"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. Raise the Curtains
Sporting Kansas City’s 26th season as a founding member of Major League Soccer will begin Saturday when the club visits the New York Red Bulls for a 7 p.m. CT kickoff at Red Bull Arena.
Bally Sports Kansas City Plus and Bally Sports Midwest Plus will provide three hours of live coverage on Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT, while listeners can catch the action on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish). The Final Whistle postgame show will also air on 810 WHB immediately afterward as Sporting takes the field for its first of 34 regular season fixtures.
2. Saturday Watch Party
To celebrate the start of the season, Sporting fans are invited to attend a season-opening outdoor watch party on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park when the club hosts its Season Kickoff presented by Michelob Ultra. Supporters can secure their free ticket to the Season Kickoff at SeatGeek.com or the SeatGeek app, with stadium gates opening at 5:30 p.m. CT and select concessions and SportingStyle locations open to guests. The watch party will utilize distanced outdoor seating in the stadium bowl with the match shown on the north and south videoboards. Face coverings will be mandatory for all in attendance.
3. One Club
Sporting Kansas City has celebrated the club’s 25-year anniversary as an original member of Major League Soccer by creating a commemorative book for Season Ticket Members. "One Club: The First 25 Years of Major League Soccer in Kansas City" chronicles the modest beginnings and meteoric rise of Sporting KC through the lens of club legends and passionate supporters alike. Featuring untold stories, anecdotes and interviews with many of the players, coaches and fans who shaped the course of soccer in Kansas City, "One Club" brings to life Sporting’s remarkable evolution over the last 25 years.
"One Club" is the definitive story of Sporting KC—described by MLS Commissioner Don Garber as “one of the greatest turnaround stories” in modern sports—presented in a coffee table book format. Filled with compelling features, illustrations and photographs from the team’s first two and a half decades, "One Club" is a collaborative work created by Sporting KC associates, supporters and soccer enthusiasts who have followed the club over time.
To kick off the 2021 MLS season, all Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Member accounts will be given a copy of the 208-page hardback book as part of their STM gift package. The first opportunity for STMs to secure their books and gift packages will be Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park during the Season Kickoff presented by Michelob Ultra.
We're celebrating our club's 25-year anniversary with the stories of how it all came to be.— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) April 7, 2021
📖 𝑶𝒏𝒆 𝑪𝒍𝒖𝒃: 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐹𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡 25 𝑌𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑀𝑎𝑗𝑜𝑟 𝐿𝑒𝑎𝑔𝑢𝑒 𝑆𝑜𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝐾𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑎𝑠 𝐶𝑖𝑡𝑦, a Season Ticket Member exclusive gift. pic.twitter.com/aqKvL9gfgv
4. Totally Rad
Sporting Kansas City has signed 19-year-old center back Kaveh Rad as a Homegrown Player, the club announced last week. Rad has signed a two-year MLS contract through 2022 with options for 2023 and 2024, becoming the 16th Homegrown Player to emerge from the Sporting Kansas City Academy. Sporting's roster now has 11 first team players developed in the club's academy, most in Major League Soccer.
A native of North Carolina, Rad has started 34 of 36 matches for Sporting Kansas City II in the USL Championship over the last two seasons. He enjoyed a breakout year for the club in 2019, signing an amateur academy contract and making 22 USL Championship appearances under head coach Paulo Nagamura. Rad started 14 matches for Sporting KC II during a shortened 2020 campaign, leading the team in minutes (1,260) and passes (871) while starting in four of the club’s five wins.
5. Fountain City Foosball
To celebrate the club’s landmark 25-year anniversary in Major League Soccer and the start of the 2021 season, Sporting Kansas City has launched a yearlong outdoor activation for supporters called Fountain City Foosball. Over the course of the season, Sporting will place life-size foosball figures in prominent locations across the Kansas City metropolitan area and Midwest region. Fountain City Foosball will bring the classic table-based game of foosball to life, with each player featuring its own iconic jersey from Sporting KC history.
Each foosball player will feature a unique QR code that activates a coupon to one of Sporting’s local partners. Additionally, fans who visit each foosball player and scan every QR code will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 SportingStyle gift card. To learn the current locations of all of the foosball players, visit SportingKC.com/fountaincityfoosball and be sure to follow Sporting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Introducing Fountain City Foosball!— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) April 9, 2021
Each foosball player features a QR code to scan with a prize attached 🎁
Scan each one to enter to win a $500 @SportingStyle gift card!
Share your foosball pics with the hashtag #OneSportingWay
Details 👉 https://t.co/BjUTc0EKQ2 pic.twitter.com/pCCzhd5qTp
6. Tune In Tuesday
A new episode of the Sporting KC Show Podcast will debut at 7 p.m. CT Tuesday on Sports Radio 810 WHB as hosts Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost deliver a comprehensive preview of the 2021 MLS campaign and hear from a Sporting player. The Sporting KC Show Podcast is available on Spotify and iTunes, giving supporters a weekly destination to catch up on club storylines, player achievements, guest interviews and more.
7. SKC II Kickoff Times
Sporting Kansas City confirmed last week the kickoff times for the club's 32 matches during the 2021 USL Championship regular season. As previously announced, Sporting KC will play 32 regular season matches from May 1 to Oct. 30, including 16 at Children's Mercy Park. USL Championship fixtures at the venue will be held without fans in attendance until further notice.
8. MLS Fantasy is Back
MLS Fantasy is back for 2021, giving you more reason to get excited for the 2021 season. Sign up now to compete against your friends and family, as you will have a chance to earn bragging rights again in 2021. There are two ways to win great prizes: either by placing in the top of the season long Overall standings, or by qualifying for the Fantasy Champions League. Sound enticing? The initial setup only takes a few minutes, so click here to learn the process of setting up an MLS Fantasy team.