St. Pat’s walk

A St. Patrick’s Day walk down 5th Street took place at midday March 17 in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo by Bill Hurrelbrink, director of communications for Mayor Mark Holland)


A small group gathered at old St. Mary’s Church at 5th and Ann before walking down 5th Street in Kansas City, Kan. The walk was at midday March 17 in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo by Bill Hurrelbrink, director of communications for Mayor Mark Holland)


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.