Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Like You Films and Sporting KC

Matt Besler was fortunate to be the Sporting Kansas City representative at the Just Like You Films donation ceremony. Matt got to meet some fantastically brave kids that have either beat cancer or will soon. Matt was able to give a little of his time and help Just Like You Films; a locally based organization that is helping kids around the world.

Matt Besler with Hope Corwin, Bryndon Barrett and Carrie Hudson...

Just Like You Films creates movies that teach kids about their friends that are in special circumstances. Their first movie was about kids who were badly burned and how others around them can understand them and realize that they are just like others kids.

The latest film is about kids that have cancer. It talks about what cancer is, various treatments for it and what the patients have to go through. The film puts very real faces with the issue. Carrie Hudson, Hope Corwin and Bryndon Barrett are the stars of the film. They speak about and show what it is like to be a kid with cancer. They go to movies, play sports, shop and hang out with friends.

Other kids with cancer now have a way to show their friends and classmates what is going on with them without answering a million questions. More importantly they shown that their friends are still kids, just like them.

Copies of the movie...

Through the support of Sporting Kansas City and the Heineman family, Just Like You Films was able to provide 150 DVD 's of the movie and 60 backpacks to Children's Mercy Hospital. That is enough to cover all of their oncology patients throughout 2011.

To help out or buy a copy of their DVD's, go to Just Like You Films or like their Facebook page to get updates.

The backpacks contained a copy of the DVD, a t-shirt and other support materials...


Carrie Hudson talks about being in the movie...

Jen Greenstreet is the CEO and Founder of Just Like You Films...

Matt Besler speaks about his experience there...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Comets 6 - 22 Baltimore (photos and interviews)

The Missouri Comets probably played their worst game so far and remain winless at home. While the team was able to control the ball and were able to get into the attack well, they were unable to consistently finish. The bigger problem was the defensive breakdowns that resulted in 2 on 1's, 1 on 1's with the keeper and unmarked players at the back post. It seemed individually defenders in particular and all the players in general played well but did not work well as a team.

Boris Pardo got his first start in goal. While it was not his best game, he was hung out to dry numerous times. Boris did come up big on a couple breakaways.

While Boris did not seem to get much help from his defense throughout the game, Brian Harris did save a goal off the line on this play...

Pardo did not have a lot of help from his defense...

Recently signed Will John looked dangerous but never found the net. He hustled and pressured the opposing keeper well, especially in the first half.

Coach Roentved walking off after the game, pretty sure he was not happy...

Coach Roentved's post game comments...

Brian Harris talks about the game and why he has no hair...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jamie Harding interview 12/29

I talked with recently signed Jamie Harding of the Missouri Comets. He was officially signed to a 15 day contract yesterday and the Comets are looking to extend the contract.

One amazing thing about Jamie is that he has a pacemaker. He talks about that and more in the interview...

Will John interview

This interview is from a couple weeks ago after a Comets practice. At that time Will was training with the Comets to stay in shape. I wanted to talk to him since he was a local guy and had played with the Wizards for awhile. I had meant to post the interview during the holidays on a slow day, but his signing with the Comets yesterday meant I needed to post sooner rather than later.

I hope to get a quick interview with him today to talk about the signing and loan agreement. In the interview I asked him if he could sign with the Comets on a loan and he thought his team in Croatia would not like that. When I asked a team official about that yesterday, the response was that "Coach Roentved is well respected in a lot of places". I took that to mean that Coach was able to convince the team to make the short term loan.

I do not know the whole story about when he left the Wizards but I do know there was some animosity and hurt feelings at the time. There were some things said on both sides that are not usually said publicly. I think it is clear in the interview that he wants to say more but does not think it is a good time. Perhaps it will never be a good time to talk more about it.

Part 1

Will John talks about where he has been playing, possible transfers, languages he speaks, going to Europe and how that affected his growth as a player, people he has learned from, styles of play

Part 2

Will John talks about the drive to keep playing, coaching, talks a bit about the time in Kansas City and when he left and teams in Croatia

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Comets sign Will John and Jamie Harding

The Missouri Comets announced today that they have signed Kansas City native Will John and Jamie Harding. Both of them signed 15 day contracts. They will both be in uniform and available for the game Wednesday against the Baltimore Blast. They should also be available for the game at Milwaukee on the 31st and the game at home against Chicago on the 7th. It is not clear if there are any options open for keeping them longer

Kansas City native Will John, holds Rockhurst High School’s single-season scoring record with 36 goals and 20 assists. John was selected by Chicago after playing his college soccer at St. Louis University. After one season with the Fire, he was then traded to the Kansas City Wizards, where he would appear in four games with the club. John is currently a member of NK Vinogradar in Croatia. Will John's father Emilio John played for the Comets and remained in Kansas City after his retirement. John will wear #30.

