Starting XI, presented by StorageMart, 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. Sporting draws Vancouver
Sporting Kansas City (2-4-5, 11 points) earned a 1-1 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC last Saturday. Krisztian Nemeth fired the hosts ahead after 37 minutes with his team-best 11th goal of the season in all competitions before receiving a red card early in the second half. Ten-man Sporting nearly held on for all three points, but Vancouver salvaged a last-gasp equalizer when substitute Derek Cornelius bagged his first career MLS goal in the 94th minute to ensure a share of the spoils.
2. Seattle on Sunday
Sporting will continue their three-game homestand Sunday versus Seattle Sounders FC FC (7-1-5, 26 points). The Western Conference clash at Children's Mercy Park will kick off at 5 p.m. CT and tickets remain available at SeatGeek.com.
Sunday’s contest will be televised nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes, while Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM will carry local radio broadcasts. Fans can also catch a live stream on FOX Sports GO and receive additional in-game updates via the Sporting KC App, including a limited-time offer for $50 off a pair of glasses at any Vision Source Eyecare location in the Kansas City area. In addition, The Final Whistle postgame show will air immediately afterward on 810 WHB.
3. Pregame at Hollywood Casino
Sporting Kansas City fans are invited to Hollywood Casino for a Memorial Day Weekend celebration prior to Sunday's MLS showdown between Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders FC at Children's Mercy Park. Sporting KC play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty and analyst Carter Augustine will be live from Hollywood Casino beginning at 3 p.m. CT Sunday, two hours before #SKCvSEA is scheduled to kick off on FS1. The Sporting KC Pre-Match Show will stream live on the Sporting KC Facebook page.
Sporting midfielder Roger Espinoza will also be in attendance, joining the show on Facebook Live and holding a meet and greet with visiting fans. Hollywood Casino will offer food and drink specials at the Turn 2 Lounge, gameplay all day long, free parking and a shuttle that transports supporters between the casino and Children's Mercy Park before and after the match.
4. Gold Cup rosters announced
Concacaf today revealed the preliminary 40-player rosters submitted by the 16 participating nations in this summer’s 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. Click here to view the preliminary rosters.
The Gold Cup group stage will conclude in Kansas City on June 26 with a doubleheader at Children's Mercy Park featuring a match-up between the reigning champion U.S. Men's National Team versus 2018 FIFA World Cup participant Panama, as well as Gold Cup debutant Guyana against Caribbean rival Trinidad and Tobago. Tickets are now on sale to the general public at SeatGeek.com and fans can also purchase a For Club and Country package, which includes a ticket to the Gold Cup doubleheader on June 26 as well as a ticket to Sporting Kansas City's match against first-place Los Angeles Football Club on July 3.
5. Matchday Pre-Orders
SportingStyle has opened matchday pre-orders for pickup at Sunday's match at Children's Mercy Park. Fans can shop a limited assortment of items between now and then, including the Mitchell & Ness men’s navy Henley, the adidas youth anthem jacket and the Shuttlecock 2.0 scarf of the match. The SportingStyle Pop-In Store in the Budweiser Brew House at Children's Mercy Park will also be open today through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Follow @SportingStyle on Twitter and Instagram for sneak peeks of all the latest club apparel.
6. Sporting KC Show Podcast
A new episode of The Sporting KC Show Podcast will debut at 7 p.m. CT Tuesday on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine. The duo will hear from a Sporting KC guest and look ahead to Sunday's marquee matchup against the second-place Sounders.
7. Rangers tie Atlanta
The Swope Park Rangers picked up a point in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Atlanta United 2 at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday afternoon. Felipe Hernandez scored early on before the Rangers were pegged back in the second half as the two sides split the points. The draw sees SPR move to 1-5-3 (6 points) on the season.
8. SPR to play twice this week
The Swope Park Rangers will take the field twice this week as the 2019 USL Championship season continues. At 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, the Rangers (1-5-3, 6 points) will host Memphis 901 FC (2-6-3, 9 points) at Children's Mercy Park. Head coach Paulo Nagamura's side will then travel to Florida for Saturday's showdown with Eastern Conference leaders Tampa Bay Rowdies (6-0-5, 23 points) at 6:30 p.m. CT at Al Lang Stadium. Both SPR matches will stream live on ESPN+, while tickets to Wednesday's home fixture are available at SeatGeek.com or at the Children's Mercy Park box office on matchday.
9. Busio on the Best XI
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio was named to the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship Best XI after leading the United States U-17 Men's National Team to a second-place finish at the tournament. Busio erupted for five goals and three assists in six tournament appearances as the U.S. steamrolled to Thursday's final before suffering a 2-1 extra-time loss to archrivals Mexico at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
10. Barath and Nemeth to join Hungary
Sporting Kansas City defender Botond Barath and forward Krisztian Nemeth have been selected to the Hungary Men’s National Team for the resumption of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying during FIFA’s international window in June. Barath, Nemeth and the Magyars will continue their Group E qualifying campaign on June 8, visiting Azerbaijan for an 11 a.m. CT matchup at Baku Olympic Stadium in Baku. Hungary will then host Wales on June 11 at Groupama Arena in Budapest with kickoff set for 1:45 p.m. CT. Barath and Nemeth will join Hungary following Sporting’s MLS regular season match at the Houston Dynamo on June 1.
11. Chris Wondolowski sets MLS record
Chris Wondolowski has broken the all-time MLS record for career regular season goals with 148 goals and counting. With a four-goal explosion in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday, Wondolowski passes previous record holder Landon Donovan, who had 145 career goals. Wondolowski tied another one of Donovan’s MLS records with his record-breaking goal that also marked his 41st game-winning goal.