Friday, December 9, 2011

Comets 23 - 10 Syracuse photos

It's been a hectic week so it took awhile for me to get these posted.
Eric Reed is unable to stop Ryan Junge's 3 point blast
Full Gallery 

The Slide show

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Comets 19 - 9 SharX photos and interviews

My apologies for taking a while to get these posted.

Interviews after the jump

Comets Alvarez scores at halftime

It was really Alvarez's night. In addition to scoring two goals and having a couple thousand t-shirts with his name and number on it handed out, he may have set a first for the Comets . Alvarez may have become the first Missouri Comet to score at halftime when he proposed to his girlfriend Jenni Ford and she accepted. Alvarez and the team staff put together a promotion just for the event and tricked Jenni into being blind folded (with a Comets scarf of course) on the field. While she searched for a prize with the crowds help, Alvarez snuck back onto the field. When she opened her eyes, Alvarez was waiting with roses and a ring.

 He asked.

She said yes.

They both scored.

Congrats to the happy couple.

(Need a wedding photographer?)

The happy couple after the game.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Comets 6 - 11 Wave Post game interviews and photos

The Comets fell to the Wave Sunday afternoon. Leading 6-5 going into the 4th quarter, the Comets were unable to hold off the experienced Milwaukee wave and fell to a final 11-6 loss. The absence of Leo Gibson who was scratched right before the game was costly.

Byron Alvarez scored 2 or the Comets 3 goals in the game.

Full Gallery

Slide show



Tanner Hunjak

Coach Tozer

Greg Howes

Marcio Leite

Comets 8 - 10 Blast - Post game interviews and photos

The Missouri Comets fell to the Blast over the weekend. After being down 8-4 at half time the Comets rallied back to tie the score at 8 and take it to overtime. The Comets narrowly missed getting a win on a Brian Harris shot that went off the post and back out. Baltimore scored shortly after to give the Comets their first loss of the season.

Danny Waltman made a great save sliding out and just catching the shot with his left leg...

Full Gallery here 

Slide show


Baltimore Blast Coach Kelly

Comets Coach Kim Roentved

Comets Captain Byron Alvarez

Comets defender Brian Harris

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CJ Sapong interview and Rookie of the Year rap

CJ Sapong interviewed shortly after finding out that he had won the MLS 2011 Rookie of the Year. CJ gave a small performance of the first draft of his Rookie of the Year rap. He also wants the fans to help him get Hope Solo to the awards dinner.

My article on examiner 

Many of CJ Sapong's goals were acrobatic like this one against New York

Monday, November 7, 2011

Comets shoot down Wings 14-4 (interviews)

Coach Kim Roentved talks about the victory and the Wings

Coach LeBaron Hollimon discusses the game and being an expansion team.

Bryan Perez played for the Comets last and is now with the Wings

Ryan Junge had two goals in his second game as a Comet

Junge played great defense in addition to scoring and was the man of the match.

Comets shoot down Wings 14-4 (photos)

Missouri Comets defeated the Wings for the second straight night last Friday.

Full photo gallery here

Comets celebrating goal...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sporting KC 2 - 0 Colorado playoff photos

Sporting Kansas City beat the defending champion Colorado Rapids 2 - 0 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in the second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal. With an aggregate score of 4 - 0, Sporting KC advances to face the winner of Philadelphia Union and Houston Dynamo Sunday at LIVESTRONG.

Full gallery

Jimmy celebrates...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Playoff Rally part 4: a few photos

A slideshow of some of the photos from the playoff rally....

I liked this shot of Kei Kamara

Playoff Rally part 3: The prez speaks

Sporting KC President, twitter tease and actual fan Robb Heineman spoke at the rally last night also. This is what he had to say...

Another one of my favorite moments in photo so far this year..,

Playoff Rally part 2: CJ leads the crowd

Leading Rookie of the Year candidate CJ Sapong lead the crowd in what has become an iconic chant at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park during games.

When CJ scores goals like this less than a minute after he enters the game, how can there be any other choice for Rookie of the Year?

