SPORTING KC VISITS PORTLAND TIMBERS ON SUNDAY
Sporting Kansas City (10-10-4, 34 points) and the Portland Timbers (7-8-8, 29 point) round out out a pivotal two-game set this Sunday at Providence Park. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, 99.3 FM and 1340 AM as the clubs brace for their second straight meeting.
Currently fourth in the Western Conference standings, Sporting KC will revisit the site of the epic 2015 Western Conference Knockout Round match, which saw Portland win an 11-round penalty kick shootout after a gripping 2-2 draw. The Timbers sit seventh in the West and will look to close the gap between themselves and Manager Peter Vermes' men. Sporting KC has earned five straight regular season shutouts at Portland, including three at Providence Park, and boast a six-game regular season unbeaten run at Cascadia clubs (Portland, Seattle and Vancouver).
Sunday's match will be the first of five road games played in three different countries during Sporting Kansas City's month of August. (Full story)
SPORTING KC TOPS PORTLAND 1-0 BEHIND JACOB PETERSON GOAL
Jacob Peterson’s 50th minute header gave Sporting KC an invaluable 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at sold-out Children’s Mercy Park. Manager Peter Vermes claimed his 100th career coaching win in the MLS regular season as fourth-place Sporting Kansas City (10-10-4, 34 points) moved five points clear of seventh-place Portland (7-8-8, 29 points) in the Western Conference playoff race.
Facing the defending MLS Cup champions for the first time in 2016, Sporting KC won their fifth consecutive match at Children’s Mercy Park and extended their regular season shutout streak against Portland to five games (482 minutes) dating back to 2014. Peterson’s third goal of the season, following a delightful free-kick delivery from Benny Feilhaber, was the difference maker in a rainy game played before a national television audience on FOX. (Full story)
SKC LOANS EMMANUEL APPIAH AND DIEGO RUBIO TO RANGERS
Sporting KC loaned midfielder Emmanuel Appiah, forward Diego Rubio and goalkeeper Jon Kempin to the Swope Park Rangers today ahead of tonight's USL match between the Rangers and Saint Louis FC at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. and will stream live on SportingKC.com.
Appiah, Rubio and goalkeeper Jon Kempin join defender Ever Alvarado as Sporting KC players currently on loan with the Rangers. Click here to view the SKC/SPR loan tracker.
SPORTING KC AND SEATGEEK ANNOUNCE LANDMARK PARTNERSHIP
Sporting KC announced Thursday that ticketing industry leader SeatGeek will become the club’s official ticketing partner starting in 2017. As part of the new partnership, SeatGeek will serve as the official primary and resale ticketing platform for Sporting KC and Children’s Mercy Park -- marking the company’s first direct ticketing partnership with a sports team or venue. The partnership between Sporting Kansas City and SeatGeek comes on the heels of the announcement of a broader partnership between Major League Soccer and SeatGeek to make the latter the Official Ticketing Partner of Major League Soccer.
SeatGeek’s new ticketing platform will bring a host of unique features to Sporting KC that will make it easier for the club’s supporters to access and manage tickets to their games. Built on the open architecture and principles of cutting-edge technology businesses, the SeatGeek platform will allow Sporting KC to not only sell match tickets on SportingKC.com or via SeatGeek, but also any site or app of the club’s choice. This functionality -- historically uncommon in the ticketing space -- will allow for Sporting KC supporters to buy tickets direct from the club in any number of places across the web or social media. Fan engagement partner FanThreeSixty will collaborate with Sporting KC in their efforts to maximize the new functionality and enhanced data capture associated with SeatGeek, while also overseeing data migration and integration into the platform.
MULTI-PLATFORM COVERAGE PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR CCL
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has announced multi-platform broadcast plans for the 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. CONCACAF's Spanish-language U.S. broadcast partner Univision Deportes (UDN) and sister network Galavisión will broadcast every match of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, which kicks off tonight and runs through Oct. 20.
In addition, CONCACAF will stream a live, English-language production of group stage matches via the Confederation Facebook page on Facebook Live, providing fans a free viewing experience that combines the digital stream and social engagement onto a single platform. CONCACAF's official Facebook page and the official Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Facebook page will offer the live streams to users in the United States and Canada through mobile phones, tablets, PCs and televisions. All 48 games of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League group stage will be streamed live in high definition via Facebook Live transmissions, including English commentary and graphics from match producer CONCACAF TV.
Sporting KC is paired in Group C of the CONCACAF Champions League alongside fellow MLS club Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Central FC of Trinidad and Tobago. Manager Peter Vermes' men will play their first two group stages matches on the road before hosting return games at Children's Mercy Park. All four contests will stream live on Facebook, while three will be televised live on UDN. Sporting KC's match at Vancouver on Aug. 23, set to kick off at 9 p.m. CT, will be tape delayed on UDN at 1 a.m. CT the following morning. (Full story)
IKE OPARA LANDS MLS TEAM OF THE WEEK HONORS
Sporting KC entered Sunday's match against the Portland Timbers with an impressive regular season shutout streak against the reigning MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers. Ike Opara had no plans for that streak to end.
Sporting Kansas City's strapping center back delivered a resolute performance at rainy Children's Mercy Park on Sunday, anchoring the backline in a 1-0 victory that saw the Timbers extend their scoreless skid in the regular season series to 482 minutes. Opara, who helped limit an explosive Portland side to a single shot on goal, landed MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week honors on Monday as his team won its fifth straight home game and moved five points ahead of Portland in the ultra-competitive Western Conference playoff race.
