This Week in Sporting: Feb. 14, 2020

"This Week in Sporting" is a biweekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City. To visit the series archive, click here.


1. Streaming on Tap

Good news, fans: the days of closed-door scrimmages are over. Sporting Kansas City's final three matches of the 2020 preseason, presented by Children's Mercy, will stream live on SportingKC.com to viewers in the Kansas City area.

With three tune-ups already in the books, Manager Peter Vermes' men will conclude their preseason preparations in Arizona with a trio of matches in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup. SportingKC.com will provide exclusive live coverage of all three fixtures as Sporting faces Real Salt Lake at 5 p.m. CT Saturday, Phoenix Rising FC at 8 p.m. CT Wednesday and the New York Red Bulls at 3 p.m. CT on Feb. 22.

The upcoming live streams will give supporters their first opportunities to catch new color analyst and former Sporting forward Jacob Peterson join play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty in the commentary booth. The duo will call locally broadcast Sporting matches throughout the 2020 MLS regular season alongside touchline reporter Carter Augustine.

2. Quoting the Captain

One day after celebrating his 33rd birthday with a salmon dinner and cheesecake alongside teammates, Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler made his customary appearance on Sports Radio 810 WHB with Border Patrol hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John on Wednesday.

Reporting from camp in Arizona, Besler provided several insightful updates as Manager Peter Vermes' men continue their preparations for the 2020 campaign. In addition to reflecting on the Kansas City Chiefs' momentous Super Bowl victory, the center back shared his thoughts on newcomers Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda, the impact of other fresh faces such as Khiry Shelton and Amadou Dia, what a typical preseason day looks like and the keys to hitting the ground running when the regular season starts on Feb. 29 in Vancouver. Listen to the full podcast below.

3. Vermes Verbatim

With a new season just around the corner, Manager Peter Vermes sat down with The Kansas City Star's Sam McDowell for a highly revealing conversation about the lengths Sporting has gone to ensure that the club will bounce back in 2020. Among the topics covered:

  • Vermes' offseason message to Sporting's ownership about investing in players
  • What went wrong last year and how the club's veteran core plans to prevent a repeat of 2019
  • The acclimation of striker Alan Pulido and other newcomers
  • The rapid development of Sporting's Academy products
  • Major League Soccer's new collective bargaining agreement
  • The keys to MLS continuing to improve its product on and off the pitch
  • The Kansas City Chiefs' run to the Super Bowl title

Listen to the full discussion between Vermes and McDowell below.

4. Join the Club

Single-game tickets for Sporting Kansas City’s first 10 home matches of the 2020 MLS regular season are now on sale. Individual match tickets for contests at Children’s Mercy Park through June 28—beginning with the highly anticipated home opener against rivals Houston Dynamo on March 7 and continuing through a summertime matchup versus the Portland Timbers—can be purchased at SportingKC.com/tickets.

5. Away Tickets

Tickets for Sporting Kansas City's first three away matches of the 2020 MLS regular season are now available at SportingKC.com/tickets.

Sporting Kansas City is proud to provide its traveling Season Ticket Members with complimentary tickets for away matches. Full complimentary tickets will be made available to current Season Ticket Members, up to the number of seats on their account, and to active members of recognized supporters groups. All other fans looking to attend away matches will be eligible for a half-priced tickets through the club to sit with traveling supporters.

6. The Final Countdown

For the first time in the 25-year history of Major League Soccer, the month of February will mark the start of regular season play. On Feb. 29, clubs across the United States and Canada will step between the white lines with hopes of collecting three points to begin 2020. A delectable opening day of MLS action will see Sporting Kansas City visit Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 9:30 p.m. CT, giving supporters their first real look at Manager Peter Vermes’ side since last October.

As the anticipated date approaches, SportingKC.com is rolling out a 28-day countdown to first kick, offering a comprehensive preview of the season ahead. From key storylines and positional breakdowns to new fan initiatives and perks at Children’s Mercy Park, our Countdown to Kickoff series highlights the many reasons to be pumped for Sporting’s 2020 campaign. To visit the series homepage as it expands, head to SportingKC.com/countdown.

7. Great Gamer

After posting a 6-3-3 record in eMLS League Series One last month in Philadelphia, Sporting Kansas City's Alekzandur will travel west this week to compete in eMLS League Series Two with the objective of qualifying for the 2020 eMLS Cup.

Competing in Philadelphia among 24 other gamers at the first eMLS event of 2020, Alekzandur placed 10th overall and finished on a four-game winning streak. He will aim to improve upon that performance this time around, hitting the sticks in today's regular season with hopes of finishing in the top seven to qualify for Saturday night's knockout rounds.

For eMLS updates from Alekzandur throughout today's regular season, follow @Alekzandur and @eSportingKC on Twitter. Saturday night's knockout rounds will stream live on on Twitch.tv/mls and Twitch.tv/eSportingKC.

8. Academy in Action

It's a busy weekend ahead for the Sporting Kansas City Academy, as every age group except the U-19s will compete in a major tournament. The U-17s and U-15s have traveled to Southern California for the next round of 2019-20 Generation adidas Cup qualifying, while the U-14s, U-13s and U-12s will represent Sporting at the 2020 US Youth Futsal National Championships at local indoor venues across the Johnson County area. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for live updates throughout the weekend.

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