Sporting KC Weekly Update: Dec. 9, 2015

SPORTING KC RE-SIGNS SETH SINOVIC AND JON KEMPIN, ADDS LAWRENCE OLUM

Sporting KC announced on Wednesday that the club has signed defender Seth Sinovic and goalkeeper Jon Kempin to new contracts. Per MLS policy, terms of the agreements will not be disclosed. 

In addition, Sporting KC announced the signing of Kenyan international midfielder Lawrence Olum, who previously played for the club from 2011-2014. He will be added to Sporting KC’s senior roster for the 2016 season pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 Visa.

Sinovic, 28, has started 152 of 154 appearances in all competitions since joining Sporting KC in 2011. The left back played at least 30 regular season matches every year from 2012-2014, during which time Sporting KC conceded the fewest combined goals in MLS.

Kempin, 22, has made nine appearances in all competitions for Sporting KC since becoming the club’s first Homegrown Player in 2010. The Overland Park, Kansas, native most recently made his MLS postseason debut on Oct. 29, making three saves in the longest penalty kick shootout in MLS history against the Portland Timbers. At the beginning of 2015, Kempin was named to the United States Men’s National Team roster for the first time in his career to take part in manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s January Camp.

Olum, 31, was a member of Sporting KC from 2011-2014, making 83 appearances in all competitions with three goals and three assists. The defensive midfielder played 112 minutes in the club’s 2013 MLS Cup victory over Real Salt Lake and set MLS career-highs in 2014 with 25 appearances and 21 starts. He joined Malaysian side Kedah FA last November and helped the team win the 2015 Malaysia Premier League earlier this year.

Visit SportingKC.com/Tracker for all of Sporting KC's roster moves ahead of the 2016 MLS season.

SPORTING KC FORWARD KRISZTIAN NEMETH WINS GOAL OF THE YEAR

Sporting KC forward Krisztian Nemeth has won the 2015 AT&T Goal of the Year award, Major League Soccer announced on Thursday.

Nemeth received the honor for his stunning solo run and finish in the 83rd minute of a 1-0 win at the Portland Timbers on Oct. 3 (Week 31). The strike was one of 64 AT&T Goal of the Year nominees when fan voting began at the end of October. Nemeth’s goal advanced through five rounds in a knockout-style tournament before topping Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco in the final matchup.

Three days after winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in Philadelphia on Sept. 30, Sporting KC traveled to Providence Park in Portland for an MLS match with postseason implications. Nemeth entered as a second-half substitute and promptly scored the game-winner, beating multiple defenders on a 50-yard run and finishing low into the opposite corner of the net from a tight angle. The resulting victory proved pivotal in Sporting KC securing a fifth straight berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Fresh off his first season at Sporting KC, Nemeth becomes the first MLS Goal of the Year winner in club history. His 23 combined goals (16) and assists (7) for the club in all competitions were the most by a Kansas City newcomer since 1996. The 26-year-old also shared Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Golden Boot honors with teammate Dom Dwyer, netting five goals en route to the championship.

On the international front, Nemeth earned eight caps for Hungary in 2015 and helped his country qualify for Euro 2016 — Hungary’s first appearance in the European Championship since 1972. Nemeth scored twice against Greece on Oct. 11 and played both matches in Hungary’s Euro 2016 playoff victory over Norway last month.

THIRD ANNUAL TRUCE TOURNAMENT SET FOR DEC. 26

Sporting Club and the National World War I Museum and Memorial will host the third annual Truce Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 26. The Kansas City soccer community is invited to participate in the 3-v-3 tournament — which will be played on Liberty Hill  attend an English Premier League Watch Party inside the WWI Museum and enjoy the official Truce after-party at The Soccer Lot (2525 Jefferson St.), located just minutes from the museum.

For more information on the Truce Tournament or to register a team, visit www.TheTruceKC.com. Registration ($250 per team) is open through Dec. 20. In addition, participants can visit this link to RSVP to the English Premier League watch party.

