCI-TV 38 The Spot and SKCTV beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT. Listeners in the Kansas City area can also follow the match live on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).

Sporting KC is in sixth place in the Western Conference but leads MLS with 1.69 points per game and has at least two games in hand on all five clubs above them in the standings. Sporting KC's three losses are the fewest in MLS and their fewest through 16 regular season matches since 2000. Peter Vermes' side has suffered just one defeat in their last 11 matches across all competitions, including a seven-game home winning streak at Sporting Park.

Vancouver is tied atop the West with a league-leading 10 victories but is coming off a 2-1 defeat at the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. First-year forward Octavio Rivero leads the Whitecaps with seven goals while veteran Pedro Morales has contributed four goals from midfield. Carl Robinson's side is set to represent Canada in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League this fall after finishing with a franchise-record 50 points in 2014 (12-8-14), the most among MLS's three Canadian teams.

DOM DWYER NETS FOUR GOALS IN SPORTING KC'S 6-2 OPEN CUP WIN OVER FC DALLAS 
Dom Dwyer became the first player in team history to score four goals in a competitive match as Sporting KC claimed an emphatic 6-2 victory over FC Dallas last Wednesday to advance to the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. Krisztian Nemeth added two goals on the record-setting night at Sporting Park to leave both players sharing the team lead with nine goals across all competition this season.

Sporting KC's seventh straight home win sees the team move on to host the Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, July 21 at Sporting Park. Tickets/parking for the quarterfinal match are included in Sporting KC season ticket packages as Special Game A and single-game tickets are on sale to the general public via Ticketmaster.com.

Benny Feilhaber earned three assists on the night—a first in U.S. Open Cup history for the club—to become the team's all-time assist leader in the competition. He set up each of Dwyer's first two goals, delivering a corner kick in the fifth minute that was headed home by Dwyer at the back post and then setting up a second header for the Englishman with his service off a free kick in the 30th minute.

Feilhaber now has assists in four straight games to give him 13 across all competitions this year, five shy of tying Preki's single-season record set in 2003. In addition, Sporting KC's seven-game home winning streak is the second-longest in club history and one short of matching the all-time record set in 2004.

USMNT TO VISIT SPORTING PARK IN CONCACAF GOLD CUP DOUBLEHEADER ON JULY 13
Sporting KC winger Graham Zusi and the United States Men's National Team will feature in a 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader at Sporting Park on Monday. The U.S. will face Panama at 8:30 pm. CT in the Group A finale after Haiti takes on either Honduras or French Guiana at 6 p.m. CT.

Jurgen Klinsmann's squad, ranked No. 27 in the world, returns to Sporting Park for the fourth time since the state-of-the-art stadium first hosted the U.S. during the 2011 Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup is the region’s marquee national team tournament and the headline competition for the United States Men’s National Team in 2015. This year’s competition carries additional significance as it will determine CONCACAF's representatives at the Centennial Cup America in 2016 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017.

GRAHAM ZUSI EARNS 30TH CAP AS U.S. MNT OPEN GOLD CUP WITH 2-1 WIN OVER HONDURAS
The United States Men’s National Team opened the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Monday with a 2-1 win over Honduras at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Forward Clint Dempsey scored both goals as the U.S. moved atop of Group C after the first round of matches.

Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi earned his 30th cap for the national team when he entered the match in the 87th minute for LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes. The match was Zusi’s second for the national team in 2015 after he started and played 45 minutes in last Friday’s 4-0 win over Guatemala.

The U.S. will now travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to face Haiti on Friday. The match will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1. Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will conclude the Gold Cup group stage this Monday when they host Panama at Sporting Park.

FAN VOTING LAUNCHES FOR 2015 SPORTING LEGENDS INDUCTEE
Sporting KC announced on Wednesday the following four nominees for this year's Sporting Legends inductee: Mo Johnston, Chris Klein, Ron Newman and Kerry Zavagnin. Online fan voting begins today and will continue through 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, July 17.

