"This Week in Sporting," presented by The Smile Generation, is a biweekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City. To visit the series archive, click here.
1. Home is Where the Heart Is
Sporting Kansas City (1-0-0, 3 points) will kick off the club’s 10th home campaign at world-class Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, hosting rivals Houston Dynamo (0-0-1, 1 point) in a long-awaited and highly anticipated Western Conference showdown at 7:30 p.m. CT. A limited number of tickets for the match, including standing-room only tickets, are available at SeatGeek.com as Manager Peter Vermes’ men return for their first home fixture in over five months.
FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO will provide three hours of live coverage on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Listeners can also catch the action locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM, while viewers beyond the FOX Sports Midwest footprint can stream the contest on ESPN Plus.
Supporters are encouraged to arrive early on Saturday and the first 10,000 fans through the stadium gates will receive a free rally towel courtesy of match sponsor UMB Bank. Sporting KC schedule magnets will also be available upon exit at the end of the night. Additionally, all fans who place merchandise pre-orders at SportingStyle.com will receive a $20 SportingStyle gift card with their purchase. Those who buy their Sporting gear at the stadium on Saturday will get a $10 SportingStyle gift card.
2. Fresh Flavors and Local Partners
As Sporting Kansas City celebrates its 25th season as a founding member of Major League Soccer, the club is delighted to launch a comprehensive concession stand refresh at Children’s Mercy Park, begin multifaceted partnerships with heralded local establishments and deliver numerous matchday enhancements inside the stadium. At the forefront, Sporting has enriched its food and beverage offerings by welcoming a variety of Kansas City-based fan favorites to Children’s Mercy Park and introducing five additional concession concepts throughout the stadium concourse ahead of Saturday’s highly anticipated home opener against Houston. For full details, visit SportingKC.com/2020.
3. Good Gadi
Pardon the brutal pun, but this guy's MLS debut was some kinda wonderful. Israeli newcomer Gadi Kinda helped Sporting Kansas City to an eye-opening 3-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC last Saturday at BC Place, hammering home an MLS Goal of the Week nominee and commanding the midfield in a comprehensive first appearance for Sporting.
In addition to landing himself on the Goal of the Week ballot, Kinda was further recognized by MLSsoccer.com with a spot on the Team of the Week presented by Audi. The diminutive 25-year-old was one of two MLS debutants on the Starting XI alongside the San Jose Earthquakes' Oswaldo Alanis.
4. Eligible Bachelor
On a team chock full of handsome heartthrobs, Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi will have quite a unique opportunity at romance on March 12. The 23-year-old was unveiled today as the headline hunk for "The Bachelor Live on Stage" at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. A week from Thursday, Salloi will meet 10 women vying for his heart in a show that begins at 8 p.m. CT. The live event is open to guests of all ages and tickets are selling fast, so get yours while supplies last at ArvestBankTheatre.com.
5. Media Day
Sporting Kansas City took center stage Tuesday at Children's Mercy Park, hosting its annual Media Day as Manager Peter Vermes and President and CEO Jake Reid joined players for a series of hits with local media. As part of the occasion, Sports Radio 810 personalities Jason Anderson and Cory Anderson broadcasted The Zone live from the newly modernized Wise Power Shield Club inside Children's Mercy Park. Their four hours of coverage included discussions with Vermes, Reid and Sporting Kansas City defender Graham Zusi, who on Saturday night helped his team to a season-opening 3-1 road victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
6. Sunday Funday
Led by third-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura, Sporting Kansas City II will host the Charlotte Independence in the club’s 2020 USL Championship season opener on Sunday at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. CT and tickets are available at SeatGeek.com or at the stadium box office beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT. The contest will stream live on ESPN Plus and @SportingKCII on Twitter will provide additional in-game updates.
Sporting II has returned seven players from the 2019 squad, including 23-year-old Portuguese winger Ze Pedro and Sporting Kansas City Academy products Wilson Harris, Will Little and Brooks Thompson. Ze Pedro joined the club midway through last season and tallied five goals and three assists in just 12 appearances. Harris, meanwhile, led the side with a team-best 12 goals as one of the top-scoring teenagers in American soccer.