Sporting KC Weekly Update: November 16, 2016

SPORTING KC SIGNS BENNY FEILHABER TO NEW CONTRACT
Sporting Kansas City has signed midfielder Benny Feilhaber to a new, two-year contract through 2018, the club announced today. Feilhaber, 31, has helped lead Sporting Kansas City to the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of his four seasons with the team, hoisting the 2013 MLS Cup and 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup during his tenure. The playmaking midfielder has amassed 28 goals and 50 assists in 145 appearances across all competitions and ranks fourth on the club’s all-time assists chart.

A six-year MLS veteran and a professional since 2005, Feilhaber has been one of Major League Soccer’s most productive players over the last two seasons. His 45 combined goals (17) and assists (28) since the start of 2015 rank fifth in MLS and second among midfielders. (Full story)

SPORTING KC SIGNS IKE OPARA TO NEW CONTRACT
Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed defender Ike Opara to a new contract through 2017 with team options for 2018 and 2019. Opara, 27, has recorded seven goals and three assists in 64 appearances across all competitions since joining Sporting Kansas City ahead of the 2013 campaign.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Opara posted MLS career-highs during the 2016 season with 25 games played and three assists while contributing to seven shutouts. He also finished 2016 as Sporting Kansas City’s regular season leader in clearances (75) and duel success rate (65.5%). (Full story)

ROGER ESPINOZA EARNS 50TH CAP IN HONDURAS WIN
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza earned his 50th career cap for the Honduras Men’s National Team on Tuesday as Los Catrachos bounced back with a 3-1 home win over Trinidad and Tobago in CONCACAF’s Hexagonal. Espinoza started and played the full 90 minutes, helping Honduras secure a precious World Cup qualifying victory at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula.

Making his first international appearance since March, Espinoza provided a steady midfield presence for Honduras, completing 47 of 53 passes. The MLS veteran played three competitive matches for Honduras in 2016, collecting two wins and a draw during the nation’s bid for a third straight World Cup appearance. (Full story)

BESLER AND ZUSI FEATURE FOR U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM
The United States Men’s National Team dropped its second straight match in the Hexagonal with a 4-0 road loss to Costa Rica on Tuesday at Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Sporting KC defender Matt Besler started and played the full match, earning his 39th career cap, while his club teammate Graham Zusi marked his 42nd international appearance with a 13-minute substitute stint in the second half.

Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s team sits at the bottom of the Hexagonal standings through two World Cup qualifiers, having suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Mexico last Friday in which Besler played 81 minutes. Upon completion of CONCACAF’s final qualifying round next October, the top three finishers will punch their tickets to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The fourth-place finisher will face an Asian team in a two-legged World Cup playoff in November 2017. (Full story)

ERIK PALMER-BROWN SCORES FIRST GOAL FOR FC PORTO B
Sporting KC defender Erik Palmer-Brown scored his first professional goal on Saturday in FC Porto B’s Premier League International Cup win over Leicester City. The Lee’s Summit native has featured in five straight matches for Porto B, including three in the Portuguese second division.

Palmer-Brown’s loan to Porto runs through the end of 2016. The Sporting KC homegrown defender appeared in 10 matches last year and was part of the Porto B side that was the first reserve team since Real Madrid in 1984 to win a league title. (Full story)

ACADEMY DUO JOINS U.S. U-14 BOYS' NATIONAL TEAM
Sporting Kansas City Academy goalkeeper Tommy Williams and forward Tyler Freeman have joined the United States Under-14 Boys’ National Team for a training camp that runs from Nov. 13-20 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

U-14 BNT head coach Clint Peay named the 48-man roster to the team’s sole camp of 2016 on Monday. During the weeklong camp, the U-14s will play two intra-squad scrimmages tonight and three matches against USSDA clubs on Saturday. The BNT will face Strikers FC at 5 p.m. CT, LA Galaxy at 6:30 p.m. and Real So Cal at 8 p.m. (Full story)

SEVEN ACADEMY PRODUCTS EARN NCAA TOURNAMENT BERTHS
The NCAA announced the field for the Division I Men’s Soccer Championship on Monday. Seven Sporting KC Academy players -- Zach Wright, Ryan Krutz, Matthew Lewis, Cole Stephenson, Wes White and Alexis Quevedo -- will represent six programs in the tournament. This year’s College Cup will be held Dec. 9 and 11 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Full story)

SPORTING KC ACADEMY SWEEPS DALLAS TEXANS
The Sporting Kansas City Academy wrapped up the fall portion of its 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season on Saturday with a two-game sweep of the Dallas Texans at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma.

The Sporting KC U-18s (8-2-0, 24 points) earned a 2-0 victory behind goals from Chase Bromstedt and Leroy Enzugusi, vaulting to second place in the Central Conference's Frontier Division based on points per game. The U-16s (6-3-1, 19 points) then secured a 2-1 triumph of their own, moving up to third place in the Frontier Division as Abdu Kikhia and Cameron Duke found the back of the net. (Full story)

Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for the latest updates throughout the season.

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