Jamie Harding began his professional indoor soccer career with the Wichita Wings in 1996, where he would play five seasons with the team. Harding then played one season with the Kansas City Comets. Harding will wear #16.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Missouri Comets Winter Youth Camps

This week the Missouri Comets are hosting two Youth Soccer Camp for boys and girls to be held on the field at the Independence Events Center.

Comets Goalkeeper Camp - December 27th and 28th

The Comets Goalkeeper Camp is a two day camp for goalkeepers of all ages. Cost for the camp is $75 for each participant. Package includes two days of instruction from Comets goalkeepers Danny Waltman, Boris Pardo, Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, and Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. Also included is a camp t-shirt and one ticket to the Wednesday, December 29th Comets game versus the Baltimore Blast. Additional tickets to the game can be purchased for $10 at the time of camp registration. Registration for the Goalkeeper Camp is at 1:15 - 1:45 so there is still time to attend.

For more information about the Goalkeeper Camp and the registration form

Comets Youth Soccer Camp - December 28th and 29th

The Comets Youth Soccer Camp is a two day camp for kids U6 - U13. Cost for the camp is $75 if registered by December 27th or $85 at the door on December 28th. Package includes two days of clinics with instruction from Comets coaches and players, camp t-shirt and one ticket to the Wednesday, December 29th Comets game versus the Baltimore Blast. Additional tickets to the game can be purchased for $10 at the time of camp registration.

For more information about the Youth Soccer Camp and the registration form

Friday, December 24, 2010

SKC: stadium photos and status 12/20 (Part 2 -inside)

Part 1 was photos of the outside

Part 2 is inside/underneath the stadium

If I remember correctly, this is one of the 4 dressing rooms for the stage.

One of the drain pipes for rainwater from the roof...

Emergency generator...

This is the field heating and air conditioning room. The system can pump warm air to trigger grass to come out of hibernation. It can also pump air during events where the field may be covered so the grass will still get oxygen.

The first 2 or 3 truck bays on the left are for TV trucks. They can plug into full connections and broadcast over fiber. The rest are for normal deliveries.

Inside the Supporters Club...

Inside the Supporters Club...

The Supporters Club bar will be along the pipes here...

One of the heaters to keep it warm enough to work...

The boilers...

Main stair case in the Stadium Club...

Hydrotherapy room...

The Sporting Kansas City locker room. The pipes sticking out of the floor is where each players chair will be located. The chairs will include power and data so the players will be able to enjoy music, surf the internet, meditate or whatever their pre-game ritual is for them.

Locker rooms - There are the two main locker rooms (even the visiting locker room will be nicer than most teams home locker room), two auxiliary locker rooms which can be split into two each if needed, a locker room and a meeting room for the coaches and a locker room for the referees.

The rest of the photos can be found in Stadium 12/20 Gallery

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SKC: stadium photos and status 12/20 (Part 1 -outside)

Thanks to David Ficklin I was able to go through the stadium and take some photos again. Unfortunately the sky was overcast and it did not make for the fantastic dramatic shots I was hoping for but I wanted to share anyway.

Everything is moving so quickly that some of the photos were outdated before I left the area but hopefully I have everything up to date.

The only part of the roof decking that was not installed was in the northeast corner. That is almost complete. The clear part of the roof is being started in the northwest corner...

The three feet of rock that was need to support the huge construction crane is being removed and bringing the surface down to the field level...

In the stage area, the frames for the video board are ready...

The frames for the video board went up shortly after I was there.

Roof on the west side, roof decking in, lights and speakers installed, waiting for the clear potion of the roof...

No lights in corners, they would potentially shine in a keepers eyes during corner kicks...

A little closer look at some lights and speakers...

Another look at the lights. Each light came designed to go in an exact spot to ensure coverage of the field. They are in a prepared angle from the factory. A light check will be performed later but there should be very little adjustment needed.

The terrace area in the southwest corner. A bar has been added for that seating group that has not appeared in any plans or renderings...

A concession area on the south side...

Newly placed blocks tented over and heated to ensure proper curing of the grout...

