Mahomes joins Sporting Club ownership group

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has joined the Sporting Club ownership group, according to an announcement today.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join Sporting Kansas City’s ownership team and strengthen my connection to the fans and the city I love,” Mahomes said in a news release. “Sporting is a community-oriented club and I am excited to continue supporting the growth of soccer in Kansas City.”

“Patrick is a tremendous ambassador for Kansas City and we are delighted to welcome him to the Sporting Club ownership group,” said Cliff Illig, principal owner of Sporting KC. “In addition to achieving excellence on the field, he is deeply committed to giving back to the community and elevating the sport of soccer. Patrick is also accustomed to cultivating a winning culture, and we look forward to contending for championships at Children’s Mercy Park well into the future.”

Mahomes has spent his first four NFL seasons in Kansas City and guided the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020. The three-time Pro Bowler and 2018 NFL MVP has led the Chiefs to consecutive Super Bowl appearances and was named to Time 100’s list of most influential people of 2020.

Away from the field, Mahomes is a part owner of the Kansas City Royals and his fiancée, Brittany Matthews, is a co-owner of Kansas City NWSL. In 2019, Mahomes established the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children.

Sporting Kansas City is owned by Sporting Club, an entity made up of local business and community leaders including the Patterson Family, Cliff Illig, Pat Curran, Greg Maday, Robb Heineman and Patrick Mahomes.

Sporting strikes late in 1-1 draw

Daniel Salloi scored the latest game-tying goal in Sporting Kansas City’s regular season history on Wednesday night, striking in the 94th minute to rescue a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

San Jose surged ahead against the run of play in the 53rd minute when defender Nathan nodded home his maiden MLS goal.

A relentless wave of late Sporting pressure was rewarded deep into second-half stoppage time as Salloi — making his 100th regular season appearance — cleaned up a rebound after Johnny Russell’s free kick was touched onto the post by San Jose defender J.T. Marcinkowski.

Wednesday’s stalemate saw Sporting push its regular season home unbeaten run to 11 games dating back to last October, while San Jose (3-7-4, 13 points) failed to win for the ninth straight match.

Salloi’s late leveler was his eighth goal of the 2021 campaign, third most in MLS, and extended Sporting’s club-record home scoring streak to 22 regular season matches.

The hard-earned draw lifts Sporting within two points of Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders FC (8-1-5, 29 points) ahead of Sunday’s showdown between the two clubs at Lumen Field in Seattle.

The match is slated for 8 p.m. with live coverage on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, BallySports.com, the Bally Sports app, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

With a 17-day break in the rearview mirror, Sporting deployed a reshuffled lineup that included five changes from a 2-0 road win over the LA Galaxy on the Fourth of July.

Center forward Wilson Harris earned his first career MLS start, fellow Sporting KC Academy product Cam Duke landed his first start of the season, midfielders Gadi Kinda and Remi Walter returned to the fray after overcoming injuries, and center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin was back at full fitness for his first start since April 23.

With manager Peter Vermes absent due to health and safety protocols, assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin provided leadership on the Sporting sideline.
Duke was active and involved over the course of the night, covering ground industriously and igniting his team’s first chance of the game in the 11th minute. The 20-year-old squared the ball to Russell, who pinged a clever through ball into the path of Harris. The 21-year-old striker put his shot on target from the right side of the box, but San Jose goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski was equal to the task.


Sporting leveraged the right flank once more in the 18th minute when Graham Zusi clipped a ball over the top for Salloi, whose shot from a tight angle failed to beat Marcinkowski. A one-sided first half continued to unfold in the hosts’ favor and Harris nearly opened his MLS scoring account six minutes before intermission.

After skipping past a defender, the California native unleashed a curler destined for the top corner that Marcinkowski did well to cast aside at full extension.

The Earthquakes drew first blood eight minutes into the second half as Nathan rose to steer Cristian Espinoza’s corner kick in off the post. San Jose almost doubled its advantage five minutes later when MLS’ all-time leading goal scorer Chris Wondolowski found a pocket of open space near the penalty spot, but Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia produced a vital save to keep the deficit at 1-0.

An increasingly chippy affair began to boil over in the late stages as referee Joseph Dickerson issued a deluge of yellow cards, including a second bookable offense to San Jose midfielder Judson that reduced the Earthquakes to 10 men in the final moments.

In search of an equalizer, Sporting was awarded a penalty kick in the 87th minute as Shea Salinas was judged to have fouled Russell. Much to the chagrin of a full Children’s Mercy Park, the call was overturned upon a video review and the elusive search for a game-tying tally dripped into stoppage time.

