"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. Preseason Starts Today
With one week of voluntary training sessions in Kansas City in the rearview mirror, Sporting Kansas City will take the field today at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona, for the official start of preseason training. Manager Peter Vermes' side will spend the next four weeks in Arizona to prepare for the 2021 MLS campaign, which is scheduled to kick off the weekend of April 17.
2. Roster Announced
Sporting has announced its 34-player roster for the 2021 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy. The preseason squad consists of 26 first team players, five members of Sporting Kansas City II, two Sporting KC Academy players and one unsigned MLS Super Draft selection.
Homegrown goalkeeper Brooks Thompson is Sporting’s lone MLS player not on the preseason roster, as he will continue rehabbing an injury in Kansas City. Recently acquired French center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin has yet to arrive in the United States and will undergo a seven-day quarantine upon his arrival to Arizona before joining the team for training. Sporting will continue to follow comprehensive health and safety protocols throughout preseason, including COVID-19 testing every other day.
3. Match Schedule
Sporting announced last week that four friendly matches will highlight the club’s 2021 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy. The preseason slate will begin with a showdown against Phoenix Rising FC on March 13 at the USL Championship club’s new training facility at Wild Horse Pass. Vermes’ men will then face three MLS Western Conference opponents at Kino North Complex in Tucson, Arizona, meeting the Colorado Rapids on March 20, the Portland Timbers on March 24 and LA Galaxy on April 3. For live coverage of all four preseason friendlies, supporters can follow @SKCMatchday on Twitter.
|Saturday, March 13||12 p.m.||Phoenix Rising FC||Wild Horse Pass (Chandler, Ariz.)|
|Saturday, March 20||5 p.m.||Colorado Rapids||Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)|
|Wednesday, March 24||1 p.m.||Portland Timbers||Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)|
|Saturday, April 3||2 p.m.||LA Galaxy||Kino North Complex (Tucson, Ariz.)|
4. Big Monday
Sporting Kansas City fans will want to visit SportingKC.com/live at 5 p.m. CT today for a momentous unveil and announcement. Hint: it just might have something to do with the club's jerseys.
5. Sporting Preseason Spotlight
As momentum builds toward Major League Soccer’s 26th season in 2021, Sporting Kansas City players and coaches will look to lay the foundations for another successful campaign when preseason training unfolds this month in Arizona.
With newcomers joining familiar faces for the 2021 preseason presented by Children’s Mercy, SportingKC.com has launched the “Sporting Preseason Spotlight” web series to acquaint supporters with the goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards who will help Sporting Kansas City compete for silverware in 2021. To read up on every player and visit the series archive as it expands, head to SportingKC.com/Spotlight.
6. USL Championship Alignment
The USL Championship announced last week its league alignment for the 2021 regular season. The league will feature 31 teams across four divisions and two conferences, with all clubs set to embark on a 32-game regular season campaign that will take place over 27 weeks. As previously announced, the USL Championship regular season will begin on or around May 1, employing a flexible start date that allows clubs to begin play anywhere between April 24 and May 15.
Sporting KC II is one of eight clubs in the Central Division, joining Atlanta United 2, Birmingham Legion FC, FC Tulsa, Indy Eleven, Louisville City FC, Memphis 901 FC and OKC Energy FC.