Sporting KC plays Montreal tonight in KCK

Sporting Kansas City will play host to the Montreal Impact at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.

After a bye last weekend, manager Peter Vermes’ squad (2-1-2) resumes regular season action with a four-game unbeaten streak while Montreal (0-3-3) arrives in search of the club’s first victory this season.

A limited number of tickets, including the recent release of standing room only tickets, are available online at Ticketmaster.com and at the Sporting Park box offices. A sell-out crowd, the stadium’s 40th straight for an MLS match, will be in attendance for the Eastern Conference match-up.

Saturday’s match, presented by Ivy Funds, will be broadcast locally on 38 the Spot and SKCTV across the Midwest. Fans can listen to the match on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) or on LA Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish) with special guest analyst Oriol Rosell.

Montreal suffered three straight losses to start the season under new head coach Frank Klopas, but is unbeaten in their last three matches after a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire last Saturday. The Impact’s newest acquisition, forward Jack McInerney, scored the lone goal in his debut after being acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Union earlier this month.

Sporting KC’s last outing came two weeks ago in a scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park, in which the home side outshot the visitors 20-4. Rosell received a straight red card in the 83rd minute of the match and will be unavailable on Saturday due to a mandatory one-game suspension.

Sporting KC will also be without striker C.J. Sapong due to injury while Montreal Impact Designated Player Hernan Bernardello is questionable after suffering an ankle injury on April 5.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Saturday for pregame events on the Sprint Plaza, including an autograph session with Sporting KC midfielder Christian Duke.  Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and collection bins will be available at all entrances to donate new and gently used soccer equipment as part of Sporting KC’s “Recycle Your Game” initiative. All items will be distributed to youth soccer players in underprivileged communities and fans that donate will receive a 10 percent off coupon for Sporting KC merchandise at Sporting Style locations.

Sporting KC defender Opara to undergo surgery for season-ending injury

Ike Opara

Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara will undergo surgery on April 16 to repair a chondral defect in his right ankle and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014 season, the club announced on Thursday.

Opara suffered the serious season-ending injury in the 57th minute of Sporting Kansas City’s 3-2 victory at Colorado on March 29 in a collision with Rapids defender Jared Watts.

Opara has made 60 MLS appearances (including postseason) in five professional seasons since being selected No. 3 overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

Sporting Kansas City acquired Opara prior to the 2013 season and the 25-year-old centerback has played 30 games in all competition for the club over the last two years.

Opara has been a key contributor for teams that have won the NCAA National Championship (Wake Forest, 2007), Supporters’ Shield (San Jose, 2012) and MLS Cup (Sporting Kansas City, 2013).

He represented the United States at the 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and was most recently a member of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team.

Wednesday’s surgery will be performed under the care of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Matthew Kneidel.

Sporting KC defender named to U.S. Under-20 National Team roster

Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown was named to the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team roster on Wednesday for the 2014 Dallas Cup.

The Lee’s Summit, Mo., native is one of 21 players selected by U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos for the prestigious international tournament and joins his first full camp at the under-20 level.

“It’s a great feeling to go back and play with the national team,” Palmer-Brown said. “I know I am playing up an age group, but I feel like I can continue to contribute at a high level. I’m just going there to learn everything I can from the U-20 coaching staff and continue my development as a player.”   ”

He has proven that he can rise to the challenge for whatever level he is playing at the moment,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “Even though he could still be with the U-18’s, it’s great that he has the chance to go with the U-20’s. Those experiences are going to help him further down the road in the long term with us.”

The 2014 Dallas Cup will be played from April 13 to 20 with the United States in Bracket C of the Gordon Jago Super Group alongside the U-19 sides from Argentina’s River Plate, Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt and Mexico’s Tigres UANL.

Each of the three bracket champions, along with the best second-place finisher, will advance to the semifinals on April 18 to play for a berth in the final on April 20.

U.S. Under-20 National Team Schedule

vs. River Plate (ARG) at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 13, at Cotton Bowl Stadium

vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 14 at Richland College

vs. Tigres UANL (MEX) on Wednesday, April 16 (time/location to be determined)

Palmer-Brown, the youngest active player in Major League Soccer and the youngest player on the U.S. U-20 roster at age 16, signed a professional contract with Sporting KC in August 2013.

As a homegrown player, he remains eligible to play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the Sporting KC Under-18 Academy team and has played in 12 games since the start of the 2013-14 USSDA season in September.

He attended the prestigious U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. last year and featured extensively in international competition for the United States Under-15, Under-17 and Under-18 youth national teams in 2013.

One of five finalists for U.S. Soccer’s 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year, Palmer-Brown most recently represented the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team in February’s Copa del Atlantico in Spain.

– Story from Sporting KC