Saturday, August 16, 2014

Eastern Conference contenders set for showdown at Sporting Park

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Atop the East, Sporting Kansas City hosts third place Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Sporting Park in a clash of Eastern Conference contenders.

The match, sponsored by Price Chopper, will be televised live locally on KMCI-TV 38 The Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV.

Fans can also listen to the match on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).

A limited number of tickets remain available, including standing room only tickets, which can be purchased online at or at the Sporting Park box offices on gameday.

Sporting Kansas City fell 2-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend after conceding a pair of first half goals. The loss snapped an eight-game unbeaten streak for the reigning MLS Cup champions that included five consecutive road victories.

Homegrown goalkeeper Jon Kempin earned his MLS debut in the match after Andy Gruenebaum suffered a shoulder injury and could not return after the halftime break.

Kempin's first save of his MLS career came on a Darren Mattocks penalty kick attempt, which earned MLS Save of the Week honors.

Toronto FC concludes a four-game road trip on Saturday in Kansas City. After falling 3-0 at second place D.C. United to begin their travels, Toronto FC recorded victories against Montreal and Columbus in back-to-back weeks.

Both wins came without leading scorer Jermain Defoe as the English international remains questionable for tomorrow's match with a right adductor strain.

Defoe's 11 goals in 15 MLS matches are fifth most in MLS and three behind Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer, who replaced Defoe on the MLS All-Star gameday roster.

Fellow MLS All-Star Michael Bradley returns to Kansas City for the first time since the 2013 MLS All-Star Game while playing for AS Roma.

A member of the United States Men's National Team at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, Bradley was acquired by Toronto prior to the start of the season. Along with Defoe, the duo share the distinction as Major League Soccer's highest-paid players with $6 million base salaries.

Sporting Kansas City and Toronto FC have already met twice this season, including a 2-2 draw at Sporting Park on May 23 that kept the Manager Peter Vermes' squad unbeaten at home (5-0-1) against their Canadian counterparts since 2010.

More recently, Sporting KC earned a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at BMO Field on July 26 with Graham Zusi and Jacob Peterson on the scoresheet.

Prior to the match, Sporting Style will host the third annual Season Ticket Member Salebeginning at 5:30 p.m. CT in the Sprint Plaza at Sporting Park. Merchandise will be available exclusively to current Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members at costs at least 50% off retail price while supplies last and those who check out between 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT will receive an additional 10% off.

All in attendance on Saturday will also have the first opportunity to shop the new Sporting Club brand fashion line. Sporting Style will also be launching sales of Sporting Kansas City backpacks for the back-to-school season.

Fans can get in-game updates online at or by following@SKCGameday on Twitter. Additionally, the match will also be available to watch live online as's Stream of the Week.