SPORTING KC

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Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday that the following four players will be out of contract with the club as of Dec. 31, 2014: Aurelien Collin, Kevin Ellis, Jacob Peterson and Soony Saad.

Sporting Kansas City will extend offers to each of those four individuals and contract negotiations are ongoing, a spokesman said.

Additionally, Sporting Kansas City and midfielder Lawrence Olum have mutually agreed to terminate his contract pending league approval. Sporting Kansas City will retain rights to Olum within Major League Soccer, per MLS roster rules and regulations.

The club has also declined contract options for Antonio Dovale, Andy Gruenebaum, Michael Kafari, Eric Kronberg, Victor Munoz and Sal Zizzo. Kafari and Munoz will be eligible for selection in the MLS Waiver Draft on Dec. 10.

Gruenebaum, Kronberg and Zizzo will all be eligible to participate in Major League Soccer’s Re-Entry Process. Phase One of the Re-Entry Draft will take place on Dec. 12; Phase Two will occur on Dec. 18.
- Story from Sporting KC

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Matt Besler
Matt Besler

Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler was named to the United States 25-player roster on Monday for the national team’s final two matches of the year.

The U.S. will face Colombia at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, at Craven Cottage in London (ESPN, UniMas) before taking on the Republic of Ireland at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin (ESPN2).

“I’m excited to join the U.S. Men’s National Team for these upcoming friendlies in Europe,” Besler said. “Colombia and Ireland are tough opponents and will provide us strong tests as we look to close out 2014 on a high note.”

Besler has made 22 international appearances for the United States since his debut in 2013. The 27-year-old central defender started all four games for the U.S. MNT at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and leads the team with 10 games started this year.

An Overland Park, Kan., native, Besler has made 161 appearances in MLS competition (including postseason) over six seasons since being selected in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of Notre Dame. He is a three-time MLS All-Star (2011, 2013, 2014) and has twice been named to the MLS Best XI (2012, 2013) to go along with an MLS Defender of the Year honor in 2012.

Besler anchors a Sporting KC backline that has conceded the fewest shots and shots on target among MLS teams in each of the past three years. Since 2011, he ranks first among all MLS defenders with 4,756 successful passes and he is second among defenders with 8,200 touches and 906 clearances over that same span.

The United States is 6-3-4 in 2014 and reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, finishing runners-up in Group G behind eventual champions Germany. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has led the U.S. MNT to a 33-13-11 record since his hiring in 2011 and is on the 10-man shortlist for FIFA World Coach of the Year in 2014.

Colombia – ranked No. 3 in the world – reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup behind Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez with six goals and two assists. Rodriguez is a FIFA Ballon d’Or finalist and has six goals and five assists since joining Real Madrid in Spain’s La Liga. Colombia captain Radamel Falcao has returned from a knee injury to feature with Manchester United in the English Premier League.

The Republic of Ireland currently sits atop Group D in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying after a 1-1 draw with World Cup champions Germany last month. The side is led by captain Robbie Keane, who has 60 goals and 38 assists for the LA Galaxy in the past four MLS seasons (including playoffs).
- Story from Sporting KC

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Sporting KC’s first match of the 2015 preseason will kick off Jan. 31 against the Portland Timbers at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

Preseason hosts FC Tucson announced the full schedules for the 2015 Desert Friendlies and 2015 Desert Diamond Cup with Sporting Kansas City slated to participate in both competitions.

Now in its third year, the Desert Friendlies will feature five MLS teams playing from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12. The fifth annual Desert Diamond Cup will also feature five MLS teams, along with FC Tucson, playing on four match dates from Feb. 18-28.

Sporting KC will prepare for its first season in the Western Conference since 2004 by playing six opponents from the West during the preseason, highlighted by a showdown with Supporters’ Shield holders Seattle Sounders FC on Feb. 21. The 2015 MLS season will begin in March with all 20 teams playing a 34-game regular season schedule.
Visit http://www.sportingkc.com/tickets for ticket information.

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