Playoff Rally part 1: Because we got Kei

Last night the Kansas City Cauldron hosted a playoff rally at Power and Light District. A bunch of fans and most (maybe all) of the Sporting Kansas City players came out. One of the songs that was sung was a new one called because we got Kei. He is a fan favorite in Kansas City. He loves the fans and the fans love him him. I think he liked it the new song.

One of my favorite shots this year. I will be hosting a contest to give away a couple autographed copies of this photo later on.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sporting KC 2 - 0 New York (in the playoffs!)

Sporting Kansas City defeated the New York Red Bulls to clinch a playoff spot.

Full gallery

Playoff love

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jack Harry talks smack (again)

Jack Harry probes soccer again 

Way back on May 31st, local sports guy Jack Harry ranted about how he did not like Sporting Kansas City's name. I replied here. He is of course entitled to dislike the name but as a professional reporter he should use the team's name, not a derogatory nickname he made up. Guess he isn't all that professional after all.

On September 29th, Jack Harry ranted about why he did not cover Sporting Kansas City.

"I'll be honest; I still have a difficult time trying to get a grip on this new name. I preferred the old nickname---Wizards."

So did a lot of the old fans, most have gotten used to it. Of course a lot of fans hated the name Wizards also. Times change and so do names. You don't call the Chiefs the Texans still. Or do you?

"It seemed to roll off the tongue much easier. I shortened Sporting Kansas City, to just calling the team "Sporties". That didn't fly with club officials who notified and urged me to drop that moniker right away."

Can't imagine a team would want a local sports guy to use the team's name, how dare they!

"But, if you know me, I’m not one to bow-down to sports promoters of any kind.
I did ask, what I thought was a fair question: "How can you take a team seriously that doesn't have a nickname?” I didn't get a response."

I wouldn't have responded to that question either. Ridiculous. Very brave of you to not bow down to a sports promoter. After that you bravely did nothing. No coverage. No mention. No effort to learn anything about the team.

You continued.

"Oh by the way, here's another of my pet-peeves about soccer.
The new TV announcer was imported from England. At least, he sounds like an Englishman."

He is English. Nice guy also.

"I guess that’s the stylish thing in this sport. Everything seems to have a European theme, to it. That bothers me a little bit."

IF I thought Sporting Kansas City was only doing things to make it sound European, I would be the first to complain. In fact I did until I took the time to learn why they used the Sporting Club name and concept. You should try asking those kinds of questions Jack, that might be a step towards actually reporting again.

"This is America, isn't it? Don't get me started."

Don't get you started? Don't get me started. I am as pro-America as can be. I am a former Marine that takes great pride in my love of my country. Your response is, well ignorant and does sound xenophobic. Soccer is a world sport. Leagues around the world pull talent from around the world. Americans play in England and every European country that I have watched play soccer. There is even an American coaching the Egyptian National Team.

Sporting KC has players that hail from all over the world. Why not pull a talented, up and coming announcer from another country? There is a real lack of good soccer announcers in this country. Some of them are getting better but they are too few. More Americans will become better announcers for soccer as the sport continues to grow but they are in short supply now.

"Look, I’m not a big soccer guy, so I don't know how good our team really is.
A fan of the sport told me our team would be only the fifth best team in the other conference.
That may be true, but I really don't care. It's not relevant."

Never waste an opportunity to demonstrate your ignorance and lack of work ethic, is that your plan here? You don't know how good the team is, a fan had to tell you how the team would compare to the other conference and you declare you "don't care" and all of that to be "not relevant". Here is a concept, do your job as the sports guy on NBC. Or don't, but do not be surprised when people complain.

People did complain and that leads to Jack's next rant on October 12th.

