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. Biting the Big Apple
Sporting Kansas City (6-8-7, 25 points) will visit iconic Yankee Stadium on Friday night for an interconference showdown with New York City FC (8-3-8, 32 points) in the Bronx, New York. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT with three hours of live coverage beginning at 6 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO. Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM will also carry local radio broadcasts, with The Final Whistle postgame show running immediately afterward on 810 WHB.
Less than a week removed from a 2-0 home loss to FC Dallas, Sporting will look to bounce back at the expense of a New York City side that has just three league defeats this season—tied for the fewest in MLS and three fewer than any other team in the Eastern Conference. However, four of Sporting’s six victories and 16 of the team’s 25 points this year have come against opposition from the East.
2. Party at the Pubs
Supporters of all ages are invited to attend #NYCvSKC watch parties at any of Sporting’s pub partners. Among them is No Other Pub in the Kansas City Power & Light District, which will serve an all-inclusive buffet with bottomless domestic draft beers plus $4 Bud Light drafts and $5 Coronas starting at 6 p.m. CT.
3. End of Summer Sale
All Sporting Kansas City fans are welcome to the SportingStyle End of Summer Sale this Saturday at Children's Mercy Park. The event serves as one of the largest sales event of the 2019 season, offering 25% off all full-priced items, up to 50% off sale items and select jerseys for just $20. The End of Summer Sale will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT at the Budweiser Brew House inside Children's Mercy Park.
4. Trivia Night
Sports fans will have the opportunity to play for prizes and test their trivia knowledge against Sporting Kansas City players on Wednesday when No Other Pub hosts Sports Trivia Night in conjunction with the 2019 MLS All-Star Game.
Teams of 2-4 players will go head-to-head at 6 p.m. CT, competing for a variety of great prizes including VIP experiences at Children’s Mercy Park, match tickets, autographed SportingStyle merchandise and more. A group of Sporting players will also compete in the interactive event, emceed by Sporting KC commentator and Sports Radio 810 WHB host Nate Bukaty.
5. CMP Sellout
German giants FC Bayern earned a 1-0 win over Italian side AC Milan before a sold-out crowd of 18,469 on Tuesday night at Children's Mercy Park. The International Champions Cup encounter was decided on the stroke of halftime when midfielder Leon Goretzka settled a pass from fellow German international Joshua Kimmich and slotted low into the corner for the match-winner.
6. Freeman Flies West
Sporting Kansas City forward Tyler Freeman has been selected to the United States U-17 Men’s National Team for a 26-player training camp that runs from July 26 – Aug. 7 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Assembled by U-17 head coach Raphael Wicky, the roster features 14 players—including Freeman—who were part of the USA’s Concacaf U-17 Championship squad in May. Earlier this month, the U.S. was drawn into Group D for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil alongside Senegal, Japan and the Netherlands.
7. National Guests
A new episode of The Sporting KC Show Podcast debuted Tuesday night on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine, who looked ahead to Friday's pivotal match between Sporting Kansas City and New York City FC at Yankee Stadium and heard from a pair of prominent soccer guests.
The podcast featured appearances from Howard Webb, a former World Cup and English Premier League referee who now oversees the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) in the United States, as well as MLSsoccer.com analyst and former Sporting KC beat writer Andrew Wiebe.
8. Long Shot
Episode 8 of BS The Podcast dropped Wednesday as Benny Feilhaber and Sal Zizzo caught up with blossoming U.S. international defender Aaron Long, whose standout performances for the New York Red Bulls over the last three seasons have catapulted him into the running for best American defender in the sport.
9. SPR Signs Stephenson
The Swope Park Rangers have signed former Sporting KC Academy forward Tucker Stephenson, the club announced Tuesday. The 22-year-old split his college career between the West Virginia University and Loyola University Chicago. In his first two years at West Virginia, Stephenson tallied four goals and three assists across 31 appearances, before transferring to Loyola.
10. Rangers Return
The Swope Park Rangers (3-10-6, 15 points) will welcome Charleston Battery (6-4-8, 26 points) to Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday for a USL Championship Eastern Conference showdown. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT and tickets are available at SeatGeek.com or at the stadium box office starting at 5 p.m. CT.
11. Plane to Portland
Providence Park in downtown Portland, Oregon, serves up one of the greatest atmospheres in Major League Soccer. Beginning today, Sporting fans can snap up free tickets to one particular match at the recently renovated venue. Away tickets for Sporting’s match at the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Sept. 7, are now available. Click here to request your tickets to the contest, slated for 9:30 p.m. CT at Providence Park (7:30 p.m. local time).