Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donors

The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give, according to Red Cross officials.

Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.

In addition, the Independence Day holiday falling on a Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors did not hold drives because people took vacations either over the long weekend or for the entire week. In an average summer week, about 4,400 Red Cross blood drives are scheduled, compared to Independence Day week when only 3,450 drives occurred.

“Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer, and they’re relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead,” said Scott Caswell, CEO for the Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region. “Please, consider giving the gift of life. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for patients in need – and you never know when it could be your loved one needing blood.”

Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand, Red Cross officials said.

The summer can be among the most challenging times of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they take vacations and participate in summer activities. When school is out of session for summer break, donations from those who normally give on campus tend to drop by more than 80 percent.

Every day this summer is a chance to give hope to patients in need and their network of family and friends. July 13 marked the half-way point for the Red Cross campaign “100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.” Blood and platelet donations are needed now and for the rest of the summer. Individuals who donated blood earlier this summer may now be eligible to donate again and help patients such as accident victims, heart surgery patients and children with blood disorders.

A Red Cross blood drive will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Sporting Park, 1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, Kan. To schedule an appointment, call 800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org/

Sporting KC wins fifth straight road match, 2-1

Jacob Peterson

Sporting Kansas City earned its fifth consecutive road win in improbable fashion on Saturday, coming from behind for a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at BMO Field.
Graham Zusi’s goal in the 48th minute canceled out Jackson’s 16th-minute strike and — playing with 10 men after a red card to Matt Besler in the 75th minute — the reigning MLS Cup champions secured the full three points when Jacob Peterson scored the decisive game-winner against his former club in the 80th minute.

The win extends Sporting KC’s unbeaten streak to seven consecutive MLS matches, highlighted by six victories over the stretch, and moves the club level with Seattle atop the Supporters’ Shield standings. The five-match road winning streak is tied for the fourth longest in MLS history and second best in the non-shootout era.

Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made three saves for his fourth straight victory since replacing the injured Eric Kronberg in net. The Overland Park, Kan., native becomes only the second goalkeeper in MLS history to earn wins in regulation in the opening four regular season appearances for a club and first since Jorge Campos did so with the LA Galaxy in 1996.

Gruenebaum made his first play of the match in the eighth minute, diving low to his right to get a hand on a shot by Dominic Oduro from the right side of the penalty area. Gruenebaum’s counterpart, Toronto FC goalkeeper Joe Bendik, was then called into action minutes later; first to punch away a deflected cross from Igor Juliao and then a sprawling save to turn away the follow-up effort from the Brazilian right back.

Toronto FC, who had lost only once in 10 games entering Saturday, looked set to continue their winning ways when Jackson opened the scoring inside 16 minutes. Oduro’s well-weighted pass put Jackson in prime position to take a touch around Gruenebaum before sending his shot into an empty net for his third goal of the season and 14th of his MLS career.

Oduro, a nine-year MLS veteran, proved to be dangerous throughout and won eight fouls for his efforts. The Ghanaian playmaker nearly doubled Toronto FC’s lead in the 23rd minute when his cross was headed off the post by Nick Hagglund and then in the 33rd minute when an attempt of his own struck the woodwork. Toronto FC has now seen shots hit the woodwork 11 times in 2014, second most among all MLS teams.

Having weathered the rough waters, Sporting KC emerged in the second half and wasted little time in putting the game back on level terms. Zusi began the scoring sequence by working his way past two Toronto FC players and ultimately finished it off after a frantic scramble inside the area. Successive shots from Benny Feilhaber and Dom Dwyer were blocked but the ball eventually fell to Zusi at the top of the 18-yard box. The MLS All-Star expertly picked out the top corner and placed his shot through traffic with 10 players ahead of him in the area.

The goal, his second of the season, ties him for 10th place on the club’s all-time goal scoring chart with 19 in his six-year career.
Toronto FC responded with a trio of scoring opportunities and all coming from the foot of Jackson, who was acquired via a trade with FC Dallas prior to the 2014 season and recorded eight shots on Saturday.
In the 50th minute, Gruenebaum smothered his shot from 12 yards out and then 10 minutes later he showed off a kick save to thwart the Brazilian from even closer range. Jackson had a chance to make amends at the 65-minute mark but sent his shot over the crossbar on a well-whipped cross from Oduro.

Bendik had come up big with a save on Feilhaber in the 59th minute and the home side gained a man advantage when Besler received his second caution of the second half with 15 minutes to play. Referee Ted Unkel, in the middle of his eighth career MLS match, whistled 38 fouls and issued eight cautions on Saturday.

Nevertheless, Sporting Kansas City stunned the sell-out crowd with the decisive goal five minutes later. Just over two minutes after entering the match, Peterson combined with Dom Dwyer before breaking the deadlock with his second goal of the season and 15th of his nine-year career.

Peterson, who played in Toronto during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, snapped a streak of 10 consecutive regular season losses for Sporting KC when conceding the first goal (dating back almost exactly a year to July 27, 2013). In doing so, his goal was the team’s 10th goal after the 75th minute in 2014 (third most in MLS), four of which have been game-winners.

Toronto FC inserted Canadian internationals Jonathan Osorio and Dwayne De Rosario in a mission to rescue a result late. De Rosario, a former MLS MVP and six-time Best XI selection, now moves into a tie with Pablo Mastroeni for most career games played (334) and forced a diving save from Gruenebaum in the 86th minute.

On a night when Toronto FC was without Jermain Defoe because of caution accumulation, fellow Designated Players Michael Bradley and Gilberto were held to only a single shot each. Bradley’s was the final attempt at an equalizer, skipping wide of the post from 20 yards out in the 89th minute.

