Sporting KC Weekly Update: March 9, 2016

SPORTING KC TO FACE VANCOUVER IN 2016 HOME OPENER SATURDAY
Sporting KC will host Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT in the club's 2016 home opener at Children's Mercy Park. The match will be televised locally on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV with three hours of coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Listeners can follow the game live on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).

A limited number of tickets for the Western Conference clash, including standing-room only tickets, are available via Ticketmaster.com, and the first 15,000 supporters inside Children's Mercy Park will receive a free schedule magnet courtesy of H&R Block. Fans attending are encouraged to be in their seats by 7:15 p.m. CT for a pregame show as the club opens its home campaign at Children's Mercy Park.

Sporting KC is unbeaten in all five home openers at Children's Mercy Park since the state-of-the-art venue opened in 2011. Manager Peter Vermes' side won both meetings against Vancouver last season, including a remarkable 4-3 triumph on Aug. 15 at Children's Mercy Park in which the hosts reversed a two-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes plus stoppage time.

SPORTING KC BEATS SEATTLE 1-0 TO OPEN 2016 SEASON
Defender Nuno Andre Coelho scored in his Major League Soccer debut on Sunday as Sporting KC opened the 2016 MLS season with a 1-0 road victory over Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.

A 30-yard strike from the Portuguese center back in the 73rd minute gave Sporting KC its first win in Seattle since 2009 and extended the club's unbeaten streak against Sounders FC to four matches. Goalkeeper Tim Melia was forced to make just two saves on Sunday, but both were of the spectacular variety as Sporting KC emerged with three points on an MLS opening day in which all 20 teams kicked off their respective campaigns. (Full story)

SPORTING KC ACQUIRES STRIKER DIEGO RUBIO
Sporting KC announced Tuesday that the club has acquired 22-year-old Chilean striker Diego Rubio on a loan as a Young Designated Player. Rubio will occupy an international spot on Sporting KC’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa. (Full story)

THREE SPORTING KC PLAYERS LAND TEAM OF THE WEEK HONORS
Nuno Andre Coelho, Matt Besler and Tim Melia received MLS Team of the Week accolades from various publications this week after Sporting KC's 1-0 victory at Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday. (Full story)

SWOPE PARK RANGERS UNVEIL INAUGURAL SEASON KITS
The Swope Park Rangers last Thursday unveiled the club’s primary and secondary kits ahead of the Rangers’ debut season in the USL. The reveal took place at No Other Pub in conjunction with Sporting Kansas City’s season launch event. Swope Park Rangers jerseys, in adult and youth sizes, are available to purchase online at SportingStyle.com. Additional SPR merchandise will be released in the coming weeks. (Full story)

RANGERS TO SCRIMMAGE ROCKHURST UNIVERSITY ON SATURDAY
In preparation for their inaugural season in the United Soccer League, the Swope Park Rangers will scrimmage Rockhurst University at 3 p.m. CT Saturday at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village. The match will be open to the public and free to attend.

DOWNLOAD SPORTING KC UPHORIA ON THE APP STORE OR GOOGLE PLAY
The official app of Sporting KC is primed to deliver an unparalleled mobile experience in 2016. Sporting KC Uphoria users will enjoy a variety of exclusive offers and features on match day and throughout the season — whether they’re at Children’s Mercy Park, No Other Pub or in the comfort of their own homes. Download Sporting KC Uphoria for free on the App Store or Google Play, then register an account via Twitter, Facebook and/or email. 

Uphoria users will enjoy each of the following exclusive features and more: in-stadium concession offers, video replay, MySKC Cam photo sharing, Experience seat upgrades, dynamic live stats and added perks at No Other Pub. To learn more about Sporting KC's mobile companion, visit SportingKC.com/Uphoria.

FORMER SPORTING KC GREAT DAVY ARNAUD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
One of Sporting KC’s all-time greats announced his retirement from Major League Soccer last Thursday. Midfielder Davy Arnaud has stepped away from the game after a 14-year MLS career in which he recorded 54 goals and 47 assists in 368 appearances (including playoffs). The 35-year-old spent his first 10 seasons in Kansas City where he won a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, earned MLS All-Star accolades and captained the side in 2010. He will join the D.C. United coaching staff ahead of the 2016 season. (Full story)

SWOPE PARK RANGERS SIGN TOMAS GRANITTO AND JIMMY MULLIGAN
The Swope Park Rangers have signed midfielder Tomas Granitto and defender Jimmy Mulligan ahead of the 2016 USL season. Granitto signs from North American Soccer League side FC Edmonton, while Mulligan signs on loan from reigning NASL champions the New York Cosmos. Granitto will be added to the roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. (Full story)

CHILDREN'S MERCY PARK TO FEATURE EXPANDED FOOD MENU
Legends Hospitality and Sporting Kansas City will launch more than 20 new menu items for the 2016 Major League Soccer season at Children's Mercy Park. The menu will debut on March 12, when Sporting KC takes on Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 7:30 p.m. CT in the team's first home game of the 2016 regular season. (Full story)

BESLER TO APPEAR AT MAINSTREET CREDIT UNION ON THURSDAY IN MISSION
On Thursday, Sporting KC captain Matt Besler will be at the Mainstreet Credit Union in Mission, Kansas (6025 Lamar Ave.) from 5-6:30 p.m. CT. The defender will be available for autographs and photo opportunities with supporters.

SPORTING KC ACADEMY RETURNS TO SWOPE THIS WEEKEND
The Sporting KC Academy U-16s and U-18s resume competition in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy with doubleheaders against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday and Sunday at Swope Soccer Village. All matches, to be played at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. CT both days, are free and open to the public. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter and Instagram for updates.

BUZZ BEACH BALL 2016 LINEUP ANNOUNCED
96.5 The Buzz and Sporting KC have announced that Alabama Shakes and Cage the Elephant will headline Buzz Beach Ball 2016, set for July 16-17 at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets are now available to the general public at Ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit beachballkc.com.

FOLLOW SPORTING KC
For news, photographs and instant updates throughout the 2016 season, follow Sporting KC on its TwitterInstagramFacebook and Snapchat (sportingkc) accounts and visit the club's social media page.

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