Sporting KC selects three in MLS SuperDraft

Team picks three college seniors and acquires rights to Servando Carrasco

sporting kc logo
Sporting Kansas City selected three college seniors on Thursday during the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia: midfielder Connor Hallisey (No. 10 overall), defender Saad Abdul-Salaam (No. 12 overall) and defender Amadou Dia (No. 20 overall).

The club traded its second round selection (No. 30 overall) to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for the rights to midfielder Servando Carrasco.

“It’s always important that you’re constantly evolving who you are, so for us it’s really about the next generation of players,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “We have time to develop them and help them with the transition. As long as they’re willing to work hard and listen, they’ll acclimate to our team in a quick and accelerated process.”

The 2015 MLS SuperDraft will conclude on Tuesday, Jan. 20, with the third and fourth rounds conducted via conference call. Sporting Kansas City currently holds two picks — No. 53 overall and No. 73 overall — in the remaining rounds.

Sporting Kansas City’s three first-round selections on Thursday marked the most in team history. Hallisey and Abdul-Salaam signed with Major League Soccer prior to the SuperDraft and will be automatically added to the team’s roster.

Hallisey, 21, is a former member of the United States Under-18 Men’s National Team and was a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist at the University of California after contributing nine goals and 12 assists as a senior in 2014. He also earned NSCAA Second Team All-American and All-Pac 12 First Team honors during a collegiate career in which he recorded 12 goals and 19 assists in 72 games over four years for the Bears.

“You always try and think about what it’s going to feel like when your name gets called. It’s an unbelievable feeling, indescribable really,” Hallisey said. “I’m so thankful to get to this point and for the opportunity that Sporting KC, Peter Vermes and the coaching staff, and the entire ownership group and organization are giving me.”

Abdul-Salaam, 23, was a top-10 performer at last week’s MLS Player Combine in both the 30-meter dash and vertical jump categories. He logged three goals and 12 assists in 54 games over three seasons at Akron, including a team-high six assists in 2014, and was an All-MAC First Team honoree.

“This is just an unbelievable day and definitely something I’ll never forget,” Abdul-Salaam said. “I’m glad to be in such a great place like Sporting Kansas City. I’m really looking forward to it and getting there to improve myself. I definitely think my style of play at Akron is going to translate to Sporting Kansas City. I’m fit and I’m ready to get there to play in front of that great fan base.”

Dia, 21, has represented the United States at the under-14, under-18 and under-20 levels and also holds dual citizenship in his native France. He appeared in 70 games during a four-year collegiate career at Clemson with four goals and six assists.

“I’m very excited to join the club and I can’t wait to get to Kansas City,” Dia said. “I will work as hard as I can to make an impact for the team. Wherever they put me on the field, I hope to make a difference.”

Carrasco, 26, is a four-veteran of Major League Soccer who has appeared in 60 MLS matches (including postseason) for the Seattle Sounders FC (2011-2013) and Houston Dynamo (2013-2014). Carrasco was a four-year starter at California, where he provided 13 goals and 13 assists in 73 appearances before being selected in the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

Sporting Kansas City will kick off the team’s 20th season on March 8 at Sporting Park in a nationally-televised match against the New York Red Bulls at 6 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes. Prior to the 2015 season, Sporting Kansas City will travel to Tucson, Ariz., for the team’s pre-season preparations.
– Story from Sporting KC

Saunders looks to future as retirement begins

by Kelly Rogge

Toni Saunders spent more than 21 years at Kansas City Kansas Community College, so the decision to retire was not an easy one. However, it was her husband that helped her take that final leap.

“My husband has been retired for eight years,” she said. “I need to be home to make him complete his projects.”

Saunders has served as either a secretary or an administrative assistant during her time at KCKCC, most recently in the business and continuing education department. Prior to coming to the community college, she worked for the Lawrence Traffic Bureau in the KC Stockyards. She said what she will miss most about leaving KCKCC is most certainly the people.

“I will miss the people I work with on a daily basis,” she said. “I will also miss all of the other friends I have made here.”

During her time at KCKCC, Saunders was named the Staff Employee of the Year in 2012, one of her most memorable accomplishments. She said she also remembers winning several gold medals for volleyball when the college participated in the Corporate Challenge.

“I think what I have enjoyed the most is being able to work with division personnel that really care about the students and the division itself,” she said. “That applies to the BITAC staff, the Business and Technology group and my current group – Business and Continuing Education.”

As for what she plans to do with her retirement, Saunders has made no specific plans. However, a visit to obedience school might be in the future for one of her new rescue dogs.”

“I am thinking about taking our girl Nellie for obedience lessons. She is quite sassy,” she said. “I hope KCKCC continues to provide a quality education that is affordable for our students and to continue to be a great resource for the community.”

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor for Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Piper results

Piper High School – wrestling vs. Washington
– W. Gardener pinned his man in 1st period
Piper High School – bowling at KC Bowl
– Piper vs. Bishop Miege and Maranatha Academy
Varsity Boys 1st place
1 McEachron, Tristen 627
3 Romero, Matthew 576
4 Talkin, Jacob 550
5 Boyle, Caleb 544
JV Boys 2nd Place
1 Brandt, Zach 474
Varsity Girls 1st place
2 Crowe, Baylee 470
4 Carr, Madison 437
JV Girls 1st Place
1 Vogel, Toni 368
2 Accardi, Maria 345
3 Jenkins, Lauren 330

– From Doug Key, Piper High School activities director