Sporting KC signs Peterson to new contract

Jacob Peterson
Jacob Peterson

Sporting Kansas City announced on Wednesday that the club has signed forward Jacob Peterson to a new contract.

“I’m very happy to have re-signed with an organization as good as Sporting Kansas City. There was never really any other place that I wanted to go in this offseason so I’m glad that we could get a deal worked out,” Peterson said. “It’s also exciting to see some of the moves that have been made, most recently with bringing Roger (Espinoza) back. It shows the ambition of the club and it is definitely a place that I am happy to remain a part of moving forward.”

“Jacob Peterson is a player we feel fits very well for us on the field and within the culture of our club,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “We are thrilled to re-sign him and are looking forward to the start of pre-season later this month.”

A nine-year MLS veteran, Peterson has 15 goals and 14 assists in 199 regular season appearances over the course of his professional career. He enters his fourth season with Sporting Kansas City in 2015 after contributing eight goals and six assists in 80 games across all competition for the club and helping lead the team to the playoffs each of he past three years.

Peterson is one of only two players in Major League Soccer history to be a member of teams that won each of the following: NCAA Division I National Championship (2003, 2004), Canadian Championship (2010, 2011), U.S. Open Cup (2012) and MLS Cup (2013). The only other player to accomplish the feat was Nick Garcia, doing so in nearly identical fashion by claiming two collegiate championships at Indiana (1998, 1999) before winning MLS Cup (2000) and U.S. Open Cup (2004) titles in Kansas City to go along with Canadian Championship (2009, 2010) runs while playing for Toronto FC.

As a youth, Peterson represented the United States at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championships and 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was a two-time champion at Indiana University with goals in the finals of the 2003 and 2004 College Cups before being selected by Colorado in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft as a Generation adidas signing.

Four seasons (2006-09) with the Rapids were followed by stints with Toronto FC (2010-11) and the San Jose Earthquakes (2011) before Peterson was acquired by Sporting Kansas City prior to the 2012 season. He contributed five goals and two assists for Sporting KC in all competition during his first season, including the game-winning goal in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, and his injury-delayed 2013 campaign was highlighted by a game-tying goal in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.

In 2014, Peterson was one of four players on Sporting Kansas City’s roster to record multiple goals and multiple assists during the regular season. He scored game-winning goals against Columbus in May and Toronto FC in July, the latter of which capped off a come-from-behind, shorthanded victory to set the all-time club record with five straight road wins.

Among players currently under contract with an MLS club who have appeared in as many regular season appearances as Peterson (199), only two are younger: Dax McCarty (216) and Corey Ashe (211). Peterson’s 199 regular season appearances are second most on Sporting Kansas City’s roster, trailing only midfielder Paulo Nagamura (222).
– Story from Sporting KC

Sea Life Aquarium in KC to name octopus after Sporting KC captain

Matt Besler
Matt Besler

The Sea Life Aquarium Kansas City will name its octopus after Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler, according to an announcement from the soccer team.

Besler, named KC Sportsman of the Year, represented the United States at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

As part of the event, a silent auction will take place online to give persons an opportunity to win a Besler autographed jersey and soccer ball and other items. Funds raised will go to the Sea Life Aquarium Kansas City’s charity, Sea Life Trust for the conservation of marine wildlife and the environment.

Sea Life Aquarium Kansas City has donated Fisher Price Soccer Sets, which Besler will deliver to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.
– Story from Sporting KC

KCKCC women in record 121-84 win; men upend defending champs

by Alan Hoskins

If the first games of the new year are any indicators, Kansas City Kanas Community College is in for a whale of a 2015 basketball season.

Ranked No. 10 in the nation, the Lady Blue Devils scored the most points in KCKCC history with a 121-84 win over Brown Mackie Saturday while the Blue Devil men were winning a furious, gut-checking 84-78 decision over Brown Mackie’s defending Division II champions.

“A great, great win over a very good Brown Mackie team,” said an elated KCKCC men’s coach Kelley Newton. “The way we competed, especially rebounding against a team with so much size, was awesome.”

Neither team will have any time to rest on their laurels, however, as the KCKCC women play host to Saint Mary JV Tuesday at 5 p.m. followed by a Penn Valley-KCKCC men’s rematch at 7 p.m. Then it’s Jayhawk Conference play the rest of the season starting with a home twin bill with perennial power Cowley Saturday at 2 and 4 p.m.

Two newcomers who were not eligible the first semester, 6-2 guard Babajide Aina, a transfer from Prairie View A&M, and 6-6 Chicago freshman LaShawn Lewis, made major contributions to the men’s win.

Aina had a spectacular debut with 15 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists and six steals as he narrowly missed recording only the third KCKCC triple double in history while Lewis shared KCKCC scoring honors with 16 points before fouling out.

C.J. Vallejo also had 16 points including 4-of-6 three-pointers while Austin Hall added 13 points and five rebounds, Joe Lendway 11 points and four rebounds and Ray Ridley nine points and three assists.

Rebounding was critical. Brown Mackie had two 6-11 sophomores in the starting lineup but the Blue Devils gave up only six offensive rebounds while playing the Lions even on the boards 42-42.

Trailing 61-50 with 15 minutes to go in a game that had 18 lead changes, KCKCC went ahead to stay 60-59 on the first of three quick layups by Hall and stretched the lead to 69-61 on baskets by Lendway, Ridley and a trey by Vallejo and led by as many as 12 in the closing seconds.

The Lady Blue Devils re-wrote the record book for points in the first half and total points in the opener. Erin Anderson’s buzzer beating 3-pointer gave KCKCC a 66-47 halftime lead, eclipsing the previous record of 65 points also against Brown Mackie in 1995, and freshman Janay Jacobs’ two free throws with six seconds left erased the previous record of 120 points scored against Labette in 1996.

The two teams were tied three times and the lead changed hands six times early before sizzling KCKCC shooting broke the game wide open. For the first 17 minutes, the Blue Devils shot at a 70 percent pace and finished at 64.3 percent for the half and .554 for the game.

Eight Blue Devils scored in double figures, three more had eight or more.

“Very proud,” said coach Valerie Stambersky. “We scored and executed in all areas, a great way to start back the new year. But there’s still lots of business still ahead.”

Freshman Sierra Roberts led with 13 points while Janai Mitchell and Cierra Gaines had 12 each, Cheyenne North and Iland Shurn 11 each and Rashaun Casey, Anderson and Cassidy Harbert 10 apiece. Ky’Ana French added nine and Aricca Daye and Julia Garrard eight off the bench.

Anderson also had seven steals and Harbert and Gaines six assists as the Blue Devils had 29 assists on 46 field goals. North had eight rebounds and Anderson and French six each to lead KCKCC to a 52-38 rebounding advantage.

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.