Starting XI is a biweekly series on SportingKC.com that highlights 11 of the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City, MLS and soccer around the globe. Click here to visit the Starting XI archive.
1. New York Minute
After a tie at home with a tough Toronto FC side, Sporting KC heads to New York this Saturday to face the Red Bulls at 6 p.m. CT. After a loss last Sunday, the Red Bulls look to bounce back at home when they meet Sporting KC, who are looking to snap their own three-game winless streak. The last time Sporting KC traveled to New York, goalkeeper Tim Melia saved a penalty to pace a 2-0 win on April 9, 2016. This is also a rematch of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, which saw Sporting KC prevail 2-1 last September at Children's Mercy Park.
2. No Other Party
As Sporting KC heads to the East Coast to take on the Red Bulls, your local spot to watch is No Other Pub in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Food and drink specials start at 5:30 p.m. CT, including $6 Till Vodka cocktails, bottomless domestic draft beers and an all-you-can-eat buffet with the following:
- Hamburgers and grilled chicken
- Heat and sweet wings
- Pretzels and Queso
- Chips and salsa
- Cheese curds and veggies
3. Homegrown Duo
Sporting KC midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kumal and Sporting KC defender Jaylin Lindsey were named to the 2018 MLS Homegrown Game today. Kuzain and Lindsey will join the MLS Homegrown Team to face the Tigres UANL U-20’s in the fifth annual MLS Homegrown Game, set for 7 p.m. CT on July 31 in Atlanta. In addition to being nationally televised on the Univision Deportes Network, the MLS Homegrown Game will stream live on Twitter for the first time ever.
4. More MLS
The World Cup has occupied the attention of all soccer lovers this summer with non-stop action that began on June 14. With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final set between France and Croatia on Sunday at 10 a.m. CT on FOX, fans have anticipated this match for almost a month. However, once the match concludes, the action will continue with two MLS matches set for Sunday afternoon. Atlanta United, the Supporters’ Shield leaders, will take on Seattle Sounders FC at 1 p.m. CT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The second match will kick off at p.m. CT, featuring Los Angeles Football Club hosting the Portland Timbers on ESPN.
5. Summer Sale
Sporting Style will be hosting their annual End of Summer Sale on Saturday, July 21, in the Budweiser Brew House at Children’s Mercy Park. The event serves as the biggest sale event of the 2018 season for supporters, offering up to 30 percent off full-priced items and up to 50 percent off sale items. The End of Summer sale will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT at the Budweiser Brew House inside of Children’s Mercy Park. Parking will be available on Village West Parkway, just outside the Budweiser Brew house entrance, and in the Red Lot.
6. Open Cup Continues
Sporting Kansas City will head to Houston next Wednesday to face the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, slated for 7:30 p.m. CT. For the fourth straight year, Sporting KC and Houston Dynamo meet in the U.S. Open Cup. Sporting KC has won two of the last three and is seeking a second straight Open Cup title. The match will stream live on SportingKC.com.
7. Rangers Recoil
The Swope Park Rangers suffered their first home loss of the season on Tuesday, falling 3-1 to Sacramento Republic FC. Nagamura and the Rangers will hit the road for their third game of five in 18 days as they fly to the West Coast to battle Portland Timbers 2 on July 14 at 9 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
8. Among the Best
Swope Park Rangers midfielder Felipe Hernandez earned USL Team of The Week Honors after a standout performance in the squad’s 2-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2 last Thursday. Hernandez recorded his first goal of the season from 30 yards out, completed 34 of 41 passes and recorded four tackles to lead SPR to their second straight win against the Seattle Sounders 2.
9. Free Pickup Tonight
Sporting Fields + Athletics is offering free pickup soccer tonight from 6-8 p.m. CT at Wyandotte Sporting Fields for players age 18 and up. The open summer league will feature 5-v-5 games taking place on Field 6 at Wyandotte Sporting Fields (1500 N. 19th St., Kansas City, KS). For more information, visit SportingAthletics.com.
10. Ruling the Court
Sporting KC will host a King of the Court futsal tournament on Saturday at Town Center Plaza in Leawood, Kansas (5000 W 119th St.), consisting of 5-v-5 matches for age groups 8-12 and 13-18. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT, featuring a block party complete with music, yard games, skills challenges, food trucks, music DJs and more. Tournament registration is free for all teams and now open at SportingKC.com/kingofthecourt.
11. Crowning a Champion
The 2018 FIFA World Cup has been captivating since the beginning of group play on June 14. On Tuesday, France defeated Belgium in the semifinals on a header from Samuel Umtiti in the 51st minute. Yesterday, Croatia clawed back from being down 1-0 in the opening five minutes and scored the game winner in extra time to beat England 2-1, to secure a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final.
France and Croatia will battle for the prized 18-carat gold World Cup Winners’ Trophy. France is a team that seems stacked on paper, but Croatia is a team that also has its fair share of superstars who have helped carry this team. Who will have the edge? Tune in to FOX on Sunday at 10 a.m. CT to catch the most-watched sporting event in the world.
Games to Watch (July 14-15, 2018)
|DAY / TIME (CT)||GAME||COMPETITION||CHANNEL|
|Saturday, 9am||Belgium vs. England||FIFA World Cup
(3rd Place Match)
|Saturday, 6pm||Sporting KC at New York Red Bulls||MLS||FOX Sports KC,
FOX Sports Midwest Plus
|Saturday, 9pm||Rangers at Portland Timbers 2||USL||ESPN+|
|Sunday, 10am||France vs. Croatia||FIFA World Cup
|Sunday, 1pm||Atlanta United FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC||MLS||FOX|
|Sunday, 5pm||LAFC vs. Portland Timbers||MLS||ESPN|