From the northeast corner looking down. There is a deck that is above the supporters seating sections and it has a great view. The little white dot in the center of the photo (near the tire) should be the corner flag...

The bridge over the supporters section...

Each support beam has various pipes running through the opening. The pipes will be left exposes but will be painted blue to blend in with the beam. Electrical conduit, drain pipes for rain water, data lines, etc...

A power box with waiting for the electrical wires to be pulled through. Once its location is water tight they will pull the wires...

One of three team stores in the stadium area (two inside and one in the plaza area)

Wall at the main steps on the northeast side. A slowly curving wall made with straight edged blocks...

Another shot of the wall, I like the pattern...

Wall and stairs...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SKC: Teal Bunbury called up to US National Team

As I reported a week ago, Teal Bunbury has been called into the US National Team camp again. It is now been made official. Coach Bob Bradley included Teal among the 24 names for the January camp. The team will be preparing to play Chile on January 22nd.

Full list:
GOALKEEPERS: Dominic Cervi (Celtic), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS: A.J. DeLaGarza (Los Angeles Galaxy), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Ugo Ihemelu (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Ryan Miller (Halmstads BK), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Anthony Wallace (Colorado Rapids), Marvell Wynne (Colorado Rapids)

MIDFIELDERS: Eric Alexander (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Sam Cronin (San Jose Earthquakes), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Dax McCarty (D.C. United), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Justin Braun (Chivas USA), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

It had been thought that Michael Harrington would potentially get a call up for the January camp after his improved play in 2010. The US can always use outside backs with some speed and Harrington seems a natural fit. It is a bonus that he can play multiple positions. Perhaps with Harrington out of contract at the moment nobody wanted to risk it until he was signed or perhaps Bradley just does not see Harrington as favorably as others do.

What do you fans think?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Comets hope to build off solid effort against the Blast

The Missouri Comets will be facing the Chicago Riot Sunday for the first time. It was not supposed to be the two teams first meeting but last weekends match was postponed.The Comets were not going to be able get from Baltimore to Chicago in time for the game because of the winter weather across the mid-west.

The Comets were anxious to play after their tough 13-12 loss against the Blast. While the Comets came up short, their was a lot of positives. The Comets led at the end of the first three quarters. A pair of three pointers helped stake the Comets to an 8-4 lead in the first.

The Blast were held to a rare scoreless quarter in the 2nd at home by the Comets improved defensive play in the back. Veterans Nate Houser and Jeff Davis helped keep the team calm and organized throughout the third quarter as well. Both teams scored in the third but the Blast took control in the 4th quarter. Baltimore scored 3 times to take the lead for good. Tiguinho added a late goal (his second) to pull Missouri back within 1 but it was too late to complete the comeback.

Chicago was probably a little relieved to postpone the game last Sunday, it would have been their third game in three days. They were returning home after losses in Omaha and Milwaukee.

Coming off their tremendous effort in Baltimore, the 1-4 Comets hope to get their first home win against the 0-4 Chicago Riot. The game is a good test for Coach Roentved's team. They have been steadily improving and are putting forth better efforts each game and in practice but still need to put a complete game together.

While Chicago is winless, they have put good defensive efforts forward (with the excpetion o fthe Omaha game). They have had trouble scoring though. Not making it over 8 points yet and with only one 3 point goal.

Coach Roentved talks about the loss in Baltimore and the upcoming Chicago game...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gold Cup Doubleheader June 14th in Kansas City

From the press release:

Kansas City was one of 11 U.S. cities chosen to host games during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ and is scheduled to feature a first round doubleheader on June 14th, 2011. The international matches will take place at Sporting Kansas City’s $180 million new stadium, currently under construction in Kansas City, Kansas. The venue will seat 18,500 soccer supporters and was designed to be the first authentic American soccer stadium, including a dramatic canopy roof that covers every seating section of the stadium.

The Gold Cup doubleheader in Kansas City will be included as part of 2011 Sporting Kansas City season ticket packages, which can be purchased at or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. Season tickets begin at $14-per-seat.

The tournament brings 12 of the region’s best National Teams to compete for the continental crown and the right to be the region’s representative in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. Seven countries have already been determined for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™: United States, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Cuba and Grenada. The final five entrants will qualify in January’s Copa Centroamericana in Panama.

The 2011 Gold Cup will mark the 20th anniversary of the tournament, the region’s highest level of competition, and is scheduled to take place across the United States from June 5th to June 25th.

