Sporting KC to join Western Conference in 2015

Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will re-join Major League Soccer’s Western Conference in 2015, MLS announced on Monday as part of conference re-alignment plans for the league’s highly anticipated 20th season.

Expansion clubs Orlando City SC and New York City FC will be added to the Eastern Conference for their inaugural MLS seasons.

“We’ve established some great rivalries in the East. Now we have to re-establish new rivalries in the West,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “This move is a product of the League’s great growth and continued success.”

One of 10 charter members of Major League Soccer, Sporting Kansas City played the team’s first nine seasons (1996-2004) in the Western Conference and reached the postseason on seven occasions. The club shifted to the Eastern Conference prior to the 2005 season and has played each of the past 10 seasons in the East.

As it currently stands, 13 of the past 15 MLS Cup champions will compete in the Western Conference in 2015. Among the 10 teams, five reside in the Pacific Time Zone, three in the Central Time Zone and two in the Mountain Time Zone.

2015 Eastern Conference (10): Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC

2015 Western Conference (10): Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas,Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, Vancouver Whitecaps

Chivas USA will cease operations effective immediately and the league will play with 20 clubs in the 2015 season, according to the announcement. On Thursday, Oct. 30, the league will announce a new MLS Los Angeles club — and ownership group — that will begin play in 2017.

For the 2015 season, the 20 teams will each play 34 games during the regular season. Clubs will play each team in the opposing conference once for five home and five away matches. Clubs will play each of their nine conference opponents at least twice (one home, one away), plus six additional intra-conference games — three home and three away.

Major League Soccer will fully introduce a new identity and crest in 2015 while beginning eight-year media agreements with ESPN, FOX and Univision. San Jose will open the newest soccer-specific stadium in the United States and international stars Kaka (Brazil), Frank Lampard (England) and David Villa (Spain) will all join MLS.

Sporting KC will begin the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs at 7 p.m. on Thursday against the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round. The winner will advance to be the host of No. 1 seed D.C. United at 3 p.m. on Sunday in Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
– Story from Sporting KC

Blue Devil golfers third in final fall tournament

by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College closed out its fall golf schedule with a solid third place finish in the tough South Central Kansas Fall Invitational.

Host Southwestern College edged Jayhawk Conference power Hutchinson by six shots (586-592) while the Blue Devils and Barton County deadlocked for third at 613 in the 10-team tournament played at the Winfield Country Club Oct. 20-21.

Freshman Marc McClain of Bonner Springs led the Blue Devils, finishing in a tie for fifth (72-76-148) with sophomore Seve Sikes of SM West 13th (77-75-152).

Sophomore Lane Pauls of Newton finished 24th (79-79-158), Piper sophomore Montana Fasching (77-82-159) and SM Northwest freshman Colton Allen 30th (85-78-163).

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director from KCKCC.

After 2-0 loss Sunday, Sporting KC to open playoffs Thursday at New York

Sporting Kansas City concluded the 2014 MLS regular season on Sunday with a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored both goals for the visitors, tying the MLS single-season goal scoring record with 27 goals in 2014.

The two teams will meet again at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, at Red Bull Arena in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round.

The winner will advance to be the host of No. 1 seed D.C. United at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Tickets for Sunday’s potential home playoff match at Sporting Park will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday via Ticketmaster.com.

Four days after a 2-0 loss in Costa Rica to close out the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, Sporting KC fell by the same scoreline on Sunday in the regular season finale. Wright-Phillips put an exclamation point on a historic season with goals in the 15th and 70th minutes to claim the MLS Golden Boot.

His first of the match came with a right-footed finish past Eric Kronberg for the game-winning goal. Eric Alexander earned the assist, his ninth of the season, as Wright-Phillips scored his first road goal since July 16.

The Englishman doubled New York’s lead with 20 minutes to play and in doing so became the third player in MLS history to record 27 goals in a season.

Winning the ball from Aurelien Collin deep in his attacking third, Wright-Phillips cut inside and placed his shot into the back of the net for his sixth multi-goal game of the season. Wright-Phillips, 29, nearly completed the hat trick in the 83rd minute but was denied the the record-breaking goal on a point-blank save by Kronberg.

Sporting Kansas City’s lone shot on goal in the game came in the eighth minute. Graham Zusi skipped past Dax McCarty in the midfield and fed Dom Dwyer in the left channel, however Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles did well to get a hand on Dwyer’s well-struck shot.

Dwyer finished the 2014 regular season with 22 goals, second most in MLS and a single-season team record.

Robles was called into action again for two important interventions in a five-minute span. In the 38th minute, Paulo Nagamura’s effort from outside the penalty area was palmed away with a full-extension dive. Nagamura came close again two minutes from halftime with a full volley that deflected in the goalmouth and was smothered by Robles.

Sporting Kansas City, which will compete in the postseason for a fourth consecutive year, finished the regular season with a 14-13-7 record and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind New York for the second straight year.

The Red Bulls went unbeaten against Sporting KC in 2014 (2-0-1) and the two teams will now meet in the postseason for the first time in their 19-year history.
– Story from Sporting KC