"This Week in Sporting," presented by The Smile Generation, is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City. To visit the series archive, click here.
1. Matchweek is Here
Sporting Kansas City (2-0-0, 6 points) will resume the club's 2020 season on Sunday in the highly anticipated MLS is Back Tournament, facing rivals Minnesota United FC (2-0-0, 6 points) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Sporting's first competitive match in over four months will serve as the group stage opener for both sides and count toward the MLS regular season standings, kicking off at 7 p.m. CT. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. CT with live coverage on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN app as well as Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
Sporting KC Live presented by Michelob Ultra will provide 60 minutes of pre-match coverage Sunday on FOX Sports Kansas City starting at 6 p.m. CT, while the Final Whistle postgame show will air immediately afterward on Sports Radio 810 WHB. For more information about the historic MLS is Back Tournament, visit SportingKC.com/MLSisBack.
2. Arrival in Orlando
After several weeks of individual workouts, small group training and full-team practices at Compass Minerals National Performance Center, Sporting Kansas City arrived in Orlando Sunday evening for the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida. Manager Peter Vermes' men are stationed at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel and will train at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex ahead of Sunday's curtain raiser with Minnesota United FC.
3. Road Warriors
The United Soccer League announced last week Sporting Kansas City II’s revised schedule for the 2020 USL Championship regular season. Sporting KC II will return to action on July 18 at Indy Eleven and play 15 times over the course of a dozen weeks, rounding out a 16-game regular season campaign that began March 8 with a home loss to Charlotte Independence before the campaign was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by third-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City great Paulo Nagamura, Sporting Kansas City II will hit the road for 14 of their remaining 15 contests. Twelve of those away matches will come against the three other clubs in Group E, as Sporting KC II will travel to Indy Eleven, Louisville City FC and rivals Saint Louis FC four times each.
4. Tuesday Tune-In
A new episode of the Sporting KC Show will debut Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost. Augustine has traveled to Florida with Sporting and will provide first-hand updates from the club's camp in Disney World throughout the tournament. Previous episodes of the podcast are available at SportingKC.com/SportingKCShow.
5. Two-Day Transfer Window
MLS confirmed last week the revised 2020 transfer windows for its clubs in the United States and Canada, as approved by world soccer governing body FIFA:
- Two-day transfer window: Mon., July 6 – Tues., July 7
- Secondary transfer window: Wed., Aug. 12 – Thurs., Oct. 29
The new transfer windows were established as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the previously scheduled primary transfer window (Feb. 12–May 5) and secondary transfer window (originally scheduled from July 7–Aug. 5).
The two-day transfer window, running today and tomorrow, was designed to complete transactions executed by MLS clubs prior to the suspension of the season and in the lead-up to travel to Orlando for the MLS is Back Tournament.
6. Bracket Challenge
Think you know what's going to go down at the MLS is Back Tournament? Then put your knowledge to the test and sign up for the Bracket Challenge presented by Audi for a chance to win some major prizes.The winner of the Bracket Challenge will receive $10,000 in cash, while the second-place finisher will get $1,000 to spend at MLSstore.com and the third-place finisher will receive $250 to spend at MLSstore.com.
7. MLS Today
Excited for to watch the MLS is Back Tournament? Looking for all the best coverage and analysis? Starting this Tuesday, MLSsoccer.com has you covered with all the chatter from Orlando on a brand new show, MLS Today presented by AT&T.
MLS Today will air every day of the tournament at 10 a.m. CT on MLSsoccer.com, Twitter and Facebook, including right after every scheduled 8 a.m. CT match kickoff. Hosted by Susannah Collins and Calen Carr, Tuesday's show will include tournament predictions, interviews from Monday's media day session and interviews with other players participating in the competition.