Sporting KC Resumes MLS Play on Saturday against Toronto FCJune 15, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Sporting Kansas City
Saturday's match is presented by Time Warner Cable and the first 5,000 fans through the stadium gates will receive a free Sporting Kansas City t-shirt courtesy of the company. Time Warner Cable will also be hosting a Fan Zone in the Sprint Plaza prior to the match to showcase the free WatchESPN App and featuring an autograph session with Sporting KC All-Star Matt Besler from 6-7:30 p.m. CT.
The Eastern Conference match-up marks the first of three meetings between the two teams this season and will be the first MLS action in three weeks for either side. The match begins a busy stretch for both teams, as they embark on a period of seven games each over the course of the next 23 days.
Sporting Kansas City enters with three straight victories in all competition. After defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in their last MLS outing, Sporting KC advanced to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals with back-to-back wins over Orlando City SC (USL PRO) and the Colorado Rapids.
Manager Peter Vermes will be without his squad's starting centerback as Besler recovers from appendicitis and two of the team's first-choice wingers are expected to be unavailable. Bobby Convey could miss his second straight MLS match due to a calf strain and Kei Kamara is on international delay with Sierra Leone for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome e Principe on Saturday.
Toronto FC will play their first match under new head coach Paul Mariner, who replaced Aron Winter last week and becomes the club's seventh manager in their six-year history. The former English international and New England Revolution assistant will look to lead Toronto out of last place in the East following an MLS-record nine-game losing streak to start the season.
The visitors are led by Danny Koevermans, who's struck three times in his last four MLS appearances, and he's one of three Designated Players on the roster along with former German international Torsten Frings and Canadian star Julian De Guzman.
Sporting Kansas City are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Toronto FC and lead the all-time series 5-3-4, including a 4-1-1 record at home.
Sporting Kansas City supporters can follow the game online via @SKCGameday on Twitter and the MLSSoccer.com MatchCenter, or on mobile devices with Sporting Explore and MLS MatchDay apps .
Following the match, the Members' Club at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will host a launch party for Boulevard's summer seasonal ZON and will serve as the set for The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame radio show on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Fans are encouraged to call 913-3-810-810 to share their thoughts on the match with hosts Dave Borchardt and Andy Edwards.
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