Following a tradition that began in 2013, the 2015 Truce Tournament comes on the 101st Anniversary of World War I and pays homage to the time-honored story of the Christmas Truce. According to legend, WWI battles temporarily ceased around Christmas 1914 as members of both warring armies ventured into No Man’s Land to exchange gifts, sing carols and play soccer.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR 2015 NCAA MEN'S COLLEGE CUP AT SPORTING PARK

The four-team field is now set for the 2015 Men’s College Cup at Sporting Park. U.S. Men’s National Team forward Jordan Morris and Stanford join perennial powerhouse Akron, Syracuse and Clemson as the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship draws to a close in Kansas City, Kansas.

Friday’s semifinal round kicks off with No. 6 Syracuse (16-5-3) facing No. 2 Clemson (17-2-3) at 5 p.m. CT. No. 8 Stanford (17-2-2) duels No. 4 Akron (18-3-2) in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. CT, while the national championship match will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.

Tickets for all games are on sale via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.

2015 marks the first time that Sporting Park will host the NCAA Division I Men’s College Cup. The event comes one week after Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri, hosted the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships on Saturday. Amherst College (Massachusetts) defeated Loras College (Iowa) 2-1 in the men’s final, while Williams College (Massachusetts) beat Washington University (St. Louis) 1-0 in the women’s final.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR NCAA D-II FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP AT SPORTING PARK

The NCAA Division II Football Championship tournament is down to four teams competing for a berth in the title game at Sporting Park on Saturday, Dec. 19. Tickets for the national championship are on sale via Ticketmaster.com and fans can also purchase passes for access to the Boulevard Members Club or Ameritas Shield Club.

Satuday's semifinal round features No. 1 Northwest Missouri State (13-0) hosting West Georgia (12-1) and Shepherd (West Virginia, 12-0) hosting Grand Valley State (Michigan, 12-2). The winners will advance to the national championship game a week later.

The 2015 NCAA Division II Football Championship at Sporting Park will be co-hosted by the Kansas City Sports Commission and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The MIAA will welcome all fans to a pep rally for the championship teams, featuring spirit squads and pep bands, at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 18, on the KC Live! stage in Kansas City's Power and Light District.

SKC ACADEMY'S JAYLIN LINDSEY FEATURES FOR U.S. U-15 NATIONAL TEAM

Sporting KC Academy defender Jaylin Lindsey featured in three matches for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team in last week’s Nike International Friendlies at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Lindsey started all three games as the U.S. lost 3-2 to England last Wednesday, beat the Netherlands 2-1 on Friday, and fell to Brazil 3-0 on Sunday.

Lindsey — who played the full 90 minutes against England and the Netherlands before going 57 minutes vs. Brazil — joined 19 other American players born in 2000 to participate in the Nike Friendlies, a premier annual event for youth men's national teams that began in 2001. This year’s friendlies were contested by current U.S. U-15 players whose ultimate aim is the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

While Lindsey was competing at the Nike Friendlies, the Sporting KC Academy U-18s and U-16s were also in Florida this weekend for three games each in the annual U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase.

The U-18s lost to Crew SC Wolves 2-1 on Thursday, beat the Portland Timbers 2-1 on Friday, and drew LA Galaxy 1-1 on Sunday. The U-18s sit at 7-5-1 going into the winter break, good for fifth place in the Frontier Division. The U-16s, meanwhile, dropped three straight against the New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls and Crossfire Premier to end the first half of the season with a 7-6-0 record, fourth place in the Frontier Division.

Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter and Instagram for all Academy news updates and photographs.

MLS AND ADIDAS UNVEIL NEW OFFICIAL MATCH BALL FOR 2016 SEASON

On Monday, adidas and Major League Soccer unveiled a newly designed NATIVO, the official match ball for the 2016 season. The most tested MLS ball to date, NATIVO utilizes the latest adidas technology to deliver the highest level of performance.

Extensively tested by teams around the world, every element of NATIVO’s construction has been scrutinized to provide the greatest control and accuracy. The adidas NATIVO includes a unique symmetry of six identical panels alongside a textured surface that has been updated to ensure the truest flight of the ball.

The NATIVO’s design continues to be inspired by the three MLS pillars of club, country and community. Infusing the flags of the league’s two home countries, the US and Canada, NATIVO features new stars, stripes and maple leaf decals across the paneling. The ball is imprinted with the MLS crest and adidas logo, along with the signature of commissioner Don Garber.

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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