"I want to use this space tonight to alert you of a special, mailbag feature, I’ll be doing Sunday night on the 10 o'clock sports, on NBC Action News.
I will be showing a number of e-mails I’ve received in the last two weeks regarding my comments on pro soccer in kc.
Many of you are unhappy with my posture regarding Sporting Kansas City. For those who do not follow soccer, the team was formerly known as the Wizards.
It happens to be the moniker they used when reaching the pinnacle of the sport, winning a major league soccer title a decade ago.
I might add, it was great time for our city. A time when soccer fans were civil and not full of hatred and vitriol for those who dared, to offer any criticism of the sport.
While I have high praise for the team ownership, I have been somewhat critical of the European theme this sport now uses , to promote itself.
They’ve even hired an Englishman, I assume because of his accent, to serve as a TV commentator for the games."

Again, they hired Callum Williams because he is good. He is good at a young age and he is only going to get better. Even the fans that still hate the name change like Callum. Do they like him because he is English?  Nope. They like him for the same reason he was hired. He is a good announcer. I have interviewed people about how and why Callum was hired, you might consider doing the same before you spout off again. Of course that would ruin your act.  

"When I mentioned that in my story, some said my remarks were offensive, inflammatory and very xenophobic."

It does sound that way.

"While that certainly wasn't my intention, those detractors are entitled to their opinion, but at the same time, I vehemently disagree.
Let’s be honest about this.
The internet has turned anyone, with a library card, into a reporter, a columnist, or even, a media hater."

A library card? Sorry, I really don't get that. The internet has changed things though. It allows people to respond and spread news in amazing new ways. They can write blogs, they can research, they can ask questions and find facts. Yes it allows people to send emails while they are still mad and I bet you do have a few that makes fans look bad.

The internet allows people like me to try to do the job that traditional "reporters" don't. Up until recently it was very hard to find any traditional media outlet covering soccer worth a damn in this city. The Kansas City Star has really stepped up the last couple years and local radio stations have taken note and covered the team this year as well.

After the first time I responded to Jack a fan asked me why I didn't respond to Kevin Kietzman. I was told he has Jack on there and had used the term Sporties also. At that time I had never heard Kietzman say much of anything about the team, good or bad. I do not listen to them regularly enough to hear what they called the team. Since then though I have heard Kietzman do a few very good interviews with Manager Peter Vermes and actually discuss soccer in an intelligent manner. It may not be his favorite sport or team name but he made a professional effort.

Something might surprise you though. If Kietzman uses a bastardized nickname for the team I don't care. I don't really care if a reporter likes the team or not. I only care that they are doing their job and covering the team.

Try it Jack. Stop the curmudgeon act and try doing what a sports reporter is supposed to do. Cover the team.

I made the offer by tweet after the previous rant and I offer again. If you would like to go to a game I will be more than happy to escort you and help you understand and appreciate the sport. I will show you where to pick up your media credential. I will introduce you to Callum and you can see he is there for more than his accent. I will introduce you to fans who will happily embrace you as long as you give the team some coverage and a fair shake.

If you decline, that's okay. I am quite happy ignoring you as long as you ignore the team. I would prefer to see you use your expertise and experience to cover the team and sport. I would love to hear you editorialize on whether it was good to pick up Jeferson or chances if the team makes the playoffs. Something with substance.


Friday, October 14, 2011

SKC 2-2 Chivas in photos

Sporting Kansas City hosted Chivas (the real one) at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, here are a few photos...

The full gallery


Monday, October 10, 2011

Sporting Kansas City #30 race day photos

Sporting Kansas City was the sponsor on the #30 car from Turner Motorsports in the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. James Buescher started 28th and ran much of the day just outside of the top ten before dropping to finish in 18th. Here is slideshow of images from race day.


Larger version of the slide show

Full gallery of race day photos

The SKC car on the track

Thursday, October 6, 2011

James Buescher at SKC practice

James Buescher will be driving the #30 Sporting Kansas City car in the Nationwide series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. He stopped by practice this morning and got a little taste of soccer. He needs to stick with driving...
 Full Gallery

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fans came out to watch USWNT practice

Hundreds, maybe thousands (I kept losing count because they wouldn't hold still) came out to watch the U.S. Women's National Team practice. Lots of soccer teams were represented from around the area. I chatted with a couple young fans...

The JCCC Women's team was full of confidence...

