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. Getting the Call
Sporting Kansas City Academy products Tyler Freeman, Jake Davis and Tucker Lepley are set to compete at the 19th annual Nike International Friendlies this week at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The prestigious four-team tournament will feature the Netherlands, Turkey, and two U.S. squads as Freeman joins the U-16 Boys’ National Team while Davis and Lepley both join the U-17 Men’s National Team for the first time.
2. Sounders Shine
Seattle Sounders FC claimed MLS Cup 2019 with a 3-1 home win over Toronto FC on Sunday afternoon at jam-packed CenturyLink Field. A crowd of 69,274 saw the Sounders withstand a shaky first half and explode for three goals over the final 33 minutes, bringing the league championship to Seattle for the second time in four years.
3. Trade Winds
With a 10-week roster freeze in the books, MLS clubs may sign and trade players between noon CT today and 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Following this three-day trade window, a blackout period will begin whereby clubs may no longer sign or trade players until the conclusion of the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday, Nov. 19. Click here for the full offseason roster mechanism calendar.
4. Holiday Sale
SportingStyle will host its Friends + Family Holiday Sale this Saturday at the Budweiser Brew House inside Children's Mercy Park. The club's premier holiday sale of the season will feature 30% off full-price items, up to 50% off sale items and select jerseys for just $20. The Friends + Family Holiday Sale will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, and fans can follow @SportingStyle on Twitter for updates.
5. Botond Abroad
Sporting Kansas City defender Botond Barath has been selected to the Hungary Men’s National Team for two matches during the November FIFA window, including the Magyars’ pivotal UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying finale against Wales.
Barath and the Magyars will first host South American power Uruguay in a friendly on Friday at the brand-new Puskas Arena in Budapest. The inaugural match at the world-class, 67,889-seat stadium is slated for noon CT. Hungary will then prepare for an all-important UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier at Wales next Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Cardiff City Stadium, kicking off at 1:45 p.m. CT with live streams on ESPN3 and the ESPN App.
6. Hasler Hustle
Sporting Kansas City defender Nico Hasler has joined the Liechtenstein Men’s National Team for its final two matches in Group J of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying during the November FIFA window. Liechtenstein will visit Finland at 11 a.m. CT on Friday at Telia 5G Arena in Helsinki before hosting Bosnia and Herzegovina at 1:45 p.m. CT next Monday, Nov. 18, at Rheinpark Stadion in Vaduz. Both games will stream live on ESPN3 and the ESPN App.
7. Sporting Brookside
Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation and Brookside Soccer Club (BSC) have partnered to launch a new youth soccer league in collaboration with Sporting Kansas City that will provide more recreational soccer opportunities and benefits to residents throughout Kansas City and surrounding areas. Set to begin play in early 2020, Sporting Brookside welcomes boys and girls from Pre-K through high school to Swope Soccer Village to participate in this one-of-a-kind recreation league in Kansas City, Missouri.
8. Class in Session
A busy weekend for the Sporting Kansas City Academy saw six teams travel west for matches in Colorado, headlined by U.S. Soccer Development Academy tripleheaders between Sporting’s U-15, U-17 and U-19 sides against Real Colorado and the Colorado Rapids, respectively. Click here for a full recap.
9. New Balls
Major League Soccer and adidas on Sunday revealed the official match ball for the league’s milestone 25th season, the 2020 MLS NATIVO XXV. Newly constructed with enhanced materials and tested by the world’s top players, this reimagined NATIVO pulls inspiration from the first MLS ball in 1996 to celebrate the 25th MLS season and kickoff a new decade of soccer in North America. The ball will go on sale online and in stores on Jan. 2, 2020.
10. Rock Chalk
The Kansas Jayhawks claimed the 2019 Big 12 Soccer Championship title after knocking off TCU by a 1-0 scoreline on Sunday at Swope Soccer Village. As tournament winners, Kansas will receive an automatic bid the 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship.
The fifth-seeded Jayhawks defeated No. 4 West Virginia, top-seeded Oklahoma State and No. 6 TCU to claim the program's first Big 12 Soccer Championship. Played before a national television audience on FS1, Sunday's contest marked the seventh straight year the Big 12 soccer champion was crowned at Swope Soccer Village.
11. The Truce
In celebration of a long-standing Boxing Day tradition, the National World War I Museum, The Soccer Lot and Sporting Kansas City will host the seventh annual Truce 3v3 Soccer Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 26, with festivities beginning at 8 a.m. CT.