Thursday, June 21, 2012

Espinoza, the Open Cup, and a Double Header

 photo courtesy of Jarred Donalson

Catching up on some news that was announced today regarding Sporting Kansas City.

Espinoza Named to Olympic Team

Honduras named their team for this summer's Olympics in London.  Sporting KC midfielder, Roger Espinoza has been named as one of the team's 3 overage players.  Honduras is grouped with Spain, Morocco, and Japan.  The three group games are July 26th vs Morocco at Hampden Park in Glasgow, July 29th vs Spain at St. James Park in Newcastle, and then on August 1st vs Japan at City of Coventry Stadium in Coventry.  Should Honduras advance all the way to the medal round they'd also have games on August 4th, 7th, and 10th or 11th.

During that same stretch, Kansas City has games on July 28th against Columbus, the August 1st friendly vs Stoke City, August 4th at New England, and August 11th vs DC.  Should KC also make the US Open Cup final, Espinoza could also miss the final on August 7th or 8th.  Depending on when he has to report he could also miss the July 24th game vs Montpellier and the July 21st game vs New England.  In all Espinoza could miss about 4 league games, and the US Open Cup final if Honduras get into the knock out rounds and KC qualifies.

I couldn't be happier for Espinoza to get to represent his country in the Olympics especially after also representing them in the World Cup.  But he's been one of KC's best players this season and will be a tough hole to fill for Sporting.

US Open Cup Semifinal Draw Announced

Today US Soccer announced the draw for the semifinals of the US Open Cup.  Starting in the semifinals, US Soccer went back to the blind bid process that had been present in previous years of the tournament.  Should Sporting KC defeat the Dayton Dutch Lions this coming Tuesday they will play the winner of Philadelphia and Harrisburg.  If Philadelphia wins, then KC is actually going on the road for the semifinals, as the Union out bid Sporting to host the semifinal.  If Harrisburg pulls their third upset of an MLS side, then KC would host the City Islanders at Livestrong Sporting Park.

It's a little surprising that KC was out bid for the semifinals, I would have expected the only team that would have out bid KC was Seattle.  But maybe KC is holding off on a big bid for the semifinals in preparation for a big bid for the finals should KC make it to the finals.

Game in New England Now a Double Header

New England made an announcement today that involves KC's trip to the Northeast on August 4th.  KC vs New England on that date will now have an "under card".  I put that in quotes because the under card is likely to bring out more fans than the game itself.  The under card, that kicks off at 4:30 EST, will see AC Milan take on Brazilian club Cruzeiro on the turf at Gillette Stadium.  There's been no change to the start time of Sporting's game though, there will just potentially be more fans in the stands at Gillette that hang around for the game between KC and New England.

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