Two Sporting KC Academy alumni selected to MLS Homegrown Game roster

Sporting Kansas City Academy products Jon Kempin and Erik Palmer-Brown were named to the 20-player roster for the 2014 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game.

The inaugural event will feature the League’s top Homegrown players against the Portland Timbers U-23s on Aug. 4 at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, as part of the festivities leading up to the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.

Kempin is currently on loan with USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC for its inaugural season and has five shutouts and 37 saves with a 1.38 goals against average in 13 games played.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper was Sporting Kansas City’s first Homegrown player upon signing in 2010 at age 17 and is now in his fifth professional season. Kempin made his competitive debut for Sporting KC during the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and made 34 saves in nine games while on loan with USL PRO champions Orlando City SC in 2013.

A Leawood, Kan., native, Kempin was a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and has extensive experience for the United States at the Youth National Team level. He most recently joined the United States Under-21 Men’s National Team in April and has also trained with the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team.

“It’s a huge honor to be named to this roster and a huge honor to represent your hometown team,” Kempin said. “I’ve been blessed with that opportunity as a Homegrown player and I look forward to continuing to represent Kansas City for many years to come.”

Palmer-Brown became the youngest signing in club history at age 16 in August 2013 and is the youngest active player in Major League Soccer. The Lee’s Summit, Missouri native has logged five appearances for Sporting Kansas City in all competition in 2014 and made his professional debut in May, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to start a regular season match as a defender.

Also a product of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program, Palmer-Brown represented the United States at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-18 levels in 2013 en route to being named one of five finalists for U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Athlete of the Year. He most recently was a member of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team that finished runners-up at the 2014 Dallas Cup in April.

“It’s a privilege to play in the inaugural Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game,” Palmer-Brown said. “There are many great Homegrown players in Major League Soccer and I look forward to playing alongside them in Portland.”

The 2014 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game will kick off at 9 p.m. on Aug. 4 and will be streamed live on WatchESPN and MLSsoccer.com. MLS Director of Player Programs Alfonso Mondelo will coach the Homegrown team.
– Story from Sporting KC

Searle dominant in T-Bones loss

Ryan Searle dominated the T-Bones for 8 2/3 innings on Wednesday night, handing the T-Bones a 6-1 loss at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

Searle was perfect his first time through the order, but lost his perfect game and no-hit bid in the fourth inning. On the night, Searle (3-4) surrendered eight hits, one run (earned) and two walks, and struck out seven.

The AirHogs scored three runs in the second inning thanks to RBIs by Eric Baker, Jimmy Mojica and Abel Nieves.

Grand Prairie chipped in three more runs in the sixth. Nieves started things off with a one-out double. Vince DiFazio added a double that scored Nieves. Madison Carter knocked in two more with the inning’s third double.

The T-Bones’ lone run came on a sacrifice fly by Brian Erie in the seventh inning.

Jeff Lusardi had two hits, including a double, for Kansas City. Vladimir Frias also had two hits.

Kansas City starter Daniel Barone (5-3) pitched 5 innings, allowing four hits and three runs (all earned). He struck out six, including five of the first six AirHogs in the game, and didn’t allow any walks. T-Bones pitchers did not walk a Grand Prairie batter all night.

After dropping the first two games, the T-Bones (25-27) will conclude their series with Grand Prairie (21-30) Thursday night at 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the Providence Medical Center Box Office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.
– Story from T-Bones

Goalkeeper Kronberg injured, expected to miss 8 weeks

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg fractured the fourth metacarpal bone on his left hand during training on Wednesday at the Swope Soccer Village, according to a Sporting KC news release.

Surgery is not required and Kronberg is expected to miss approximately eight weeks due to the injury, a spokesman said.

Kronberg, 31, has started all 17 MLS matches for Sporting Kansas City during the 2014 season and leads Major League Soccer with seven shutouts and a 0.88 goals against average. The reigning MLS Player of the Month, Kronberg currently ranks third at his position in MLS All-Star fan voting behind only World Cup participants Nick Rimando (USA) and Julio Cesar (Brazil).

Sporting Kansas City selected Kronberg in the fourth round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of California. Now in his ninth professional season, Kronberg is the club’s longest-tenured player and has remained with his current club longer than any active MLS goalkeeper. Only one player (Davy Arnaud) in club history has been with the team for more than nine seasons and only three other active MLS players have longer tenures with their teams: Logan Pause (12), Landon Donovan (10) and Gonzalo Segares (10).

The club also announced on Wednesday that goalkeeper Jon Kempin has been recalled from his loan to USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC. The Leawood, Kan., native has five shutouts and 37 saves with a 1.38 goals against average in 13 games played during OKC Energy FC’s inaugural season.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper was Sporting Kansas City’s first Homegrown player upon signing in 2010 at age 17 and is now in his fifth professional season. Kempin made his competitive debut for Sporting KC during the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and made 34 saves in nine games while on loan with USL PRO champions Orlando City SC in 2013.

Kempin was a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and has extensive experience for the United States at the Youth National Team level. He most recently joined the United States Under-21 Men’s National Team in April and has also trained with the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team.
Kempin joins Andy Gruenebaum as the two available goalkeepers for manager Peter Vermes during Kronberg’s absence. Gruenebaum played his first eight professional seasons with the Columbus Crew before joining Sporting Kansas City prior to the 2014 season. The Overland Park, Kan., native started both matches for Sporting Kansas City in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

– Story from Sporting KC