Sporting KC Weekly Update: June 22, 2016

SPORTING KC ON THE ROAD SATURDAY TO FACE MONTREAL IMPACT
Tied for fourth in the MLS Western Conference standings following Sunday's 2-0 win over FC Dallas, Sporting KC (6-8-3, 21 points) heads north of the border to visit the Montreal Impact (5-4-5, 20 points) on Saturday at Stade Saputo. The match will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT with three hours of live television coverage beginning at 6 p.m. CT on 38 The Spot and SKCTV. The interconference clash will also be broadcast on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM, and The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show will air immediately after the game on 810 WHB.

Sporting KC has won four straight meetings against Montreal, outscoring the club 11-2 during the stretch, and owns a 9-3-4 record on Canadian soil since 2011.

FAN VOTING LAUNCHES FOR 2016 SPORTING LEGENDS INDUCTEE
Sporting KC announced on Wednesday the four nominees for this year’s Sporting Legends inductee: Mo Johnston, Ron Newman, Josh Wolff and Kerry Zavagnin. Online voting is now open and will continue through next Monday, June 27, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Sporting Legends is a hall of honor that pays tribute to club icons and provides a platform for those inducted to reconnect with the Kansas City soccer community. An initiative that began in 2013, seven individuals have been named Sporting Legends for their vital roles within the organization and the growth of soccer throughout the region. The 2016 inductee will be selected via the fan vote and will be unveiled as the newest Sporting Legend on Aug. 20 at Sporting Kansas City’s home match vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC. (Full story)

SPORTING KC TOPS FC DALLAS 2-0 AT HOME
Goals from Lawrence Olum and Benny Feilhaber guided Sporting KC to a much-needed 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday in the 100th MLS match played at Children's Mercy Park, including playoffs.

Olum headed the hosts ahead late in the first half and Feilhaber buried a penalty kick on the stroke of halftime to secure three points on Father's Day and vault Sporting KC (6-8-3, 21 points) into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference table. Meanwhile, second-place FC Dallas (8-5-4, 28 points) suffered its fourth straight defeat at Children's Mercy Park in all competitions and failed to keep pace with the Colorado Rapids atop the Supporters' Shield standings. (Full story)

FEILHABER AND ABDUL-SALAAM ON MLS TEAM OF THE WEEK
Midfielder Benny Feilhaber and right back Saad Abdul-Salaam led Sporting KC to a 2-0 win over FC Dallas on Sunday, earning spots on the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week. Feilhaber played a part in both goals, assisting the opener on a set piece delivery to Lawrence Olum and scoring the second from the penalty spot. Abdul-Salaam contributed to a second consecutive shutout while adding a game-high seven interceptions as FC Dallas managed just one shot on goal. (Full story)

U.S. MNT FALLS TO ARGENTINA IN COPA AMERICA SEMIFINALS
The United States Men’s National Team’s commendable run in Copa America Centenario came to an end Tuesday with a 4-0 semifinal defeat to Lionel Messi and Argentina. Sporting KC winger Graham Zusi earned his first start of the tournament, playing 90 minutes and collecting his 40th cap before a sold-out crowd of 70,858 at NRG Stadium in Houston. His club teammate Matt Besler was an unused substitute as the U.S. conceded goals to Messi, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gonzalo Higuain (two) in a one-sided affair. 

The result sends the Americans to Saturday’s Third Place match at The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where they will meet the loser of Wednesday’s semifinal between Chile and Colombia. That game will kick off at 7 p.m. CT on FX, Univision and Univision Deportes. Argentina advances to the Copa America Centenario Final on Sunday at MetLife Stadium near New York City.(Full story)

Last Thursday, Besler played 90 minutes and Zusi was a second-half substitute as the U.S. earned a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Ecuador in Seattle. (Full story)

SPORTING KC ONTO ROUND OF 16 WITH 2-1 OPEN CUP WIN OVER MINNESOTA
Diego Rubio came off the bench to score an extra time winner and send Sporting KC through to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 with a 2-1 victory over Minnesota United FC on Wednesday night. Benny Feilhaber and Christian Ramirez exchanged penalty kicks in the second half of a hotly contested match at National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, Minnesota, setting the stage for Rubio's decisive strike in the 109th minute. (Full story)

Sporting KC will continue its pursuit of a fourth U.S. Open Cup title next Wednesday, June 29, in the Round of 16, visiting rivals Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium.

SWOPE PARK RANGERS TO FACE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2 ON SUNDAY
The Swope Park Rangers continued their inaugural season in the United Soccer League last Saturday, falling 3-1 to Oklahoma City Energy FC at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village. (Full story)

The Rangers (4-7-2, 14 points) are back on the road this Sunday to face fellow Western Conference side Seattle Sounders FC 2 (3-7-4, 13 points) at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington. The game will kick off at 7p.m. CT with a live stream on SportingKC.com.