Just a couple of the teams...
Benedictine Soccer team 
The JCCC Soccer team before I got to know them

Becky Sauerbrunn interview 9/16

Becky Sauerbrunn talks about the fans, WPS and smelly feet?

Becky Sauerbrunn

CJ Sapong interview 9/16

CJ talked about the reaction to his poem/rap for Hope Solo, breaking hearts, fans and the desire to finish top of the table in the conference. In case you missed his rap or Hope's reaction right after.

CJ rapping his affection for Hope Solo

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hope Solo interview

A quick interview with US Womens National Team Keeper Hope Solo. She talks about finally being able to put the World Cup behind her and of course the rap of hope from CJ...

Watching the ball over the endline

Hope laughing during CJ's rap...

Is there Hope for CJ?

My view of CJ rapping to Hope Solo

The official view from the Sporting KC camera...

  Get Microsoft Silverlight

Hope Solo blushing during CJ Sapong's rap of love and hope....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sporting KC 3 - 0 Houston photos

Teal Bunbury had a great game scoring two goals and running wild on Houston

Additional photos in the full gallery

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SKC 2 -2 LA Galaxy Slideshow

The full gallery can be found here
Not sure I am qualified to say who sings better, but I enjoy the Cauldron's singing a whole lot!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun in the rain

With the CONCACAF Champions League match between FC Dallas and Toronto FC halted last night, it reminded me that I have a couple pieces of video that I never shared. LIVESTRONG Sporting Park had it's first weather delay during the Open Cup Match with the Richmond Kickers. Considering the final result, the weather delay was the highlight of the night.

When play was halted, I dashed inside and headed upstairs to get a view of the storm from relative safety and grab something to eat. The truly heavy rain and wind swept through while I was satisfying my stomach (not sure if leftover hot dogs in the press box count) but here you can see it rained pretty heavy for awhile.

You can barely see the Sporting in the seats across the field. 
While I was up there waiting out the storm, I ran into Callum Williams (recently voted top ten announcer in MLS). It might be a surprise to some but he is not from around here and I thought it would be interesting to see his reactions to our little rain shower.

In this clip is some video of the rain and then an interview with Callum with a special guest appearence by Sporting KC's design wizard Chad Reynolds.

Bonus clip:

A couple weeks ago at practice it started pouring right as the players were going in. I hung around for the press conference and got a tip that some players went outside to practice slip and slide. I got soaked but got some video of just how much these guys can just be little kids at heart. Stick around to the end and see Kei driving...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Brisket Bob a winner

Brisket Bob made his debut when Sporting KC defeated the Portland Timbers 3-1 Wednesday night. Brisket Bob was a fun parody of one of the best traditions in American Soccer, Timber Joey. Dating back to the late 1970's when Timber Jim started sawing slabs off of huge logs inside the stadium whenever a Portland player scores. Timber Joey took over in 2008 and continues slicing logs and giving the goal scorers their very own unique mementos. I would love to see some comparable tradition in Kansas City someday. It will need to grow organically and make sense for the city. Of course there is nothing more Kansas City than BBQ so it might just be that we need to keep Brisket Bob around.

I can verify that the brisket was good. That was fun, eating brisket while shooting photos from behind the goal and in front of the Cauldron is just about as good as it gets.

Brisket Bob was interviewed prior to becoming the new BBQ icon at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You can't beat Jimmy Nielsen with that...

Jimmy Nielsen is so awesome he even makes saves on Omar Bravo's little bobble head...

Okay, I am sure most Sporting KC fans will have seen already that Jimmy Nielsen was hit in the face during the Portland game. The Kansas City keeper was hit in Kansas City by an object thrown from the stands. Not an away game, a home game. Freaking IDIOT BASTARD threw the head off of an Omar Bravo bobble head onto the field. Apparently there were two people from the same group, both did it but one of them hit Jimmy Nielsen in the eye.

Fortunately, Nielsen is tougher than a bobble head. I am quite sure he is tougher than the two IDIOT COWARDS that threw poor little Omar's head onto the field.

