This Week in Sporting: Feb. 21, 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. Down in the Desert

Sporting Kansas City fell 2-1 against Phoenix Rising FC on Wednesday in Visit Tucson Sun Cup action at Casino Arizona Field in Tempe, Arizona. Johnny Russell gave Sporting a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute, collecting a cross from Homegrown right back Jaylin Lindsey and burying his shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the 2020 preseason, presented by Children's Mercy. The hosts would respond with goals from Santi Moar and Joey Calistri to emerge narrow victors.

Sporting will conclude preseason play versus the New York Red Bulls at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Arizona, before returning to Kansas City to prep for the team's MLS regular season opener on Feb. 29 in Vancouver. Saturday's match will be streamed live on for viewers in the Kansas City and Tucson regions.

2. First Kick Party

To celebrate the start of the 2020 MLS season in style, fans of all ages are welcome to join Sporting Kansas City for the First Kick Party on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Corinth Square in Prairie Village, Kansas (8221 Corinth Mall, Prairie Village, KS).

Serving as a festive lead-up to Sporting’s season opener that evening at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the First Kick Party will feature interactive and family-friendly activities, decadent food and beverage samples from First Watch and BRGR, specials at multiple Corinth Square shops, SportingStyle merchandise, FIFA 20 inside No Other Bus presented by Security Bank, and a free youth soccer clinic for Sporting Stars & Sporting Stripes presented by Blue KC. Players must be 3-8 years of age and clinic registration is now open on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. Poppin' Bottles

Kansas City distillery J. Rieger & Co. and Sporting Kansas City have unveiled a very special collectible bottle of Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey. Exclusively available in Kansas City as of Thursday, Feb. 20, the first limited-edition label of Rieger’s Sporting Kansas City Whiskey celebrates their new partnership and “love of the city.” The partners re-imagined the classic Rieger’s KC Whiskey bottle with design elements and motifs that fuse the past, present and future of both brands in an entirely original way.

4. The Podcast is Back

The 2020 season premiere of the Sporting KC Show Podcast debuted Tuesday night on Sports Radio 810 WHB as hosts Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine welcomed former fan-favorite and new FOX Sports Kansas City color analyst Jacob Peterson. Serving as a fast-paced, wide-ranging preview of the 2020 campaign, the trio also spoke with Sporting midfielder Roger Espinoza, adding plenty of fascinating insight ahead during the final week of preseason training.

5. Wise Power

Sporting KC announced this week a new partnership with Wise Power, a renewable energy provider founded in Kansas City, that includes naming rights to the Wise Power Shield Club at Children's Mercy Park. Wise Power integrates cutting-edge hardware and software systems patented to create new solutions for customers nationwide. The company’s intelligent energy storage systems store electricity to power homes and businesses, as well as a new “Wise Power Pack” storage system to power electric vehicles.

6. TV Tune-In

Sporting Kansas City released today a detailed television schedule for its 2020 MLS regular season campaign, which will see FOX Sports Kansas City serve as the club's exclusive television home for the fourth straight year.

FOX Sports Kansas City is slated to televise 31 MLS regular season matches in 2020, with new color analyst and former Sporting player Jacob Peterson joining play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty and touchline reporter Carter Augustine for local broadcasts.

7. Live That Fantasy

MLS Fantasy is back for 2020, giving you another reason to get excited for the 2020 season. Sign up now to compete against your friends and family, as you will have a chance to earn bragging rights again in 2020. The season will no longer be split into two; managers will instead have the chance to qualify for a new MLS Fantasy Champions League. For further details, click here.