Sporting KC loans three players to USL PRO affiliates

Sporting Kansas City announced on Monday that the club has agreed to loan three players to the team’s official USL PRO affiliates.

Midfielder Mikey Lopez will join reigning USL PRO champions Orlando City SC. goalkeeper Jon Kempin and midfielder Christian Duke will be added to OKC Energy FC’s roster for its inaugural season.

Duke, 22, returns to the USL PRO after a successful first professional season with Orlando City SC in 2013. The Overland Park, Kan. native and Sporting KC Academy alum was named the team’s top rookie, contributing one goal and one assist in 22 games and starting in the USL PRO championship.

Kempin will also spend a second straight season in the USL PRO after making 34 saves in nine games for the Lions last year.

Sporting Kansas City’s first homegrown player, the 20-year-old Kempin is now in his fifth professional season and will continue his development under OKC Energy FC head coach and former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Jimmy Nielsen. Kempin, a Leawood, Kan. native, has extensive experience for the United States at the Youth National Team level and most recently joined the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team in 2013.

Selected in the first round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft out of North Carolina as a Generation adidas signing, Lopez enters his second professional season in 2014.

The 21-year-old midfielder made his professional debut for Sporting Kansas City in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and his rookie season was highlighted by his participation in the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. He appeared in all three matches for the U.S. in the tournament after helping to lead the United States to a runner-up finish at the U-20 CONCACAF Championship.

Orlando City SC and OKC Energy FC are among the 14 USL PRO teams competing in the 28-game regular season beginning March 22 and continuing through Sept. 7. All USL PRO games will be streamed live online via team YouTube channels in 2014.

Sporting Kansas City will have the option to recall any of the team’s three players during the loan period.


T-Bones tickets to go on sale this week

Kansas City T-Bones announced today that single-game tickets will be on sale this week.

Wyandotte County residents can begin purchasing tickets on Tuesday, March 18, while all fans can purchase single-game tickets on Thursday, March 20, for all 2014 games at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Kansas City, Kan.

For more information, visit the website


Celebrate St. Pat’s Day with a little Irish literature

Kansas City, Kan., author Helen Walsh Folsom has written a new novel with an Irish setting, just about ready to send off to her publisher. (File photo)

Window on the West

by Mary Rupert

St. Patrick’s Day can hardly pass without a mention of one of the names most locally associated with the holiday – Helen Folsom.

Folsom, age 80, has written a book on St. Patrick, called “St. Patrick’s Secrets.”

Her three books have an Irish theme, and she has another one almost ready to send off to the publisher, reported her daughter, Bettse Folsom.

The new book is another fictional story set in Ireland.

Folsom’s first book, in 2002, was the nonfiction, “St. Patrick’s Secrets.” That was followed by “Ah, Those Irish Colleens!” a historical book, in 2003.

After a tornado hit her Kansas City, Kan., home in 2003, Helen’s fiction writing was put on hold for a while.

In November 2012, Folsom published a novel, “Fianna, The Dark Web of the Brotherhood,” available from This novel has lots of Irish romance and adventure, set in 1892 during the Irish rebellion, and those who read it can learn a little about history, too.

“Fianna” is doing great overseas, especially in its Kindle sales, Folsom said.

To find Helen’s books online on the Amazon website, visit: “St. Patrick’s Secrets” “Ah, Those Irish Colleens,” and “Fianna.”

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email