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. Ousted in Orlando
Sporting Kansas City (7-11-7, 28 points) slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Orlando City SC (9-11-6, 33 points) on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Tesho Akindele struck in the 21st minute to give the hosts all three points and deliver Sporting their second straight loss.
2. Sinovic Starts 200
Ten-year MLS veteran Seth Sinovic, a Kansas City native now in his ninth season with his hometown team, logged his 200th MLS regular season start for Sporting on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium. In doing so, he becomes the eighth Sporting Kansas City player to start 200 regular season matches for the club and the fourth on the current roster, joining fellow Kansas Citian Matt Besler (269), Graham Zusi (230) and Roger Espinoza (209).
3. Going Back to Kansas City
Wednesday's result keeps Sporting in 10th place in the Western Conference standings heading into a pivotal clash against the San Jose Earthquakes (11-8-5, 38 points) on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park. Tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com and the first 7,500 fans through the stadium gates will receive a free wall decal courtesy of Dairy Farmers of America. Supporters can also catch the action live on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.
4. Matchday Mobile Orders
On Saturday morning, SportingStyle will open matchday mobile orders for that evening's game between Sporting and San Jose. Fans will have the opportunity to place mobile orders through halftime by visiting SportingStyle.com, with pickup on the Toyota Plaza remaining open until after the game. The SportingStyle Pop-In Store in the Budweiser Brew House at Children's Mercy Park will also be open today and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. Follow @SportingStyle on Twitter and Instagram for sneak peeks of all the latest club apparel.
5. Benny and Sal
Episode 11 of BS The Podcast debuted Wednesday as Benny Feilhaber and Sal Zizzo caught up with goalkeeper Sean Johnson, whose impressive New York City FC side is currently challenging for the top seed in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference.
Johnson, who has amassed 259 MLS appearances over 10 seasons with the Chicago Fire and NYCFC, joined the gang to discuss the unique story of how he ended up in the Big Apple, his intense ping pong matches with French soccer legend and former NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira, and his memorable clash with one Zlatan Ibrahimovic of the LA Galaxy.
6. The Nutmeg Debuts
Josh Klingler of 610 Sports Radio has launched The Nutmeg Podcast, taking fans behind the scenes with some of their favorite players and others around the club who have helped Sporting experience success on and off the pitch in Kansas City and in Major League Soccer.
In the pilot episode of the podcast, Klingler caught up with Leawood, Kansas, native and 11-year MLS veteran Seth Sinovic, who is in the midst of his ninth season at Sporting. The duo discuss Sinovic’s status as a hometown hero, having represented his boyhood club since 2011, before shifting gears to discuss the world-class Pinnacle training facility were Sporting practices on a daily basis.
7. SPR in ATL
Two MLS-affiliated USL Championship sides will face off Friday when the Swope Park Rangers (3-12-6, 15 points) visit Atlanta United 2 (4-13-5, 17 points) at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and the game will stream live on ESPN Plus. Fans can also follow @SwopeRangers on Twitter or check the USL Championship Match Center for live updates.
8. Sporting Classic
On Saturday and Sunday, select Sporting KC players will appear at the Sporting Classic youth soccer tournament at Wyandotte Sporting Fields in Kansas City, Kansas (1500 N 90 St.). The Sporting Classic is an elite youth soccer tournament open to U-9 through U-14 boys and U-9 through U-15 girls teams. For more information, visit SportingKCyouth.com/SportingClassic.
9. Roger That
Sporting midfielder Roger Espinoza will participate in a meet and greet at Price Chopper in Lee's Summit, Missouri (937 NE Woods Chapel Rd.) from 1:30-3 p.m. CT on Sunday. The appearance includes photo and autograph opportunities with the MLS veteran, who ranks among Sporting's all-time leaders in games played and has represented Honduras in two editions of the FIFA World Cup.
10. Live Breathe Futbol
From Germany to Washington D.C. to countries across Europe to Kansas City, midfielder Gedion Zelalem has lived and breathed the sport he loves. Once again, Live Breathe Futbol and Sporting Kansas City have teamed up to bring fans an exclusive merchandise collection.
Shop the Sporting Club x LBF collection in all SportingStyle locations at Children's Mercy Park next Thursday, Aug. 22, when Sporting Kansas City hosts regional rivals Minnesota United FC at 8:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match are available now at SeatGeek.com.
11. Away Tickets
Away tickets for Sporting Kansas City’s match against regional rivals Minnesota United FC are now available. Click here to request your tickets to the contest on Wednesday, Sept. 25, slated for 7 p.m. CT at the brand-new Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sporting is proud to be the only club in Major League Soccer to provide its traveling supporters with complimentary tickets for away matches. The club actively monitors away ticket requests submitted through SportingKC.com and strives to accommodate as many of them as possible. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit the Away Ticket Policies and FAQ.