Manager Peter Vermes again led his side to a positive result against the Canadian club as he is now 8-1-3 in his coaching career against Toronto with wins in seven of the last nine meetings. Moreover, Sporting KC now boasts eight regular season wins in Canada all-time — tied for most among American clubs.

Sporting Kansas City returns home to play host to the Philadelphia Union at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, at Sporting Park. A limited number of tickets are available for the match, which will be nationally televised on NBC Sports.
– Story from Sporting KC

New soccer training complex in KCK to have $1 billion effect, officials say

An artist’s drawing of a new national soccer training facility was on display at a news conference  July 23 in Kansas City, Kan.
An artist’s drawing of a new national soccer training facility was on display at a news conference July 23 in Kansas City, Kan.

by Mary Rupert

State and local officials were ecstatic July 23 about a new $75 million U.S. Soccer National Training Center complex to be built near the Schlitterbahn at 98th and Parallel Parkway in Kansas City, Kan.

The economic effect of the new soccer village, including new jobs and investment, will be more than $1 billion over 30 years, Gov. Sam Brownback said in a news conference at Sporting Park. The site of the new village is a little over a mile to the northeast of the Sporting Park stadium. Also at the announcement were Sporting Club, Unified Government, Schlitterbahn and EPR Properties officials.

“This high-quality training facility with structured programming, along with Sporting Park, state-of-the-art soccer stadium, will undoubtedly transform Kansas City, Kan., and our region into one of the top soccer venues in the nation,” Mayor Mark Holland said. For Kansas City, Kan., it also will be an opportunity to bring more visitors to the destination who will spend money in the community, he said.

Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman unveiled the project, which will include a 125-room hotel, a 100-square-foot indoor training facility, eight lighted professional fields and eight youth fields. It will also include an indoor pavilion and specialized facilities. He noted that this project was the same as getting another sports franchise here. The completion date is 2016.

The intent of the project, according to officials, is to build a world-class development to train youth and adult players, coaches and referees.

The soccer complex was expanded from its original idea of solely a youth training facility to one encompassing adults, including serving as a host to the national men’s and women’s teams, at youth and adult levels. It also is expected to be used for national soccer training camps, and referee and coach education programs.

“We’ve been committed to bringing world-class destinations to Kansas City, Kan.,” Mayor Holland said. He added Kansas City, Kan., is already No. 1 in the region for soccer, if not the nation. Soccer, a growing sport, also gives youths something to aspire to, he added.

While some of the details still remain to be worked out, and approved by the Unified Government Commission, the project will use sales tax revenue bonds, according to officials.

The process of city and state approvals will probably take 90 days, Heineman said. Simultaneously, design work will be done.

Mayor Holland said the STAR bonds at this new project will not mean any change to the retirement of the Village West STAR bonds, projected in 2017.

The governor said the state of Kansas and local community can make the decision about whether STAR bonds will be issued. State Rep. Tom Burroughs said the state has given discretion to the Kansas secretary of commerce to make those decisions, and the Legislature will not step in unless a question arises.

“We’re all excited,” said Unified Government Commissioner Mike Kane about the new development. Something like this doesn’t come along very often, he added. Commissioner Jim Walters, also at the announcement, said he was glad to see the new development.

State Sen. David Haley said he supported more development in eastern Kansas City, Kan.

While the property for the new training center is in the area originally set aside for the Schlitterbahn, according to Maureen Mahoney, chief of staff for Mayor Holland, there will still be plenty of land available there for more Schlitterbahn expansion.

A resolution to set a public hearing for the proposed STAR bond district and project plans is on the UG agenda for Thursday, July 24, at 7 p.m. If approved, the public hearing date would be Aug. 28. Described in the agenda is a project area between 94th Street and I-435, from Parallel Parkway to State Avenue. Sources said there also is additional land east of 94th Street under negotiation for this project.

Gov. Sam Brownback said Wyandotte County and the state of Kansas could see an economic effect exceeding $1 billion over 30 years with the new U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Gov. Sam Brownback said Wyandotte County and the state of Kansas could see an economic effect exceeding $1 billion over 30 years with the new U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Robb Heineman, CEO of Sporting Club, said this new national soccer training facility project was the equivalent of a new sports franchise here. (Staff photo)
Robb Heineman, CEO of Sporting Club, said this new national soccer training facility project was the equivalent of a new sports franchise here. (Staff photo)

Mayor Mark Holland said the new national soccer training center would transform Kansas City, Kan., and the region into one of the top soccer venues in the nation. (Staff photo)
Mayor Mark Holland said the new national soccer training center would transform Kansas City, Kan., and the region into one of the top soccer venues in the nation. (Staff photo)

David Brain, president and chief executive officer of EPR Properties, and Gary Henry, CEO of Schlitterbahn, attended the announcement. (Staff photo)
David Brain, president and chief executive officer of EPR Properties, and Gary Henry, CEO of Schlitterbahn, attended the announcement. (Staff photo)

Talking before the training center news conference were, left to right, Bill Rogers, Unified Government Commissioner Jane Winkler Philbrook, and State Rep. Tom Burroughs. UG Administrator Doug Bach is on the left. (Staff photo)
Talking before the training center news conference were, left to right, Bill Rogers, Unified Government Commissioner Jane Winkler Philbrook, and State Rep. Tom Burroughs. UG Administrator Doug Bach is on the left. (Staff photo)

Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the STAR bond district for the national soccer training facility area.
Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the STAR bond district for the national soccer training facility area.

Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the national soccer training facility area.
Unified Government agenda documents showed this sketch of the national soccer training facility area.

Fans walked to the Sporting Kansas City soccer match July 23 at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
Fans walked to the Sporting Kansas City soccer match July 23 at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)