I have no idea if they meant to throw at Nielsen and it does not matter. They took actions that risked the health and well being (and career) of another human being. I would like to see them hung over the Cauldron on the "Blue Hell" banner and let fans pelt them with bobble heads, empty bbq sauce bottles or whatever else fans could creatively chuck at those idiots. Unfortunately,'s in-house legal adviser (my wife) suggested this might not be allowed. That's too bad, it would have made for an interesting photo slideshow.

I do hope they are both prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I hope they receive fines, jail time, community service and a lifetime ban from LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Not just from Sporting KC games. Ban them from concerts, music festivals, farmers markets, boxing matches, rugby, lacrosse, Oktoberfest and anything and everything that might be held in or related to the stadium.  

I would like to make a proposal to all the sports teams and venues in the area. Sporting KC, the Royals, Chiefs, Comets, T-Bones, KU, MU, K-State and any other pro or collegiate team that I forgot stand together. If one team or venue bans someone for that kind of behavior, ban them from all of them.

Make it so that anyone who acts that stupid at a sporting event will find it impossible to attend another in this town. Get banned and no Arrowhead, no Kaufman, no Sprint Center, no Kansas Speedway, no Events Center and certainly no LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Live sporting event death penalty for idiots. What do you think?

On a less serious note, what should be the punishment?

1. Let Roger Espinoza and Omar Bravo slide tackle them with referees watching until they have it down exactly how hard you can tackle without drawing a red card.

2. Put one of those soccer ball skull cap things on their heads and let Sporting KC keepers practice their punch outs?

3. Put them in goal and let Zusi, Bunbury, Sapong, Kamara and the rest of the team take shots on them. Heck let the Sporting KC Juniors in on the fun as well.

4. Let Brisket Bob make them disappear. No questions asked...

Vote in the poll on the side...

Update: Looks like they have identified one of the IDIOTS.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Someone we should know: Andy Garay

I first had the idea to write a quick story about Sporting Kansas City's assistant equipment manager Andy Garay after I heard he is a cancer survivor. I asked around and it seems that he was the only cancer survivor on the team side and I thought it would be interesting to see what he thought of the LIVESTRONG connection with the new stadium.

Sometimes stories just refuse to go where you want them to go.

Andy is a cancer survivor. He beat thyroid cancer over ten years ago and is reminded of that every day when he takes the medicine he needs and every six months when he gets his check up. Being a cancer survivor is part of who he is but it is far from what defines him.

Andy lives and breathes soccer.

Andy with a few jerseys...
It's probably best to start with how Andy came to be with Sporting Kansas City. He did not start out as a team employee, he was a fan. A dedicated fan. Andy hung around practice wanting to be closer to his favorite players. Equipment Manager Michael Flaherty told the story best. " He was always on the other side of the fence until one day I was walking by and he was yapping at me about getting a jersey from Abe Thompson. He said Abe promised him a jersey and I explained to him that those guys aren't in charge of the gear. So I took him on the other side one time and had him help me out. After that he stuck around."

Flaherty gave Andy a piece of team gear after making him do a bunch of laundry and he stuck around. Andy helped Flaherty out once in a awhile and when a position opened up with the team Andy Garay was the obvious candidate.

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes explained why he hired Garay, " Whenever I talk to anyone about a position within the organization I always ask them what their ambitions are, where they want to get to. I thinks it's important to know. When a guy like Andy tells you that this is his dream job because he loves the team so much, he loves the game of soccer, it means a lot."

I tried to make this about Andy's thoughts on being the cancer survivor and Sporting KC's partnership with LIVESTRONG but for Andy it always turned back to soccer and the team. Part of this article was based on an interview from before the opening of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park and part from after. When I asked Andy how it felt walking in to LIVESTRONG he responded " It meant a lot, since the beginning of MLS I have always wanted this, for us to have our own stadium."

That was not the answer I was looking for nor expecting but for Andy it was about soccer, about the team. When I asked again and made sure I asked as a cancer survivor what did it mean, "It was special." Short, simple and he then quickly added that he wished the team had gotten a better result instead of the draw that night.

