Sporting KC Weekly Update: October 5, 2016

SPORTING KC AWARDS TO BE PRESENTED SATURDAY AT PITCH BLACK
Sporting KC’s 2016 team awards will be presented at the club’s Pitch Black celebration on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park. Presented by Jaguar and Land Rover of Merriam, Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City and Aristocrat Motors, Pitch Black welcomes supporters of all ages to join Sporting KC players and coaches for drinks, dining and live entertainment from 6:30-11 p.m. CT. Individual tickets for Sporting KC’s premier annual event are available online at SportingKC.com/PitchBlack.

38 THE SPOT AND SKCTV TO TELEVISE #RSLvSKC ON SUNDAY, OCT. 16
Sporting KC's regular season match at Real Salt Lake on Oct. 16 will be televised live on 38 The Spot and SKCTV. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. CT at Rio Tinto Stadium as the Western Conference rivals square off in Week 33 of the 2016 MLS regular season. The Final Push for the Playoffs will see all 20 clubs take the field on Sunday, Oct. 16, with five Eastern Conference matches kicking off simultaneously at 2 p.m. CT followed by five Western Conference battles at 4 p.m. CT.

Fourth-place Real Salt Lake (12-11-9) and sixth-place Sporting KC (12-13-7) are separated by just two points in the Western Conference standings heading into the crucial showdown in Sandy, Utah. Peter Vermes' side is currently the last team above the red line in the West, two points ahead of the seventh-place Portland Timbers. Sporting KC is aiming to secure a club-record sixth consecutive playoff appearance, while Real Salt Lake looks to return to the postseason after missing out in 2015.

SPORTING KC FALLS 3-1 AT NEW ENGLAND
Sporting KC slipped to a 3-1 loss against the New England Revolution on Saturday at rainy Gillette Stadium. Dom Dwyer leveled proceedings in the 49th minute after Kei Kamara scored an early opener, but a 75th-minute own goal from Kevin Ellis and a late strike from Juan Agudelo gave New England all three points and handed Sporting KC a costly defeat in its push for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Despite the result, Sporting KC (12-13-7, 43 points) remains sixth in the provisional Western Conference standings thanks to Colorado Rapids' 1-0 win over the seventh-place Portland Timbers (41 points) on Saturday night. Meanwhile, New England (10-13-9, 39 points) moves within two points of the Montreal Impact for the sixth and final playoff spot in the East. (Full story)

SWOPE PARK RANGERS TO HOST CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS ON SUNDAY
The Swope Park Rangers earned a 3-0 win over LA Galaxy II on Friday in the opening round of the USL Cup Playoffs. The victory propels the fourth-seeded Rangers to the Western Conference semifinal, where they will host eighth-seeded Orange County Blues FC on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village, with tickets starting as low as $12 on Ticketmaster.com and a live stream on SportingKC.com. SPR Season Ticket Members can also secure their seats via Account Manager with season ticket pricing in effect for the USL Cup Playoffs.

The No. 4 Rangers are the highest remaining seed in the Western Conference, following the elimination of No. 1 Sacramento Republic FC, No. 2 Rio Grande Valley FC and No. 3 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the Quarterfinals. Should SPR win on Sunday, the side will host the winner of No. 6 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. No. 7 OKC Energy FC (Oct. 8, 2 p.m. CT) in the Western Conference Final.

RANGERS EARN 3-0 PLAYOFF WIN OVER LA GALAXY II
The Swope Park Rangers advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals of the USL Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy II at Swope Soccer Village on Friday night. Kris Tyrpak put the Rangers ahead before Mark Anthony Gonzalez tallied twice in stoppage time. (Full story)

SPR MIDFIELDER FELIPE HERNANDEZ JOINS U.S. U-19 NATIONAL TEAM
Swope Park Rangers midfielder Felipe Hernandez has been called in to the U.S. Under-19 National Team by head coach Brad Friedel for a week-long training camp in Chula Vista, Calif. from Oct. 3-10. Hernandez is one of 24 players called in to the camp in Southern California, where the U-19s will face Liga MX side Club Tijuana’s reserve team in a doubleheader at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. CT on Friday before facing a yet to be determined opponent at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday.

Hernandez, who signed with SPR on Aug. 18, returns to the U.S. U-19s after appearing for the side in the 2016 Stevan Vilotic Tournament, held in Serbia last month. He appeared in all three games in the tournament, recording an assist in a 2-1 win over Hungary on Sept. 5.

Born in Ibague, Colombia but raised in Nashville, Tenn., Hernandez joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2014 after playing for Sporting Nashville Heroes – an Academy Affiliate through the Sporting Club Network. (Full story)

GAIL'S HARLEY-DAVIDSON SWEEPSTAKES
Supporters can visit SportingKC.com/gailsharley and enter for a chance to win a brand new Sporting KC-branded Harley-Davidson Street 500 motorcycle and tickets to the club's regular season finale vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, Oct. 23. In conjunction with the sweepstakes, Sporting KC midfielder Brad Davis will appear at Gail's Harley-Davidson (5900 MO-150, Grandview, MO) from 1:30-3 p.m. CT on Saturday. The two-time MLS Cup champion will be available for autographs and photo opportunities with supporters.

NOMINATE A BLUE KC SPORTING SAMARITAN
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.

ACADEMY SIDES SUFFER FIRST LOSSES OF 2016-17 SEASON
The Sporting KC Academy U-18s and U-16s suffered their first defeats of the 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season on Saturday, falling to reigning national champions FC Dallas in a doubleheader at Mohawk Soccer Complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The U-18s slipped to a 2-0 loss before the U-16s fell 2-1. (Full story)

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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