"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. Tied in Tucson
MLS rivals Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake scrapped to a scoreless draw on Saturday at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Both sides opened their Visit Tucson Sun Cup campaign in a match characterized by strong defensive displays and few clearcut scoring chances, although Sporting enjoyed the lion's share of possession over the course of 90 minutes.
The Visit Tucson Sun Cup will resume Wednesday when Sporting visits USL Championship side Phoenix Rising FC at Casino Arizona Field in Tempe, Arizona. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. CT with a live stream on SportingKC.com for viewers in the Kansas City region. Additional play-by-play updates will be available on Twitter at @SKCMatchday.
2. Swing the Hammer
Sporting Kansas City announced Friday that the club has acquired New Zealand international center back Winston Reid on loan from English Premier League side West Ham United. The 31-year-old World Cup veteran will occupy an international spot on Sporting’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Reid arrives in Kansas City after logging over 300 club appearances in Denmark and England, including 166 Premier League matches with West Ham. The 6-foot-3 center back has also earned 25 caps for the New Zealand Men’s National Team, including three starts at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
3. Ticket(s) to Ride
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.
4. Down in Wichita
Academy product Jahon Rad converted a late penalty kick as Sporting Kansas City II opened the 2020 preseason with a 1-1 draw against USL Championship counterparts OKC Energy FC on Saturday at Stryker Sports Complex in Wichita, Kansas.
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, Sporting II will continue their preparations for the 2020 USL Championship season on Saturday at Swope Soccer Village when they host Iowa Western Community College at 2 p.m. CT. Admission is free and open to the public.
5. Alekzandur in Action
Sporting Kansas City’s eMLS star represented his club proudly on Friday as Alekzandur ended his eMLS League Series Two campaign with a 6-4-2 record. Competing in Portland, Oregon, among 24 other gamers at the second eMLS event of 2020, Alekzandur placed ninth overall in the final qualifying event before eMLS Cup on March 21 in Austin, Texas.
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.