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Sporting KC Weekly Update

January 23, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Sporting Kansas City

SPORTING KC ENTERS INTO AFFILIATION WITH ORLANDO CITY SC

Sporting Kansas City (Major League Soccer) and Orlando City (USL PRO) have entered into a two-year partnership announced on Wednesday, with the Lions becoming the official USL PRO affiliate of Sporting KC. The landmark agreement made by the two clubs kicks off an important stepping stone in the U.S. Soccer pyramid, with MLS reserve players to be integrated into USL PRO play beginning in 2013.

Starting with an announcement earlier today via the two leagues, MLS teams now have the chance to partner with USL PRO clubs. As an official affiliate, Orlando City will retain a minimum of four Sporting KC players for development throughout the USL PRO regular season. Those players would then get playing time, in preparation to be called up by their MLS club. The four reserve players Sporting will send to Orlando for the 2013 season have not yet been announced.

In addition to providing loan opportunities for select Sporting Kansas City reserve players, the technical staffs from both teams will pursue several strategic initiatives such as joint coaching seminars, business endeavors, scouting mechanisms and access to facilities. These efforts would strive to be mutually beneficial for both clubs and serve to build upon the foundation that has been established.

SPORTING KC INTRODUCES IVY FUNDS AS FIRST EVER JERSEY SPONSOR

Sporting Club unveiled Ivy Funds as the first-ever jersey sponsor for Sporting Kansas City as part of a multi-year agreement announced at the 2013 MLS SuperDraft last Thursday. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., Ivy Funds becomes the presenting jersey partner of Sporting Kansas City and official investment management partner of Sporting Club.

The Ivy Funds logo will be prominently displayed on the front of all team jerseys at the start of the 2013 MLS season, including Sporting Kansas City's new 2013 home uniform that will launch on Feb. 27.

The partnership aligns two companies based in Kansas City that have brands and business models that are national in scope. The multi-faceted and fully integrated corporate sponsorship also provides Ivy Funds with naming rights to the Executive Suite level at Sporting Park, entertainment at the stadium for clients and employees, as well as engagement opportunities with Sporting KC players for charitable efforts and appearances.

PRE-SALE NOW OPEN FOR SPORTING KC'S 2013 HOME UNIFORMS

Sporting Kansas City's new 2013 home uniform will launch on Feb. 27. Prior to the official launch, fans may access a special pre-sale for 2013 authentic home jerseys at shop.sportingkc.com and be among the first to order the team's newest gear.

The officially licensed MLS product is manufactured by Adidas and can be customized with your favorite personal or player name and number.

SPORTING KC SELECTS MIKEY LOPEZ IN SUPERDRAFT

Sporting Kansas City selected 19-year-old midfielder Mikey Lopez out of the University of North Carolina with the 14th overall selection in the first round of last Thursday's 2013 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas in Indianapolis, Ind.

A Generation adidas signing, Lopez has been added to Sporting Kansas City's roster and will occupy an off-budget roster spot. Generation adidas is a joint program between MLS and adidas that identifies top domestic underclassmen and youth national team players, while providing educational stipends for its professional players.

Lopez is an active member of the United States Under-20 Men's National Team. He has appeared in international competitions including the 2012 Northern Ireland Milk Cup in July and the 2012 Marbella Cup in Spain in October.

In his two-year collegiate career at North Carolina, Lopez appeared in 46 games with five goals and five assists. He was named ACC Freshman of the Year in 2011 after helping the Tar Heels secure their second-ever NCAA national championship, and was named an NSCAA All-American this season.

SPORTING KC SELECTS FOUR IN SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT

Sporting Kansas City made four selections in the 2013 Supplemental Draft on Tuesday, adding Christian Duke, Mitchell Cardenas, Brian Fekete and Mike Reidy to the team's pre-season roster. Duke is currently in camp with the club, while the remaining three selections are expected to join the team during their pre-season stay in Tucson, Ariz.

SPORTING KC ARRIVES IN TUCSON FOR PRE-SEASON

Sporting Kansas City arrived in Tucson on Monday for a two-week stay and will participate in The Desert Friendlies presented by FC Tucson against other MLS competition at the Kino Sports Complex. The matches will be open to the public with tickets available at FCTucson.com. This year marks the third straight year that Sporting Kansas City has selected Tucson as a pre-season site.