Garay is still a fan even though he is on the other side of the fence now. "I'm still the same fan and I still feel that same excitement, every day, every game. I think even more. It's a different environment now, I get to be around the players, the coaches every day and I see how things are," Andy explained. "I'm more proud to be part of the team now."

Flaherty explained it was not always an easy conversion from fan to team staff for Andy, "It took him a little while to learn he was a worker instead of a fan. Singing on the bench and stuff like that. We had to kind of knock that out of him." Flaherty had to laugh, "I will never forget the day he started chanting at (former KC coach Curt) Onalfo when the fans were. You can't do that, you're not a fan anymore!"

"It was hard for him to see some of these guys that he looked at as heroes being just normal guys. Throwing their laundry on the floor and we're having to clean up after them, they're like kids sometimes. For Andy it was a big deal to get on this side of it and see his heroes but also see they are just normal guys."

Sometimes it is hard to get good quotes to describe someone. Every person I asked, players and staff alike, all said the same with some variation on words and accent.
Andy Garay

Great guy, great person, dedicated, hard worker were all repeatedly said to describe Andy. Not exactly the most exciting quotes to repeat over and over again but still all so true.

Team Administrator Rick Dressel described Andy, "He's a very conscientious worker, he's a great person is what he is. He's an outstanding human being and he's very much in love with the sport of soccer and in love with Sporting. He would do anything for us (the team) and goes above and beyond quite often. Again, the biggest thing about him is he is such a great person and we love that he is on the staff."

Those words were repeated over and over by Andy's co-workers, his team mates.

Flaherty probably knows him best and had the most to say, "One thing he always brings to the table is the passion he has for the game and the love for this club and where it was from the start. There are a lot of times I have to look at him and realize this is why we do this, for the love of the game. He lives that passion every single day."

"You can see the pride he takes in everything he does, when he does a jersey he takes great pride in that. He take great pride in doing all of the little things, putting the numbers and letters on, he feels he is part of game day and he is. He's a big part of game day."

Vermes also added, "He lives and dies by all the results. He lives and dies with, well just all of it. It's great to have people passionate about what they do in your organization."

Andy is one of the many contributors that helps Sporting KC perform. He does all the little tasks, airing up balls, making jerseys, collecting up gear after practice and doing tons of laundry. Towels, towels and more towels. All to help his team be better.

Like I said, the story did not go where I thought it would go, where I wanted it to go. Andy is not defined by his cancer. He is a wonderful person that most fans will never know and that is too bad. He can be defined by his love for the game and the team.

"It's my passion," Andy quietly said.

More true words have never been spoken...

Part of one of my interviews with Andy. Soft spoken and mild mannered but not a more passionate fan around...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

SKC 1 - 1 New England Revolution Photos

Sporting KC again comes from behind to tie a game with a late goal, this time by Teal. Always good to get results and always nice to not lose but at home three points needs to be the standard. If this "scrappy" goal by Teal gets him playing like he did previously it will be nice to have him back as a threat.

More photos

Bunbury and Bravo celebrate Teal's goal

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Random Shots: July 27, 2011

MLS ALL-Star Game Tonight
Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler and Omar Bravo are both in the game day lineup but will they see the field? With all the minutes they have and still need to play, do we want them to even get more that a token appearance?

All Star Game Watch Party
Watch Party at Johnny's Tavern at Power and Light District.

Kempin at the Milk Cup
The U.S. U-18's play Mexico today at the Milk Cup. Go get 'em!

Missouri Comets sign 2 more...
The Comets signed MISL Rookie of the Year Lucas Rodriguez and Brazilian Geison. Both midfielders, both returning to play for the Comets and both currently playing outdoor for NSC Minnesota.

Speaking of NSC Minnesota...
Scott Lorenz has been loaned to the NASL team although at last report it was not official announced.

Jimmy Nielsen up for Save of the week
Jimmy Nielsen's great save on Danny Koevermans is nominated for Week 19 Save of the Week.
Vote here...

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Don't forget to vote for Kei for goal of the week...