“We are very excited about our cities and venues,” CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer said. “Each will add a distinct flavor to the event and will help make this the best Gold Cup to date."

Thursday’s announcement continues the presence of marquee international soccer matches in Kansas City, which hosted English powerhouse Manchester United in July and the Clasico between Club America and Chivas Guadalajara in 2009.

The last time a Men’s National Team played in Kansas City was April 25, 2001 when the United States defeated Costa Rica in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Arrowhead Stadium.

CONCACAF will announce the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ groups, schedule and ticket information in early February.


First Round
June 5 – Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
June 6 – The Home Depot Center (Carson, CA)
June 7 – Ford Field (Detroit, MI)
June 9 – Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
June 10 – FIU Stadium (Miami, FL)
June 11 – Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, FL)
June 12 – Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)
June 13 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
June 14 – KC Soccer Stadium (Kansas City, KS)

June 18 – New Meadowlands Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
June 19 – Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (Washington DC)

June 22 – Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)

June 25 – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)

It will be great to see international games in Kansas City again. Hopefully the US National Team will be in one of the two games and a few of my friends from the World Cup Watch Party will be there...

Roster update - 12/16

These are players currently on the roster and the latest status (as far as I know)

Korede Aiyegbusi - D
Davy Arnaud - M
Stephane Auvray - M
Matt Besler - D
Omar Bravo - F
Teal Bunbury - F
Sunil Chhetri - F - did not exercise option (back with Indian federation) they are currently talking
Birahim Diop - D
Roger Espinoza - M - GA grad, exercised option
Jack Jewsbury - M
Kei Kamara - F
Jon Kempin - G
Nick Kounenakis - D - still evaluating
Eric Kronberg - G
Chance Myers - D/M- GA grad, renegotiated contract
Jimmy Nielsen - G - Re-signed for 2011
Craig Rocastle - M
Ryan Smith - M/F
Shavar Thomas - D
Graham Zusi - M
Michael Harrington- M - still in negotiations
Zoltan - F- his loan agreement was up and he is owned by FC Honved so he was not in the re-entry draft, SKC is talking with FC Honved to bring him back and see if he is fit.

Some notes...

Kronberg may be going to train another team
Rocastle is training with a club team to stay fit
Smith may be also training with another team to keep/increase fitness

Additional press conference notes to come later...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hejduk out, Sassano in

Sporting Kansas City traded the rights to Frankie Hejduk to Los Angeles for the rights to Luke Sassano. The Galaxy had acquired the rights to Sassano in the re-entry draft from NY Red Bulls.

Luke Sassano on a previous visit to Kansas City...

Conrad and Wolff out, Hejduk in

Josh Wolff was taken first overall in the Re-Entry draft by DC United and Jimmy Conrad was taken second by Chivas USA. Sporting Kansas City selected Frankie Hejduk from the Columbus Crew.

Jimmy will be missed by many fans in Kansas City. He quickly became a fan favorite in Kansas City when he was traded in 2003 from San Jose. His sense of humor, quick wit and willingness to interact with the fans combined with quality play in central defense made it easy for fans to fall in love with Conrad.

Wolff also came to Kansas City in 2003 (from Chicago). Wolff left to go to Germany after the 2006 season and returned to the Wizards midway through 2008 and helped the team reach the playoffs. Josh has scored in double digits three times for Kansas City, 10 goals in 2004 and 2005 and 11 goals in 2009. With the Wizards change to the 4-3-3 formation Josh never seemed to find his comfort zone and saw his time diminish and eventually do well as a sub. DC United is looking for Wolff's veteran presence to help their younger players and add a little scoring punch.

Kansas City picked up Frankie Hejduk. This could be for some extra cover with the departure of Leathers in the expansion draft, insurance in case Harrington does not sign or just to get some more veteran leadership in the locker room with the departure of Wolff and Conrad. Or he could just be trade bait for another deal somewhere down the line.

The Re-Entry draft results:

D.C. United: Josh Wolff (Kansas City)
Chivas USA: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City)
New England Revolution: Ryan Cochrane (Houston)
L.A. Galaxy: Juan Pablo Angel (New York)
Chicago Fire: Cory Gibbs (New England)
Sporting KC: Frankie Hejduk (Columbus)
Seattle Sounders: Chris Seitz (Philadelphia)
Columbus Crew: Jeff Cunningham (Dallas)
L.A. Galaxy: Luke Sassano (New York)
Colorado Rapids: Tyrone Marshall (Seattle)
New England Revolution: Fred (Philadelphia)