After returning home to Kansas City on Feb. 2, the club will depart for the second leg of the 2013 pre-season in Orlando on Feb. 7. Sporting Kansas City will be one of several MLS teams once again competing in the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from Feb. 9-23. Sporting Kansas City supporters can follow the club to Central Florida to see the team compete in the tournament while enjoying all of the world class attractions Orlando has to offer. Travel packages are available that include lodging, match tickets, attraction tickets and exclusive VIP experiences. Visit SoccerSpringTraining.com for details.

SPORTING KC STAFF COLLECTS NOTABLE AWARDS

Major League Soccer held its annual awards ceremony at the 2013 NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. last week and Sporting Kansas City won five club and executive awards for the 2012 MLS season. The awards are given each year to individuals and clubs for their hard work off the pitch. The following individuals and departments received recognition for Sporting KC:

Ticketing Executive of the Year - Jake Reid, Sporting Kansas City

Marketing Executive of the Year - Andy Tretiak, Sporting Kansas City

Merchandiser of the Year - John Moncke, Sporting Kansas City

MLS Athletic Training Staff of the Year presented by Mueller Sports Medicine - Sporting Kansas City

Equipment Manager of the Year - Mike Flaherty, Sporting Kansas City

Locally, Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes was the recipient of the 2012 Diversity Advocate in Sports Award from the Olathe Branch of the NAACP earlier this week.

SPORTING KC TEAMS UP WITH MAKE-A-WISH

Make-A-Wish® Missouri announced a new partnership last week with Sporting Kansas City as a sponsor of the Kansas City Kids For Wish Kids® program. Kids For Wish Kids® (KFWK) is a service-learning program run completely by students, grades K-12. It empowers kids to come together and make a difference for their peers who are battling life-threatening illnesses while learning the value of leadership and community service.

Thanks to the sponsorship support from Sporting KC, students in these programs will now have the opportunity to win great prizes while wearing their Sporting Blue shirts or jerseys. Participating schools in KFWK will compete throughout the school year for tickets, fan packs and the opportunity to be recognized at a Sporting KC Make-A-Wish® game night, where principals of top fundraising schools will be congratulated on the field. In addition, the top two fundraising schools will also receive a visit from a Sporting KC team member.

Schools now have the opportunity to show their Sporting KC team spirit while making wishes, like Connor's, come true. Nine-year-old Connor is a student at Raymore Elementary in the Raymore-Peculiar School District and suffers from Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. His one true wish is to go to Disney World. The anticipation of his wish has given Connor strength as he endures daily treatments to battle his illness.

Schools in the program will join together to help make Connor's wish come true or commit to raising more than $5,000 and adopting another Kansas City wish child. Schools interested in enrolling in the KC Kids For Wish Kids® should contact program manger Tiffani Kintchen, 913-341-9474, tkintchen@mo.wish.org

SPORTING PARK TO HOST 2013 MLS ALL-STAR GAME, VERMES NAMED COACH

Kansas City will be the host city for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game . The annual showcase event will feature three days of festivities, culminating in a match between the League's top players and a renowned international club on Wednesday, July 31 at Sporting Park, home of Sporting Kansas City.

The 2013 MLS All-Star Game will be broadcast live at 7:30 p.m. CT on the ESPN, Univision, TSN and RDS family of networks. Exact networks will be announced at a later date. Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes, a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year each of the last two seasons, will coach the 2013 MLS All-Stars.

The 2013 All-Star Game will mark the 10th time that an elite international club has played the MLS All-Stars, who are 6-2-1 in those matches. In addition to honoring the best players in MLS, the game has featured successful, world-famous clubs such as Manchester United (2010 & 2011), Everton FC (2009), Chelsea FC (2006 & 2012), and Chivas de Guadalajara (2003). The opponent for this year's game will be announced at a later date.

PARTIAL SEASON TICKET PACKAGES ON SALE NOW

Sporting Kansas City partial season tickets (10-game packs) plans are now available for the 2013 season at Sporting Park. Fans may choose between two options, each of which feature eight MLS regular season home games and both CONCACAF Champions League group stage matches.

