Archive for May 2017

Sporting KC travels to Colorado on Saturday

Western Conference leader Sporting Kansas City (6-3-4, 22 points) wraps up a two-game road swing Saturday with a visit to to the last-place Colorado Rapids (2-8-1, 7 points) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

The 60th regular season meeting between these MLS charter members will kick off at 7 p.m.

FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest Plus will broadcast three hours of live coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m., while local radio broadcasts will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish

Sporting Kansas City enters Week 13 atop the Western Conference standings despite last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Forward Dom Dwyer, who missed the match with an injured knee, is listed as questionable ahead of this weekend’s clash in Colorado. The Englishman has missed two of Sporting KC’s last three games, but fellow attackers Gerso and Latif Blessing have helped compensate for the absence with multi-goal performances over the last fortnight. Blessing bagged a brace in a 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC on May 13, while Gerso scored a spectacular hat-trick four days later in a 3-0 rout of Seattle Sounders FC.

Defender Ike Opara was rested at Vancouver but is available for selection this weekend to join captain Matt Besler in central defense. Sporting Kansas City has conceded just five goals and lost just once in the 11 matches Opara has started this season.

That stingy record can partially be attributed to the stellar play of goalkeeper Tim Melia, who leads MLS with seven shutouts and an 82.0 save percentage (per Opta). He is one of three teammates to play every minute this year, alongside Besler and defensive midfield stalwart Ilie, who ranks among the MLS leaders in successful passes and duels won.

The Rapids were Major League Soccer’s surprise package in 2016, falling three point shy of the Supporters’ Shield title while losing just six games. Fortunes have been reversed this year, as Colorado has lost seven of its last eight since the start of April to drop to the Western Conference basement.

Head coach Pablo Mastroeni’s men took two road losses last week, falling 3-0 to the Chicago Fire before surrendering the lead in a 2-1 setback to the Philadelphia Union.

While Colorado has gone 0-6-0 away from home, the club remains a threat in the friendly confines of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids never lost at the venue last season, and in 2017 they boast home victories over the New England Revolution and San Jose Earthquakes.

Athletic forward Dominique Badji leads the side with three goals, while combative midfielder Micheal Azira is second in MLS with 36 interceptions.

The absence of center back Axel Sjoberg has only added to Colorado’s early struggles. The 6-foot-7 defender earned MLS Best XI honors in 2016 but has missed eight games this season with a hamstring injury.

Sjoberg returned to the fold last Saturday in Philadelphia, playing the full 90 minutes to give Mastroeni’s side a much-needed boost. That same night, forward Caleb Calvert scored his first MLS goal in spectacular fashion before picking up two yellow cards and a subsequent ejection. As a result, he will serve his one-game suspension this Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City dominated the first meeting between the sides this season, posting a 3-1 home victory on April 9 behind goals from Seth Sinovic, Gerso and Dwyer.

The result snapped a five-game losing streak to the Rapids, who swept the 2016 series with three one-goal wins. Sporting KC owns just one win in 10 regular season visits to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, a 3-2 thriller in March 2014 that saw Graham Zusi, Benny Feilhaber and Dwyer score second-half goals.

– Story from Sporting KC


Rosedale enjoys Bike-In Movie

Story and photos by William Crum

Last night a Bike-In Movie event happened at the Boulevard Drive-in theater in Kansas City, Kansas.

Well over 100 people attended this event, sponsored by the Rosedale Neighborhood Association.

A lot of people rode their bicycles; others drove their cars. If you drove your car, they asked for a $5 donation.

They also had booths from the Humane Society, Central Avenue Dental, and others.

The movie that played was “Karate Kid.”

Overall this was a huge success for those who attended this event.


Kansas crisis centers say new law creates mental health funding need

by Meg Wingerter, Kansas News Service

A new law will allow Kansas crisis centers to treat involuntary mental health patients for up to 72 hours, but it isn’t clear if lawmakers will fund it.

Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday signed House Bill 2053, which allows crisis centers to treat people deemed a danger to themselves or others because of a mental health or substance use disorder. The bill had passed the House unanimously and passed the Senate 27-12 after some amendments.

Lawmakers didn’t allocate funding for additional crisis center beds before they left for the Memorial Day weekend, although they have yet to finalize a budget.

Kansas currently has three crisis centers — in Kansas City, Kan., Wichita and Topeka — which only take patients who agree to treatment.

Bill Persinger, CEO of Valeo Behavioral Health Care in Topeka, said employees there are looking into what changes might be needed to serve involuntary patients.

Valeo has a crisis center for voluntary patients that occasionally houses people waiting for a bed at Osawatomie State Hospital. He estimated the voluntary facility had reduced the number of Shawnee County residents sent to the state hospital by half.

“I think we’re going to have good capacity to provide services on a short-term involuntary basis,” he said.

Persinger said he hopes mental health centers can qualify for grants to prepare for involuntary patients. It could cost Valeo hundreds of thousands of dollars to have a prescriber available at all times, hire security staff, increase its mental health staff and renovate the building to offer more security and privacy, he said.

“It’s not something we can start doing tomorrow,” he said.

Marilyn Cook, CEO of Comcare in Wichita, said many mental health patients could avoid the state hospital or jail if more local treatment options were available, but the state needs to add funding for those programs. She estimated about half of the voluntary patients who use Comcare’s crisis center don’t have insurance.

“We would have to have medical staff there 24 hours, which is an expenditure, and we would have to have some funds for medication for people who are uninsured,” she said. “We have a sustainability problem right now.”

Cook and Persinger said they hope the Legislature will pass a bill that would give some funds from lottery ticket vending machines to crisis centers, but they don’t expect it would generate enough to cover all their costs.

A similar bill considered in 2016 to allow involuntary treatment raised concerns about violating the rights of people with mental illnesses. A committee of mental health advocates, treatment providers, law enforcement officers and others met between the sessions to come up with a compromise to provide treatment while protecting individuals’ rights.

Cook said allowing crisis centers to treat involuntary patients has been shown to reduce hospitalizations in other states. Patients who come to Comcare voluntarily often calm down within a few hours because they are in a quiet environment with staff available to help, she said.

“I know it can work because it works now,” she said.

Meg Wingerter is a reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio and KMUW covering health, education and politics. You can reach her on Twitter @MegWingerter. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to

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