With 94 minutes on the clock, Russell surged into the attacking third and won Sporting a free kick 25 yards from goal.

Although his subsequent effort was palmed onto the woodwork by Marcinkowski, Salloi swarmed to the loose ball and hammered into the gaping net from point-blank range to restore parity and ignite celebrations inside the stadium. Sporting extended its club-record home scoring streak to 22 regular season matches on the play as Salloi moved within two goals of the MLS Golden Boot lead.

Judson was sent off in the 95th minute after receiving a second yellow card for fouling Duke, whose eight fouls suffered were tied for the most by a single player in an MLS match this season. Salloi then went close to winning the contest for Sporting, but his right-footed attempt in the 99th minute failed to beat Marcinkowski.

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San Jose visits Sporting KC in KCK Wednesday

Following a two-week break for the Concacaf Gold Cup group stage, Sporting Kansas City (8-3-2, 26 points) will continue its pursuit of first place in the Supporters’ Shield table when the San Jose Earthquakes (3-7-3, 12 points) visit Children’s Mercy Park for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Wednesday.

Tickets for the Western Conference clash are available via match sponsor SeatGeek , including family four packs.

Fans in attendance will also have the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination starting at 6 p.m. on the Mazuma Plaza, administered by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Health Department.

Sporting’s first fixture in 17 days will be shown live on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app with three hours of live coverage starting at 7 p.m. The contest will also air locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).

Sporting last took the field on the Fourth of July when it posted a 2-0 road win over the LA Galaxy with seven saves from standout goalkeeper Tim Melia and goals from captain Johnny Russell and fellow forward Khiry Shelton.

The team has enjoyed a period of rest since then and can soar atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with a win over San Jose and a New England Revolution loss or draw at Inter Miami CF on Wednesday night.

Seeking its first four-game regular season winning streak since August 2018, Sporting owns a 6-1-1 record since mid-May and sits just three points back of first-place Seattle Sounders FC.

Manager Peter Vermes’ side leads MLS in several attacking metrics, including goals (24), goals per match (1.85), expected goals (26.2), shots per game (16.8) and chances created per game (11.9). Winger Daniel Salloi has led the way with seven goals and three assists as one of 13 Sporting players on the MLS All-Star voting ballot at https://www.mlssoccer.com/all-star/2021/vote.

The hosts will enter Wednesday high on confidence, having gone 8-0-2 in their last 10 regular season home matches since last October. Sporting has also scored in a club-record 22 straight regular season home games dating back to Aug. 10, 2019.

The Earthquakes, meanwhile, have endured significant troubles on their travels to Kansas City over the last decade and a half, prevailing just once in their last 16 visits across all competitions.

No team in MLS has more victories (six), points (19) or goals (20) since mid-May than Sporting.

The Earthquakes, however, have failed to win each of their last eight matches during the same time period. After starting the season 3-1-0 under third-year head coach Matias Almeyda, San Jose has gone 0-5-3 and slipped to 11th in the West. Among the team’s bright spots, 17-year-old wunderkind Cade Cowell leads the team in both goals (four) and assists (four). Almeyda’s men have also picked up back-to-back road results, tying Minnesota United FC 2-2 on July 3 and playing the Colorado Rapids to a 1-1 stalemate on Saturday.

Sporting and San Jose are slated to meet for the third time in less than eight months. The most recent tilt saw Kansas City claim a 3-1 road win on May 22 behind goals from Salloi, Alan Pulido and Jaylin Lindsey.

The sides also squared off in the opening round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs at Children’s Mercy Park, scrapping to a 3-3 thriller before Melia saved all three San Jose penalty kicks to give his team an unforgettable shootout victory. Sporting is 7-1-3 in its last 11 matches against San Jose in all competitions.

Wednesday marks the start of a busy run of games for Sporting, who will play nine times in 32 days between July 21 and Aug. 21. That ledger includes eight league fixtures and a highly anticipated Leagues Cup battle against LIGA MX giant Club Leon on Aug. 10 at Children’s Mercy Park.

The squad’s depth with therefore be put to the test, especially with Mexico’s Pulido and U.S. midfielder Gianluca Busio on international duty at the Gold Cup and Lindsey (hamstring), Gadi Kinda (foot), Remi Walter (knee) and Roberto Puncec (undisclosed) all listed as questionable on the club’s player availability report.

On the San Jose sideline, Tommy Thompson is out with a knee ailment, U.S. midfielder Jackson Yueill will be absent for Gold Cup duty, and Carlos Fierro (thigh), Judson (lower back) and Benji Kikanovic (thigh) are all questionable.

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