Sporting KC takes on FC Dallas tonight

Sporting Kansas City will play host to FC Dallas in the club’s MLS regular season home opener on Saturday at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.

The match is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. and will air locally on 38 The Spot and the Sporting KC television network across the Midwest.

Sporting Kansas City lost its regular season opener to the Seattle Sounders 1-0 last weekend, but followed that up with a 1-0 win over Liga MX leaders Cruz Azul in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday. Homegrown defender Kevin Ellis scored the game’s lone goal and goalkeeper Eric Kronberg recorded his first shutout of 2014 in the victory.

Saturday’s game will be the third in eight days for Peter Vermes’ club. Sporting Kansas City will travel to Mexico City for the second leg of the CCL quarterfinal series on Wednesday and return home to take on the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday to conclude a stretch of five games in 15 days.

FC Dallas opened the 2014 MLS season with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday at Toyota Stadium. Dallas failed to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2013 despite earning 20 points through the first two months of last season. During the offseason, FC Dallas acquired two young Designated Players in Andres Escobar and David Texeira. Argentine midfielder Mauro Diaz rounds out the trio of young DP’s on Oscar Pareja’s roster and had a goal and an assist in last weekend’s victory.

Pareja secured his first victory as coach of FC Dallas on Saturday after spending the previous two seasons coaching the Colorado Rapids. The Colombian head coach began his playing career with the New England Revolution before spending 10 seasons with Dallas.

Among the players listed as questionable on FC Dallas’ injury report are Peruvian national team goalkeeper Raul Fernandez (sports hernia) and defenders George John (right knee) and Zach Loyd (right hip strain). All three players missed the club’s regular season opener versus Montreal.

Sporting KC is 11-2-5 in MLS home openers all-time and have not lost a match at home to open the season since April 21, 2009 against Toronto FC.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Saturday. The first 10,000 fans to enter Sporting Park will receive a schedule magnet.

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Chamber Ambassador of the Year

Mike Stone, Spangler Graphics, center, was awarded the Ambassador of the Year at the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber’s annual meeting on March 7. He is with Todd LaSala, right, Partner at Stinson Leonard Street and KCK Chamber Board chairman; and Pat Warren, left, president of Kansas Speedway and KCK Chamber Board Member. Kansas Speedway was the 2014 annual meeting presenting sponsor. (Photo from Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce)

Diehl steps down as president of Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association

Carole Diehl, president of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association, has stepped down.

Diehl will continue to serve on the board as a vice president, while Tim Ryan will serve as the new president of the association, according to an announcement. Diehl chose not to run for re-election at a meeting March 13.

“I’m really going to miss them and am really sorry my tenure had to come to an end, but together we did a lot of great things in the 17 years I was president,” Diehl said. “Thanks to all for supporting me, and I hope they support Tim. I want them to be as behind him as they were behind me.”

“Carole will be missed,” said Nick A. Tomasic, vice president, in a news release. “She was the face and the voice of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association. She was a tireless advocate, always thinking and planning the next project to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. Her accomplishments, too numerous to list here, are well known to the community. She was able to get the people involved in the association. She wanted to make Strawberry Hill a place of pride in our community as a whole.”

Ryan is the director of sales for Hilton Garden Inn in Kansas City, Kan.

“I want to thank everyone involved in the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association,” Ryan said. “I appreciate everyone’s assistance and patience as we work through the transition period.”

The mission of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association is to work in cooperation with all residents toward the preservation, restoration and revitalization of the Strawberry Hill community, the association stated. It strives to improve and develop Strawberry Hill into a community that provides a safe, clean climate that attracts new businesses and homeowners. The association’s website is at