A pair of video interviews
Jimmy Nielsen describes his best save ever and Kei Kamara talks about his goal and a more

Alex Morgan's great goal
Yesterday it was reported that the U.S. Women's National Team may play here in the fall. I came across this video of Alex Morgan scoring a pretty incredible goal...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jimmy Nielsen interview 7/26/11

Vote for Jimmy Nielsen for save of the week

Jimmy Nielsen celebrating his team mate scoring...

Kei Kamara interview 7/26/11

Vote for Kei for Goal of the week here

Kei hearts his fans after scoring...

Random Shots: July 26

US Women to play in Kansas City? 
There is a report from New Zealand that the "Football Ferns" as their women's team is known is setting up a pair of friendlies with the U.S. and that one of those games would be played in Kansas. While nobody would confirm the story on record,  I was told that it was close if not a done deal. Could this be an opportunity to launch a women's team under the Sporting Club banner? Please bring Hope Solo and Alex Morgan...

Lucas Rodriguez returning to Comets
Missouri Comets to announce more signings
Information from a source close to the team has revealed that the Comets will likely announce more player signings shortly. It sounds like the next couple announcements will probably be more returning players including MISL Rookie of the Year Lucas Rodriguez.The Comets midfielder scored six goals and seven assists in 17 games to lead all rookies in MISL. Last week the Comets signed defender Ibrahim Kante previously with the Vipers and brought back defender Brian Harris. The Comets are assembling the team for their second season in MISL after finishing third and making it to the playoffs in their inaugural year

US U-18's defeat Israel at Milk Cup
The U.S. U-18's started the defense of their title in strong fashion defeating Israel 2-0 off of second half goals from Omar Salgado and Jerome Kiesewetter. They play Mexico Wednesday afternoon. Sporting KC keeper Jon Kempin was on the bench for this game.

USA Starters: Cody Cropper; Boyd Okwuonu (Jalen Robinson, 45'), Walker Zimmerman, Bryan Gallego, Juan Pablo Ocegueda; Jordan McCrary, Jose Villareal (Luis Gil, 69'), William Packwood; Jerome Kiesewetter, Omar Salgado, Michael Ambrose (Marcus Salandy-Defour, 45')

Shavar Thomas trial at Portsmouth
Last Friday I reported that "he requested some time away and it was granted." At the time he was expected back that day or the next and I did see him in the stands at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park Satruday night when his team mates took on Toronto. When I was told he was away, I thought there was a decent chance that he might be looking but did not expect him to be at Portsmouth. It sounds like they liked him, just not enough to sign him. When a player is not happy, Vermes is not shy about letting them look...

Callum Williams Blog
A good read over on Callum's blog. 

Week 19 Goal of the Week
Reminder, Kei Kamara is up for goal of the week. Vote here
Get Microsoft Silverlight

Friday, July 22, 2011

Podcast: Byline 2 Backpost Episode 19

Bravo taking it on the chin...
The latest podcast is up. It is actually in two separate parts this week. We missed three weeks because of games, vacations and not so fun life events but we are back.

Part 1 - a little long but we talk about a bunch of games, quickly review the matches since the Portland game up through the Newcastle game. We also preview the Toronto game and briefly talk about the W omen's World Cup.

Part 2 - we discuss and analyze all the player moves and news of the last couple weeks.

Hope you enjoy and if you have any feedback please let us know.

Get it from iTunes



Thanks to The Vandon Arms, a great band out of Iowa. Their latest album is The Sent Off EP and contains several soccer related songs. You can hear their music here or check them out on their Facebook page.

Three "no change's" and one interesting, player update 7-22-11

Joseph Peterson playing against Newcastle

Just wanted to pass on some player status...

Ryan Smith - No change. He needs to deal with the league if a team wants him. SKC and League on same page. No offer has come through on him as of this morning. He still is not a free agent but he is free to look. 

Stephane Auvray - No change, no comment. I still expect to never see him in Kansas City again unless he is on another MLS team or we host more Gold Cup games.  

