SPORTING KC CONTINUES PLAYOFF PUSH SUNDAY AT REAL SALT LAKE
Sporting Kansas City (12-13-7) returns to action Sunday when they visit rivals Real Salt Lake (12-11-9, 45 points) in the Final Push to the Playoffs. Peter Vermes' men enter the penultimate week of the 2016 MLS regular season holding the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the seventh-place Portland Timbers and two points behind fourth-place Real Salt Lake.
Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah is set for 4 p.m. CT as five Western Conference matches will be played simultaneously on Sunday afternoon. SKCTV and 38 The Spot will air three hours of live television coverage, while listeners can follow the game live on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).
No Other Pub in the Kansas City Power & Light District (1370 Grand Blvd.) will host an official watch party for the match, offering $7 specialty cocktails from Till Vodka. Sporting KC is seeking a club-record sixth straight appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs, which will begin Oct. 26-27 with two knockout round matches in either conference.
Led by 2016 team MVP Dom Dwyer and Offensive Player of the Year Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC closes the 2016 regular season on Oct. 23 against the San Jose Earthquakes at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets for the all-important Decision Day clash are available via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.
RANGERS TO HOST WHITECAPS FC 2 IN SATURDAY'S CONFERENCE FINAL
The Swope Park Rangers claimed a remarkable 2-1 extra time victory over Orange County Blues FC on Sunday, advancing to the Western Conference Finals of the USL Cup Playoffs. Winners of six straight games, the Rangers will now host Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday with a spot in the USL Cup Final up for grabs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village, with tickets starting as low as $12 on Ticketmaster.com and a live stream on SportingKC.com. SPR Season Ticket Members can also secure their seats via Account Manager with season ticket pricing in effect for the USL Cup Playoffs.
SPORTING KC ANNOUNCES 2016 CLUB AWARDS AT PITCH BLACK
Sporting KC presented the club’s 2016 awards on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park during Pitch Black, presented by Jaguar and Land Rover of Merriam and Aristocrat Motors. Sporting KC players, media members and supporters voted on the following award winners:
- Most Valuable Player, presented by Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes Benz of Kansas City: Dom Dwyer
- Offensive Player of the Year, presented by Sabates Eye Centers: Benny Feilhaber
- Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Ivy Investments: Saad Abdul-Salaam
- Newcomer of the Year, presented by Kansas City Marriott Downtown: Alec Kann
- Goal of the Year, presented by Power Partners: Jacob Peterson (July 24)
- Golden Boot, presented by Henry Wurst, Inc.: Dom Dwyer
In addition, Sporting KC selected the following award winners:
- The Victory Project Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Children’s Mercy Hospital: Chance Myers
- Swope Park Rangers Offensive Player of the Year, presented by Rosnet: Mark Anthony Gonzalez
- Swope Park Rangers Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Platinum KC: Amer Didic
- Bob Gansler Academy Player of the Year: Felipe Hernandez
- Sporting Club Network Club of the Year, presented by Price Chopper: Puma FC
- Academy Affiliate Club of the Year: Sporting Omaha FC
Click here to read more about Sporting KC's 2016 award winners.
MATT BESLER GOES THE DISTANCE AS U.S. MNT TIES NEW ZEALAND
Sporting KC defender Matt Besler started and played 90 minutes on Tuesday as the United States Men's National Team tied New Zealand 1-1 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Forward Julian Green fired the U.S. ahead on 27 minutes before Monty Patterson equalized in the 72nd minute to split the spoils in the nation's capital. Tuesday's friendly match was the Americans' final tune-up before hosting arch rivals Mexico on Nov. 11 to kick off the Hexagonal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Besler delivered a stout performance in central defense, leading all players with 12 interceptions and three defensive blocks. The Kansas City native made his 37th international appearance as part of a four-man backline that included fellow center back Omar Gonzalez, Kellyn Acosta and Michael Orozco. Besler will return to Sporting KC ahead of Sunday's pivotal Western Conference clash at rivals Real Salt Lake.
PLAYOFF RIDE CONTINUES AS RANGERS CLAIM REMARKABLE VICTORY
The Swope Park Rangers advanced to the USL Western Conference Final on Sunday in the most improbable of circumstances, topping Orange County Blues FC 2-1 in extra time while playing with nine men after defenders Ever Alvarado and Tommy Meyer were sent off at Children's Mercy Victory Field in Swope Soccer Village. Mark Anthony Gonzalez had given SPR a first-half lead before Max Rauhofer equalized moments after Alvarado's red card. Meyer was dismissed in the 88th minute before Dane Kelly found the winner with a superb individual effort in the 105th minute. (Full story)
BUSY WEEKEND AHEAD FOR SPORTING KC ACADEMY
Four Sporting KC Academy teams will take the field this weekend. The U-18s and U-16s will continue their USSDA campaigns on Saturday in a doubleheader at Mohawk Soccer Complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma, facing Solar Chelsea SC (Dallas). Meanwhile, the Sporting KC U-13s and U-14s will participate in the USSDA Regional Showcase, running Friday through Sunday at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for updates this week and throughout the 2016-17 season.
SPORTING KC U-17S COMPETE AT GENERATION ADIDAS CUP
Sporting KC is coming off a strong performance at the 2016 Generation adidas Cup, a U-17 tournament featuring the best youth academies from across the country. The first phase of the competition was held Friday, Saturday and Monday at Swope Soccer Village and involved six teams in the Central Region, all of which were from MLS academies. Sporting KC emerged with two wins and a loss, defeating the Chicago Fire in penalty kicks on Friday and topping Columbus Crew SC on Saturday. The club then fell to perennial power FC Dallas on Monday to complete the first weekend of the prestigious youth tournament. (Full story)
BENJI JOYA AND JIMMY MEDRANDA TO APPEAR AT PRICE CHOPPER
Two Sporting KC players will make appearances at local Price Chopper locations from 4:30-6 p.m. CT on Thursday. Midfielder Benji Joya will be available for autographs and photo opportunities with fans at 9717 N. Ash Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri, while midfielder Justin Mapp will be at 7201 W. 151st St. in Overland Park, Kansas.
Sporting KC defender Jimmy Medranda will appear Saturday at the grand opening of the new Westlake Ace Hardware location at 7821 W. 151st St. in Overland Park, Kansas. Medranda will be available from 1-2:30 p.m. CT for autographs and photo opportunities with fans.
NOMINATE A BLUE KC SPORTING SAMARITAN
Sporting KC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City have teamed up this season to recognize Blue KC Sporting Samaritans, honoring individuals who make the Kansas City community a better place to live. Once a month, a Samaritan will be recognized on the pitch at Children's Mercy Park before a Sporting KC home game. Supporters can nominate members of their community to be the next Blue KC Sporting Samaritan by sharing their first-person experience with the nominee at SportingKC.com/bluekc.
FOLLOW SPORTING KC
For news, photographs and instant updates throughout the 2016 season, follow Sporting KC on its Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (sportingkc) accounts and visit the club's social media page.