More information can be found on our 2013 Partial Season Ticket Plans page or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL.

PRE-ACADEMY SPRING BREAK CAMP REGISTRATION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The 2013 Pre-Academy Spring Break Camp is open to all boys (8-16yrs old) who are looking to play for the Sporting KC Academy program in the future. All players will have the opportunity to be trained by and be evaluated by Sporting KC Academy coaching staff members. This camp is offered to the committed player who wants to be part of U.S. Soccer's Development Academy as well as the Sporting KC Academy. The training sessions will be challenging, fun and will allow players to improve technically, tactically, physically, and psychologically.

When: March 18th-20th (Monday-Wednesday)

Who: Boys Ages 8-16yrs old

Schedule:

- 9am-10:30am: 14-16 years old

- 11am-12:30pm: 11-13 years old

- 1:30pm-3:00pm: 8-10 years old

Where: Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park

Cost: $125 (Includes adidas Sporting KC shirt)

SPORTING KC RELEASES FULL SCHEDULE FOR 2013 SEASON

Sporting Kansas City recently released the club's 34-game regular season schedule for the 2013 Major League Soccer season, highlighted by 13 matches that will be carried on national television networks across the United States.

Full season tickets start at $400 for 20-game packages, which will include all 17 MLS home regular season matches as well as both CONCACAF Champions League group stage home games and all home matches in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup through the quarterfinal round (up to three potential games). Visit SportingKC.com, email tickets@sportingkc.com or call 888-4KC-GOAL to reserve seats.

Single-game tickets for the first nine home matches will go on sale to the general public on Feb. 7. Season Ticket Members will have access to a pre-sale starting on Jan. 31 for single-game tickets to all 17 MLS regular season home matches.

SPORTING PARK HOSTING JOB FAIRS ON JAN. 26 AND JAN. 30

Sporting Park will be hosting two job fairs to hire part time event staff employees for the upcoming season. The job fairs will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Job fairs will be located at in the Members' Club of Sporting Park, One Sporting Way, Kansas City, KS 66111.

Various part-time positions are needed, including concierges, ushers, ticket takers, merchandise and box office representatives. Applicants must be at least 18. Park in Lot D behind Lonestar Restaurant, and enter Members' Club Entrance. For more information, email Stephen at guestservices@sportingkc.com or call 913-912-7511.

2013 DISNEY PRO SOCCER CLASSIC SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

The schedule has been announced for the 2013 Disney Pro Soccer Classic. The six Major League Soccer (MLS) teams participating in Central Florida Soccer Spring Training, as well as Orlando City Soccer Club (USL) and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL), will compete in two weeks of group play, with Group A consisting of Orlando City, Philadelphia Union, Toronto Football Club and Columbus Crew. Teams in Group B will include the Tampa Bay Rowdies, D.C. United, Montreal Impact and Sporting Kansas City. All games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.

Travel packages are available that include lodging, Disney Pro Soccer Classic game tickets, attraction tickets and exclusive VIP experiences. Additionally, Soccer Spring Training will include a number of events aimed at increasing excitement for soccer in Central Florida, including a College Combine, International Trials and amateur soccer tournaments.

For more information about Central Florida Soccer Spring Training and to book a travel package, please visit www.soccerspringtraining.com or call the official travel provider, GET Travel, at 888-877-4445, option 3.

SPORTING KC NOW TAKING DEPOSITS FOR 2013 RESERVED SEATING

Sporting Kansas City supporters can now place 2013 Season Ticket Deposits for all Reserved Seating at Sporting Park by calling 888-4KC-GOAL or visiting here.

FOLLOW SPORTING KC ONLINE

Sporting Kansas City fans looking to keep up with the club on the worldwide web now have a place to go. The new social media page on SportingKC.com features Twitter account information for the club, its players as well as many staff members. Additionally, fans may take advantage of the Media Recap page for all the latest independent news coverage available online.

Additional news and notes leading up to the team's opening MLS match on March 2 can be found at sportingkc.com/preseason and sportingkc.com/tracker.

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Major League Soccer Stories from January 23, 2013


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.