"The Week in Review,” is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City.
1. Sporting claims back-to-back home wins in five-day span
Sporting Kansas City opened up a three-match homestand on Tuesday night, welcoming D.C. United to Children's Mercy Park for a regular season showdown. Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh made his debut as Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes rotated the lineup for the midweek match, making six changes to the starting XI in Houston on the previous Saturday. The scoring opened for Sporting in the 34th when forward Khiry Shelton got a touch on a bouncing ball in the box. Shelton did enough to tuck it into the far corner to give Sporting the lead. In the second half, defender Robert Voloder opened his Sporting KC scoring account to double the lead, and Daniel Salloi sealed the deal in the 87th with a sweet strike from outside the 18. Sporting cruised to a 3-0 victory securing a clean sheet and win in McIntosh's first MLS start.
Saturday, Sporting rode the momentum against geographic rivals Minnesota United. Willy Agada and Erik Thommy re-entered the starting XI and made their mark on this one. In the 31st Johnny Russell forced Minnesota keeper Dayne St Clair into a save. The backstop smacked the ball into Michael Boxall and the defender redirected the ball into the back of the net. Sporting kept their foot on the gas, finding two more goals in the first half. Thommy's left provided the second goal of the half after Russell teed him up for the shot. The midfielder faked out one man and then blasted a shot past St. Clair. Agada then beat the keeper to the ball in midair for the third goal of the half, blasting a headed attempt off the underside of the bar and past the goal line. The visitor's pulled one back in the 57th but Agada regained the three-goal advantage for Sporting in the 81st, tucking a perfect pas from Daniel Salloi into the far corner of the goal.
2. Team of the Week(s)
For their midweek performances, Voloder and Thommy were named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for week 31 while Agada's brace planted him on the Team of the Week for week 32. Voloder's first goal as a member of Sporting Kansas City placed him in the starting lineup and Thommy's second half in which he generated four chances earned him a spot on the Team of the Week bench. For Voloder, it was his first career appearance on the MLS Team of the Week. Thommy had earned a spot on the team earlier in the year giving him two honors in just nine appearances.
Agada's brace against the Loons on Saturday gave him his second career Team of the Week placement and his third multi-goal game in 10 Sporting KC matches played. Agada now has seven goals for the club, tied with Salloi for second most. His three braces pace the club in 2022.
3. Ring ring ring
Sporting does not have a match this week due to the FIFA international window, however, two Sporting Kansas City players will be joining up with their respective national teams. Forward Marinos Tzionis is preparing for a pair of UEFA Nations League C matches with Cyprus and Logan Ndenbe has joined up with the Belgium U-21s for a pair of friendlies. Tzionis has proven a valuable member of the Cypriot national team, appearing in their first four Nations League fixtures earlier this summer. Tzionis' first international goal came in a 2-0 victory over Estonia in March to keep Cyprus in League C. Cyprus takes on Greece on Saturday at AEK Arena in Larnaca, Cyprus before traveling north on Tuesday, Sept. 27 to take on Kosovo at Fadil Vokrri Stadium.
Ndenbe will be competing in two friendlies in this window. The first of which comes against the Netherlands on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10:30 a.m. CT and the second will take place the following Monday at 2 p.m. CT against France. Ndenbe signed with Sporting in January and last represented his country in March in a 2023 UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifier against Denmark. After a 1-1 draw, the Belgium U-21s had their ticket punched to the event which will take place next summer from June 21 through July 8 in Romania and Georgia. Belgium was nearly perfect in qualifiers going 6-0-2. Ndenbe started six of those eight matches.
4. Still time to vote on Sporting Kansas City's annual team awards
Fan voting will remain open until 5 p.m. CT on Monday for Sporting Kansas City's annual team awards. Winners will be announced Friday at Pitch Black presented by Audi at Children's Mercy Park. Last-second ballots can be cast at SportingKC.com/awards for the following annual awards:
- Most Valuable Player presented by Audi
- Offensive Player of the Year presented by Anheuser Busch
- Defensive Player of the Year presented by Brush Creek Partners
- Newcomer of the Year presented by Coca-Cola
- Goal of the Year presented by Parisi Coffee
In addition to the above awards, the following honors will also be presented at Pitch Black on Friday:
- Golden Boot presented by Compass Minerals
- Neal and Jeanne Patterson Humanitarian of the Year
- Sporting KC II Most Valuable Player
- Bob Gansler Academy Player of the Year presented by Children’s Mercy
- Sporting Club Network Member of the Year presented by Price Chopper
Click here for a list of Sporting Kansas City’s all-time award winners.
5. SKC II steals extra point in shootout victory over St Louis CITY2
In Sporting KC II's 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season finale, the team traveled to Edwardsville, IL for a match with rivals St Louis CITY2. Needing points to secure a top spot in the West, CITY2 came out in front of their home fans ready. They jumped out to a one-goal lead in the 12th and had a goal called off due to an offside player. SKC II held firm for the remainder of the first half and even began to chip away at the host's back four. The match broke wide open for SKC II in the 63rd when excellent pressure from Josh Coan forced a turnover. The forward spread the ball to TJ Fatah inside the 18 where he placed the ball into the empty net to level the match.
Goalkeeper and Sporting KC Academy product Carlito Saylon stood on his head, making seven saves including a trio of clutch stops late in the match. The even scoreline held and the match was decided in penalty kicks. In the fourth round, St. Louis had a one-goal advantage. Saylon made an incredible stop and both fifth-round takers converted, taking the contest to the sudden death rounds. Joseph Addo Tetteh stepped up for SKC II and sank his kick. Saylon then denied a poor penalty attempt and SKC II took the extra point in the shootout.
6. Offseason roster building events schedule announced
Major League Soccer announced last Thursday, the full schedule of offseason roster-building events. The MLS Expansion Draft, in which newcomers St Louis CITY will participate, is set for Nov. 11, 2022. The MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas will take place on Dec. 21. Other key dates are highlighted below.
- November 7 (11 a.m. CT) - Trade Window Opens
- November 9 (11 a.m. CT) - Trade Window Closes and Blackout Period Begins
- November 10 (time TBD) - Expansion Protected Lists Announced
- November 11 (time TBD) - MLS Expansion Draft
- November 14 (11 a.m. CT) - Club Deadline to Submit Bona Fide Offers and Exercise Options
- November 16 (12 p.m. CT) - Free Agency Opens
- November 17 (12 p.m. CT) - Re-Entry Process, Stage 1
- November 17 (4 p.m. CT) - End-of-Year Waivers
- November 22 (12 p.m. CT) - Re-Entry Process, Stage 2
- December 8-12 - MLS College Showcase
- December 21 (time TBD) - 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas
More information about the various roster-building events can be found here.
7. Therese Restituto honored as Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for September
Therese Restituto, a high school math teacher at Allen Village Charter School in Kansas City, MO has been named the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for September. After battling back from a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2019, Restituto has remained a caring and compassionate teacher driven to create a supportive culture in her classroom. She has been a teacher at Allen Village since the school opened its doors 10 years ago and wants to make sure her students know they can achieve anything with hard work and determination.
Blue KC Sporting Samaritans will continue to be recognized monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games. Fans are encouraged to nominate teachers and students who are making a positive impact on their schools and communities by using the form online at www.sportingkc.com/BlueKC.