Opara added four clearances, four interceptions, completed 88 percent of his passes and further endeared himself to the Children's Mercy Park faithful, limiting the impact of Timbers attacking trio Fanendo Adi, Lucas Melano and Diego Valeri. (Full story)
SPORTING KC'S ALEC KANN UP FOR MLS SAVE OF THE WEEK
Sporting KCy goalkeeper Alec Kann's 11th-minute stop on Darlington Nagbe has been nominated for MLS Save of the Week. Kann made his second regular season start of the season in Sunday's 1-0 win, the first of his MLS career. Fans can vote for Kann until 10:55 p.m. CT tonight. (Vote here)
SPORTING KC ACQUIRES 2018 DRAFT PICK FROM ORLANDO CITY SC
Sporting KC announced Wednesday that the club has acquired Orlando City SC’s natural fourth-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft from Orlando City SC in exchange for the College Protected Priority on defender Tony Rocha. Sporting KC selected Rocha with the 73rd overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The University of Tulsa product trained with the club during the 2015 preseason before joining the Austin Aztex, where he made 25 USL appearances last year.
Rocha, now 23, moved to Orlando City B ahead of the 2016 USL season, though he still remained on Sporting KC’s College Protected List. Unless claimed on waivers, a player who was drafted by a particular team through the SuperDraft and did not sign with MLS is placed on that team’s “College Protected List” until Dec. 31 of the year after the draft, after which the team loses the priority to sign the player.
Wednesday’s transaction gives Orlando City SC the priority to sign Rocha in exchange for a fourth-round draft selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
SWOPE PARK RANGERS SET FOR TWO-GAME ROAD TRIP
The Swope Park Rangers (8-8-4, 28 points) have moved into playoff position ahead of two important road games this week. The trip begins tonight when the club visits cross-state rival Saint Louis FC (7-8-6, 27 points) in a 7 p.m. CT kickoff at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri. Marc Dos Santos' side then travels south to meet Tulsa Roughnecks FC (5-12-3, 18 points) on Saturday, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. CT at ONEOK Field. Both matches will be streamed live on SportingKC.com.
SWOPE PARK RANGERS TOP SAN ANTONIO FC 2-1
The Swope Park Rangers earned a 2-1 victory over San Antonio FC at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday night. After falling behind to a first-half strike from Michael Reed, the Rangers rallied behind goals from Dane Kelly and Mark Anthony Gonzalez to extend their unbeaten streak to three games.
U-13S EARN FOURTH PLACE IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
The Sporting KC Academy U-13s stepped into the international spotlight last week, playing in North America's most prestigious club competition. Led by head coach Matt Trump, Sporting Kansas City was one of 16 teams challenging for the Scotiabank CONCACAF U-13 Champions League, which kicked off July 23 and culminated Saturday with the championship and third place matches. The U-13s made the most of their inaugural appearance on the international stage, claiming fourth place at the Universidad Intercontinental in Mexico City.
Sporting KC's fourth-place finish in a major international competition is a testament to the Sporting Club Network's collective development of young talent throughout the region. Among the 18 players on the tournament roster, 10 previously played for a Sporting Kansas City Academy Affiliate. (Full story)
DIDIC AND GONZALEZ NAMED TO USL TEAM OF THE WEEK
Swope Park Rangers defender Amer Didic has been named to the USL Team of the Week for Week 19, while Mark Anthony Gonzalez has been selected on the bench.
Didic earned the honor after another standout defensive display in the 2-1 victory over San Antonio FC on Saturday night, limiting SAFC to season-lows in shots (2) and shots on goal (1). Gonzalez notched his team-leading seventh goal of the season with the game-winner in the 84th minute. (Full story)
USL EXPANDING 2017 REGULAR SEASON TO 32 GAMES
The United Soccer League released the composition of its 2017 competition structure on Monday. The USL Board of Governors approved a 32-game schedule that will begin the weekend of March 24-26 contested in a span of not more than 30 weeks. The competition structure is developed through the League’s Off-Field Competition Committee before a final recommendation is presented to the BOG's for voting.
The 32-game schedule will allow each team to play its conference opponents at least twice, one home and one away, with regional rivalries rounding out the schedule. Teams will not play an opponent more than three times in 2017. (Full story)
WESTLAKE ACE HARDWARE HELPFUL MOMENT OF THE MONTH
Sporting Kansas City fans can visit SportingKC.com/helpful to cast their vote for the Westlake Ace Hardware Helpful Moment of the Month. Individuals can choose among three nominees for the month of July, with each participant receiving a $7 coupon to Westlake Ace Hardware locations in the Kansas City area. The grand prize includes a $300 Westlake gift card, a Sporting KC replica jersey and tickets to an upcoming match at Children's Mercy Park.
VOTE FOR THE NEW KLEMENT'S SPORTING SAUSAGE
Another voting opportunity can be found at SportingKC.com/klements, where fans can vote for the newest Klement's Sporting Sausage to be served at concessions in Children's Mercy Park for the remainder of the season. Those who make a selection will have the chance to win a grand prize that includes a year-supply of Klement's sausages and branded items, tickets to and field access to Sporting KC's match against San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 23, and a Matt Besler jersey.
GAIL'S HARLEY-DAVIDSON SWEEPSTAKES NOW OPEN
Supporters can visit SportingKC.com/gailsharley and enter for a chance to win a brand new Sporting KC-branded Harley-Davidson Street 500 motorcycle and tickets to the club's regular season finale vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 23.
For news, photographs and instant updates throughout the 2016 season, follow Sporting Kansas City on its Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (sportingkc) accounts and visit the club's social media page.