Sporting Kansas City Weekly Update: June 1, 2011

SPORTING KANSAS CITY TRAVEL TO TAKE ON TORONTO FC ON SATURDAY

Sporting Kansas City will finish their 10-match road trip on Saturday when the team faces Toronto FC at BMO Field at 6:00 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast live in English on KSMO-TV, who will again air a 30-minute pre-game show hosted by play-by-play announcer Callum Williams, as well as a weekly soccer show, Off the Pitch with Sporting Kansas City, on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. CT.

Saturday’s match will be the last of 10 straight on the road to start the season while construction at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is completed.

Toronto (2-5-6) sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference after 13 matches, most recently conceding six goals at home in a loss to Philadelphia on Saturday. Check SportingKC.com on Friday for full game notes and join the website’s live chat on Saturday during the match.

HOME OPENER FESTIVITIES ANNOUNCED

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will open June 9th as Kansas City’s first soccer-specific stadium and Major League Soccer’s newest, state-of-the-art home field when Sporting Kansas City plays the inaugural match in the $200 million venue against rivals Chicago Fire at 9:00 p.m. CT.

All ticket holders may enter LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT when gates open to the Sprint Plaza for Live at LSP presented by INK, the first of a season-long concert series featuring the best up-and-coming bands in Kansas City. The inaugural concert will be headlined by The Republic Tigers after an opening performance by The Brody Buster Band beginning at 6:00 p.m. CT. All concerts in the Live at LSP series are included as part of thegame day experience with purchase of a Sporting Kansas City ticket at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

All ticket holders for the June 9th inaugural match will receive a newSporting KC matchday program and an 18” x 24” print featuring the interior of LIVE STRONG Sporting Park as a commemorative gift upon their exit from the stadium. Local artist Mike Savage, who has painted some of Kansas City’s most iconic images, was commissioned to paint a 30” x 40” original piece to be put on display in the stadium’s Shield Club. Each of the 19,000 limited edition prints made for June 9th attendees will be individually numbered.

June 9th, 2011 Schedule of Events

5:00 p.m. Members’ Club opens for Members Stand ticket holders

5:30 p.m. Sprint Plaza opens for all ticket holders

6:00 p.m. Live at LSP, presented by INK, begins in Sprint Plaza, featuring Brody Buster Band and Republic Tigers

9:00 p.m. Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire preceded by God Bless America by Whiteman Air Force Base, National Anthem by Ida McBeth and stealth flyover.

11:00 p.m. Commemorative LIVESTRONG Sporting Park prints distributed at exits

FIRST FRIDAY PARTY THIS FRIDAY

Sporting Kansas City will host a special First Friday event, sponsored by Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch, at the club’s front offices in the Crossroads District. Festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. CT, and will feature live music from DJ Mike Scott, complimentary beverages, merchandise for sale and a special surprise from T2 + Back Alley Films and Austin Walsh Studio.

The address to the Sporting Kansas City offices is 210 W. 19 th Terrace, Kansas City, MO, 64108. Admission to the event is free and open to all ages.

BOB GANSLER TO BE INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME ON SATURDAY:

Former Kansas City Coach Bob Gansler will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Saturday at the United States Men's National Team's friendly against Spain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Elected on the builder ballot with 58 percent of the votes in March, Gansler coached in Kansas City from 1999-2006, compiling an 86-85-51 regular season record and leading KC to the MLS Cup championship and supporters shield in 2000. He was awarded MLS Coach of the Year following the impressive double. In 2004, he also led KC to the U.S. Open Cup crown and their second appearance in an MLS Cup, the fifth straight postseason appearance for the club.

Gansler also managed the United States' 1990 World Cup team and longtime MLS manager in Kansas City. Gansler coached KC to the 2000 MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield double and took home MLS Coach of the Year in the process.

Gansler, now heavily involved in club soccer and coaching initiatives, was honored with the prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award by the US Soccer Federation in 2008. Prior to his coaching career, he played in the North American Soccer League and National Professional Soccer League, and captained the U.S. Olympic Team at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.

RESERVES DRAW WITH COLORADO ON SUNDAY

Following Sporting Kansas City’s 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids last weekend, the two sides met on Sunday in a 2011 MLS Reserve League fixture at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Complex. Korede Aiyegbusi opened the scoring with a neat chip over the head of Rapids goalkeeper Stewart Ceus, but a Brian Mullan volley drew Colorado level as the teams played to a second consecutive 1-1 draw. The draw moves Sporting Kansas City to 1-1-2 in the Reserve League schedule. Sporting Kansas City currently sits in fourthplace in the Central Division.

SPORTING KC QUARTET BOUND FOR CONCACAF GOLD CUP

Shavar Thomas (Jamaica), Roger Espinoza (Honduras), Stephane Auvray (Guadeloupe) and Craig Rocastle (Grenada) have been selected to represent their respective national teams at this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. Thomas, Espinoza and Rocastle could all potentially square off against each other, as Jamaica, Honduras and Grenada have all been drawn into Group B.

Auvray will have the chance to play in front of a hometown crowd when Guadeloupe face the United States in the second half of the Group C doubleheader at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on June 14 at 8:00 p.m. CT. Panama will take on Canada at 6:00 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match can be purchased here.