Sporting Legends pays tribute to club icons and provides a platform for those inducted to re-engage with the local soccer community. Since launching in 2013, Sporting Legends has honored six individuals for their integral roles within the organization and the growth of soccer in Kansas City: Preki, Tony Meola, Bob Gansler, Peter Vermes, Jimmy Conrad and Lamar Hunt.

All six members have their names displayed outside The Victory Suite in the northwest corner of Sporting Park and were celebrated during on-field ceremonies. In addition, Sporting Legends are invited to participate in local activities surrounding their induction date as an opportunity to reconnect with supporters, further grow the game and once again leave a philanthropic impact on the community.

This year's inductee will be selected based on the fan vote and will be unveiled as the newest member of Sporting Legends at a Sporting KC home match later this year. Visit SportingKC.com for more information on the 2015 Sporting Legends candidates.

FANS PACK POWER & LIGHT DISTRICT AS U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM WINS FIFA WORLD CUP
Around 15,000 fans filled the Kansas City Power and Light District on Sunday to witness the United States Women's National Team defeat Japan 5-2 to win the country's third FIFA World Cup title. Carli Lloyd scored a hat-trick while Tobin Heath and FC Kansas City midfielder Lauren Holiday also tallied goals at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada.

FOX Sports reported that Kansas City was the top local market for watching Sunday's World Cup Final as nearly 200,000 households in the metro area tuned into the match. Nationwide, the game was seen by 25.4 million viewers on FOX — an all-time record for any soccer game shown on English-language television in the United States.

MLS ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT IN CLUB ROSTERS
Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday that each MLS club will receive $100,000 per year for the next five years ($500,000 total) in additional funds to invest in their roster outside of the player salary budget.  These funds, referred to as Targeted Allocation Money, are in accordance with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was concluded prior to the start of the 2015 season and are available to the clubs today, July 8, 2015, concurrent with the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window.

These funds will be in addition to the Allocation Money that has been previously made available to clubs.  For a description of Allocation Money, please see the 2015 MLS Roster Rules and Regulations.

Similar to general Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money may be used to sign new or re-sign existing players. In addition, Targeted Allocation Money may be traded. Visit SportingKC.com for more information on the announcement.

SPORTING KC ANNOUNCES MOBILE CONCESSIONS ORDERING IN BOULEVARD MEMBERS CLUB
Sporting KC has announced a new service designed to enhance the fan experience at Sporting Park. Fans with tickets in the Boulevard Members Club now have the ability to order and pay for concessions on their smartphones and then pick up their orders via a fast lane.

The new service, created in partnership with Kansas City-based Lantern Software, is simple. Fans download the Gameday™ app from the App Store or Google Play, choose the items they want and pay with a credit card or PayPal. The app provides an alert when the concessions staff has begun working on the order as well as another once the order is ready. Users will then pick up their order from a separate fast lane to expedite the concession process.

SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE FOR SECOND HALF OF SPORTING KC'S SEASON 
Single-game tickets for Sporting KC home matches from July through October are now on sale via Ticketmaster.com. Tickets will be available for the first time for the following matches:

  • Saturday, July 18: Sporting KC vs. Montreal
  • Saturday, Aug. 1: Sporting KC vs. Houston
  • Saturday, Aug. 15: Sporting KC vs. Vancouver
  • Wednesday, Aug. 19: Sporting KC vs. San Jose
  • Friday, Sept. 18: Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas
  • Sunday, Sept. 27: Sporting KC vs. Seattle
  • Sunday, Oct. 25: Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy

FOLLOW SPORTING KC ONLINE
Sporting KC fans looking to keep up with the club online have a place to go. The Social Media page on SportingKC.com features Twitter account information for the team, its players and several staff members. Supporters may also take advantage of the Media Recap page for all the latest independent news coverage.

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