FOUR ACADEMY TEAMS SET FOR REGIONAL AND NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS
Four Sporting KC Academy teams are set to compete in regional and national tournaments this week as the 2015-16 campaign draws to a close. The U-16s and U-18s will kick off the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs at Toyota Park in Frisco, Texas, playing today, Friday and Sunday in the group stage of a competition that features the best youth talent in the country. Meanwhile, the U-14s and U-15s will compete in the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Championships at Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield, Indiana. Both teams will play group stage matches Friday through Sunday, with the semifinals and finals slated for Tuesday and Wednesday next week. (Full story)

AWAY TICKET REQUESTS OPEN FOR U.S. OPEN CUP MATCH IN HOUSTON
Away ticket requests for Sporting KC's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match at the Houston Dynamo are now available via SKCAwayTickets.com. The deadline to request tickets is Friday at 10 a.m. CT.

SANTOS LAGUNA AND CF PACHUCA PLAY TO DRAW AT CHILDREN'S MERCY PARK
Two of Mexico's best Mexican clubs squared off Tuesday at Children's Mercy Park as Santos Laguna and CF Pachuca played to a 1-1 draw in a friendly match presented by Kansas City Southern. Both teams kicked off their preseason preparations after meeting in the 2016 Liga MX playoffs, when Pachuca defeated Santos Laguna en route to the Clausura 2016 title. (Full story)

WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2016 KEVIN GRAY AWARDS
On Monday, the fifth annual Kevin Gray Awards were held at Children’s Mercy Park in the Ameritas Shield Club. Presented by Global Sports International and sponsored by Sporting KC, the event is held each year to remember and honor the late Kansas City Sports Commission President Kevin Gray. The awards recognize the best players and coaches in the Kansas City metro area. (Full story)

  • 2016 Male Youth Player of the Year: Ryan Kellog
  • 2016 Female Youth Player of the Year: Sinclaire Miramontez
  • 2016 Adult Player of the Year: Mandy Laddish
  • 2016 Adult Coach of the Year: Vlatko Andonovski

U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM TO VISIT CHILDREN'S MERCY PARK JULY 22
The United States Women's National Team will face Costa Rica on July 22 at Children's Mercy Park in its final match before departing for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN. Tickets for the match will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CT Monday and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com. (Full story)

The U.S. WNT boasts a 12-0-1 record in 2016, outscoring opponents 47-4, and enters this summer as defending 2012 Olympic gold medalists and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup champions. Seeking a fourth straight gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, the U.S. features FC Kansas City's Heather O'Reilly and Becky Sauerbrunn as well as veteran stars Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Hope Solo and reigning FIFA Women's Player of the Year Carli Lloyd.

SINGLE-DAY TICKETS ON SALE FOR BUZZ BEACH BALL 2016
Single-day tickets are now on sale for Buzz Beach Ball 2016, presented by Sporting Kansas City and 96.5 The Buzz. Buzz Beach Ball 2016 will be held July 16-17, marking the first time the show has been extended to a second day. Twenty-four artists have been confirmed for the two-day concert including alternative rock group Cage The Elephant and Grammy-award winning blues rock group Alabama Shakes. Single-day tickets start at $35, while weekend passes can be purchased for as low as $49. (Purchase tickets)

ENTER THE WESTLAKE ACE HARDWARE ALL-STAR PATIO SWEEPSTAKES
Sporting KC is teaming up with Westlake Ace Hardware in June for the All-Star Patio Sweepstakes. One entrant will win Sporting KC merchandise, tickets to an upcoming match and a variety of patio essentials. Fans can enter the sweepstakes and learn more at SportingKC.com/westlakepatio.

SPORTING KC FANS CAN ENTER TO WIN A FREE TRIP TO PORTLAND
Fans can visit amfam.com/sportingkc to enter the sweepstakes for a free, all-inclusive trip to see Sporting KC play at the Portland Timbers on Aug. 7. The winner will receive airfare for four, Sporting KC gear, four game tickets to the Sporting KC vs. Portland Timbers match, a $1,000 bank card, and two hotel rooms for two nights in close proximity to Providence Park. (Register here)

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR BLUE KC SPORTING SAMARITANS
Sporting KC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City have teamed up this season to recognize Blue KC Sporting Samaritans, honoring individuals who make the Kansas City community a better place to live. Once a month, a Samaritan will be recognized on the pitch at Children's Mercy Park before a Sporting KC home game. Supporters can nominate members of their community to be the next Blue KC Sporting Samaritan by sharing their first-person experience with the nominee at SportingKC.com/bluekc.

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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