Shavar Thomas - No change. There was some speculation circulating, including on our podcast that there may be something going on with him. He has not been at training for a few days and was not in the lineup for either the reserve game or the Newcastle game. He requested some time away and it was granted. No more details were given. He is expected back today or tomorrow.I was assured he was not in the same category as the other guys. I assume that means Smith and Auvray.

Joseph Peterson - "Interesting guy, very interesting player" was Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes first response when I asked about him.  "We are talking to him and seeing if there is any possibilities around maybe acquiring him." He is a Haitian midfielder that was playing in Portugal. Peterson played in the reserve match and played the second half against Newcastle.  

Sporting KC 0 - 0 Newcastle United

More photos

Game report

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story

Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story is the true story of a Jay DeMerit but really it is about never giving up and chasing your dream as far as it can go. It is an amazing story of DeMerit's dream that seemed unattainable, of how after college he left for Europe to try and become a professional soccer payer. He slept where he could, he painted houses for cash and survived on beans and toast. Wonder if that limited his customers...

Jay took a wild and crazy route to get into the top levels of soccer and even represent America at the 2010 World Cup. His story is incredible and inspiring. I have to admit, I have not always been a fan of his on the field, but I do admire him for following his dream, showing that it can be done against huge odds.

The documentary is close to getting the needed funding to be finished. Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. People pledge money to projects from the worlds of music, art, film, technology, design, food, and other creative fields. Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires.

As of this morning there were about two and a half days left and only a few thousand more needed for the project to be fully funded. If the project in Kickstarter is not fully funded, the project does not get any of the money from Kickstarter.

Go here to pledge help to get this inspiring story finished and shared with the world.

I did...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SKC: Ryan Smith shopping in Spain

Last time we see Smith's name in KC? 
Last Saturday I heard that Ryan Smith was shopping himself around and was headed to a team in Spain. Since then there have been a few articles showing up hinting or outright stating that Smith is on a free transfer, that he is a free agent and can go anywhere he wants with no compensation to his current club (Sporting Kansas City).

Since then I have gotten independent corroboration that Smith is in Spain. Both sources wish to remain anonymous and I am not using the flawed information articles as sources.

When I asked team officials about this on Monday I was told that he can do what he wants as far as shopping himself around but I was emphatically reassured that Sporting KC still holds the rights to him. There is two and a half years left on his contract and for him to play anywhere Sporting KC would have to send his ITC (International Transfer Card).

I have reached out to Ryan through multiple channels to see if I could get an interview but have not heard back yet. Hopefully I can touch base with him soon and clear it all up.

Just three weeks ago Sporting KC announced that Ryan was leaving the team for the rest of the season for "Family Reasons". I know from speaking with Ryan in the past he missed his daughter greatly which is very understandable and that may have prompted him to ask to find a team closer to home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Comets hosting Women’s World Cup Watch Party

The Comets and Brew Top Pub & Patio of Lee’s Summit are hosting a Women’s World Cup Watch Party on Wednesday July 13th.  The US Women’s team came from behind in dramatic form to beat Brazil to advance to the semi-finals against France.

The women came back from a 2-1 deficit with only 10 players to tie the game in the last seconds and to take the game to penalties where Hope Solo made an amazing save. The cynical, unsportsmanlike play by Brazil won the crowd in Germany over to the US side and had the stadium chanting USA in support.

Brew Top Pub & Patio will be offering great food and drinks, including 40 cent wings all day long.  The game coverage starts at 10:30am, but doors open at 10:00am.

Comets players, staff, Calvin the Canine and Galaxy Girls will all be on hand for the action.  They will be giving away prizes throughout the game, including autographed merchandise and tickets.  An interesting new contest for season ticket holders, current and new, will also be announced at halftime of the game.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sporting KC 1 - 1 Chivas USA photos

Wanted to share the photos from the SKC draw with Chivas. The slideshow is below and the full gallery is here...

Friday, July 8, 2011

SKC 1 - 1 Rapids photos

Just wanted to share the photos from the last game. Here is the slide show and the full gallery is here.