KAMARA SELECTED FOR SIERRA LEONE

Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara has been selected to represent Sierra Leone in their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger on June 4. Sierra Leone currently sit third in qualifying Group G which also features South Africa and Egypt.

Kamara travelled late last week to join up with the team, and as a result missed Sporting Kansas City’s 1-1 draw with Colorado. Kamara will also be unavailable for the team’s match against Toronto FC due to his commitments with the national team.

SPORTING KC JUNIORS CONCLUDE DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY PLAY THIS WEEKEND

The Sporting Kansas City U18 and U16 Juniors will conclude play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy this weekend at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. The U16 Juniors, coached by Jon Parry, are 11-4-4 overall after winning 4-1 against St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro on last Sunday. The U16s currently sit in first place in the Frontier Division table.

The U18 Juniors fell last Sunday to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro U17/U18 by a 2-0 scoreline.

Both teams will take on the Colorado Rapids academy sides on both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.

News and results from the Sporting KC Juniors program can be found on the official Juniors blog. The Juniors program was also recently featured on MLSSoccer.com as it continues to draw attention for producing two Home Grown Players, goalkeeper Jon Kempin and defender Kevin Ellis, and continuing to be competitive against some of the best teams in the nation.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR NEWCASTLE UNITED FRIENDLY

Sporting Kansas City announced recently the release of tickets for the club’s international friendly against English Premier League side Newcastle United on July 20. Tickets for the match start at just $20, and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or by calling 1-888-4KC-GOAL.

The match is the second international event scheduled to be held at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, the 18,467 seat venue currently under construction in Kansas City, Kansas. The state-of-the-art, $200 million home ground of Sporting Kansas City is MajorLeague Soccer's newest soccer-specific stadium and was selected to host a 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader on June 14, featuring the United States Men's National Team.

The match will be included in all Sporting Kansas City season ticket packages, which are currently available for purchase at SportingKC.com/VirtualVenue. For more information, call 888-4KC-GOAL.

SPORTING KC RELEASE TAKE TEN TICKET PACKS, ADDITIONAL GOLD CUP TICKETS

Sporting Kansas City announced recently the release of the club's Take Ten ticket packages. The packages start at just $200/person and give fans access to a total of 10 matches throughout the 2011 season at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, including the inaugural match June 9 against the Chicago Fire and the international friendly match against Newcastle United on July 20.

The Take Ten ticket packages and full season ticket packages can be purchased either by visiting SportingKC.com or by calling the Sporting Kansas City ticket office at 1-888-4KC-GOAL.

Sporting Kansas City also announced on last week the release of an additional allotment of tickets to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ doubleheader to be played on June 14 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Fans can purchase tickets to see the doubleheader here.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY CONTINUES NEW AD CAMPAIGN AND PROMOTIONS:
Sporting Kansas City recently launched a new marketing campaign aimed to build anticipation for Sporting Kansas City and its historic 2011 season. Currently, there are four new billboards displayed throughout the metropolitan area with images of Omar Bravo, captain Davy Arnaud and striker Kei Kamara.

The boards are at the following locations...
-- I-35 North near Cambridge Circle -- Omar Bravo
-- I-435 North at Woodend -- Omar Bravo
-- I-70 and Blue River -- Davy Arnaud
-- I-435 North, south of Truman Sports Complex -- Kei Kamara

Two new commercials promoting the club will continue to run during KSMO-TV's broadcast of Sporting Kansas City matches. The spots will also air on KSMO's weekly soccer show, Off the Pitch with Sporting Kansas City, on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. CT. The spots will also feature during a variety of prominent network shows, including SportsCenter, Modern Family and American Idol.

Recently, Sporting KC has also activated the Put Out the Fire promotion in partnership with local sandwich outlet Firehouse Subs. The promotion, based around the performance of rivals Chicago Fire, rewards Kansas City fans with a free medium sub with the purchase of chips and a drink the day after a Chicago Fire loss in MLS play.

Finally, select fans around the KC metro area were shown red cards of a different variety recently as part of Sporting Kansas City's new grassroots marketinginitiative. Fans were approached by referees on recently and asked about their past attendance at matches. Those that had never attended before were 'shown a red card' with a promotional code directing them to the club's Facebook page to register for a voucher for two free tickets to a match at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY TO HOLD FOUR MORE YOUTH CAMPS IN 2011:
Sporting Kansas City and the Sporting Kansas City Juniors will hold four more youth camps in 2011 for boys and girls of all ages. Interested players and parents are encouraged to visit SportingKC.com/camps for additional information and to sign-up using the online registration forms.

Remaining camps available in 2011, include the following:

Pre-Tryout Camp, June 6-8, 2011

2011 Fantasy Camp, August 1-4, 2011

Boys Development Camp, June 20-22, 2011

Sporting Youngsters Camp, June 20-23, 2011

For more information on all youth camps and Juniors programs, please contact Betsy Pollard at 913-387-3883.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE LOCALLY AND ONLINE:
Sporting Kansas City merchandise can be purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Kansas City Store and Kansas Sampler locations throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, as well as online at MLSgear.com. Dick’s Sporting Goods launched the first line of Sporting Kansas City hooded sweatshirts, as well as short-sleeve and long-sleeve t-shirts following the team’s announcement of their new look in November 2010, while The Kansas City Store made merchandise available prior to the holidayseason and continues to carry team items.


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