(June 30, 2013) - Sporting Kansas City will prepare for two matches in a five-day span this week, beginning with a visit from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Sporting Park before traveling to Chicago for a nationally televised match-up with the Fire at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday live on ESPN.
Sporting Kansas City will train at 9 a.m. CT on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. All Sporting KC practices are open to the media, unless otherwise noted, and all press are encouraged to attend for photo, video and interview opportunities.
Wednesday's opponent, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, will train at 1 p.m. CT on Monday and Tuesday at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Media access to Vancouver's training will take place toward the end of their practice sessions and all local media planning to attend should contact Nathan Vanstone
Today, Sporting Kansas City captain Jimmy Nielsen will make a special appearance at Costco in Independence, MO from 2-3:30 p.m. CT for his new book, Welcome to the Blue Heaven: Don't Bet Against the Goalkeeper. Find additional information at SportingKC.com/Book-Release.
On Tuesday, voting will close at 2 p.m. CT for the 2013 MLS All-Star Fan Ballot. Sporting Kansas City has six nominees -- Matt Besler, Claudio Bieler, Aurelien Collin, Jimmy Nielsen, Oriol Rosell and Graham Zusi -- in contention for the Fan XI, which will be revealed during ESPN's broadcast of Sporting Kansas City's match at Chicago on Sunday afternoon. Text the player's last name to 22442 or vote online at MLSSoccer.com.
Voting also continues this week for the 2013 ESPYS and Sporting Kansas City's Graham Zusi is one of three finalists for Best MLS Player. Vote online at ESPN.com/ESPYS and tune into the ESPY Nomination Special at 7 p.m. CT on Monday on ESPN2.
The Sporting KC Show will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT on Tuesday with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards discussing all the latest around Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer. Fans are encouraged to join the conversation by calling 913-3-810-810.
Vancouver enters Wednesday's match on a three-game winning streak, most recently earning a 1-0 victory at D.C. United on Saturday. Tickets for the cross-conference match-up are available online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices.
Sporting KC will then travel to Chicago for Sunday's showdown with the Fire. The Eastern Conference rivals are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competition and feature forward Mike Magee, who is tied for the MLS lead with 10 goals this season. Over 150 Sporting Kansas City fans will be making the trip to Toyota Park and the deadline to request a free away ticket through the team is at 5 p.m. CT on Tuesday.
At the halfway point of the 2013 regular season, Sporting Kansas City sits in second place in the Eastern Conference. Manager Peter Vermes' squad earned a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew last night at Sporting Park with two goals from forward Kei Kamara and Claudio Bieler's team-leading eighth goal of the season.