SKC News: Graham Zusi, US Open Opponent, Sporting KC Charity, USWNT

A visit to Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi’s crib. Sporting KC will start their US Open Cup defense soon. Sporting help charities and the USWNT roster is out.

In today’s roundup, Graham Zusi shows off his crib. Sporting KC will begin their US Open Cup defense against Minnesota or St Louis. Sporting help several charities. And the USWNT announce their roster for upcoming friendlies.

In case you missed it, we have previews of all the weekend’s action, including Sporting KC v Real Salt Lake, the Swope Park Rangers road trip to face Rio Grande Valley FC and FC Kansas City traveling to face the Boston Breakers. The MLS Players Union released all the salaries for the players around the league, including Sporting Kansas City. And Major League Soccer will have new rules in 2017.

Graham Zusi’s Crib

Andy Gruenebaum, who let’s not forget Sporting KC gave up a second round pick to acquire, takes us on a tour of Graham Zusi’s crib. It definitely looks like a nice house but is still reasonably modest. I can assure you I don’t make $700,000 and my house is probably comparable. I guess I’m living beyond my means.

Regardless, it’s a nice house and I’m definitely jealous of that basement. That’s something I miss about the midwest, there are no basements in places where there are no tornadoes (or at least there are less of them). I look forward to more houses in the Sporting Cribs series.

Sporting KC US Open Opponent Announced

Well, sort of. Sporting Kansas City will face the winner of the third round match-up between St Louis FC and Minnesota United FC and the game will be on the road. Minnesota is likely to join MLS and that could happen as early as next season. One would assume they have the better squad as they are building towards expansion. That said, St Louis FC did just put a beating on the Swope Park Rangers.

Both teams have recent history with SKC having each met Sporting over the last two years of Lamar Hunt US Open Cups. Last year Sporting snuck by St Louis with a 1-0 victory that included a Graham Zusi goal (maybe his last one, he scores so infrequently). Minnesota lost to Sporting the previous year. I’ve heard some people complaining that the same teams meet over and over again, but I like the idea of building up a bit of a rivalry based on geography. It is rivalry week after all and Sporting really don’t have a geographic rival.

The second round of the US Open concluded this week. There were quite a few upsets with seven amateur teams advancing. One team was the Des Moines Menace who knocked off the Tulsa Roughnecks. That takes a bit of oomph out of the Swope Park Rangers defeat of Tulsa last weekend. As for SPR, they are banned from playing under new rules that disqualify teams that are owned by MLS clubs.

Sporting Charity

Two really nice stories out of Kansas City this week as Sporting invited a 10-year-old skin cancer survivor to Children’s Mercy Park as a part of the Victory Project. They also had the daughters of a Kansas City, Kansas police officer who was killed in the line of duty out to the same game. As a part of their visit Sporting raised money for his family. Both are stories worth checking out.

If you would like to help, and get some cool memorabilia in the process, you can bid on game-worn Sporting KC jerseys. Currently, Jacob Peterson and Roger Espinoza are garnering the most with $500 being bid on each of their jerseys.

The Cauldron also did their part by holding a pie throwing event to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

USWNT Roster Announced

Jill Ellis named her roster for two upcoming friendlies against Japan. FC Kansas City’s own Becky Sauerbrunn and Heather O’Reilly made the cut. Unfortunately, no calls for Jen Buczkowski to immediately come out of retirement and help the midfield. 40-year-old Christie Rampone did get a call-up which could mean she may make the cut for the 2016 Rio Olympic games. Only 18 women will be on that Olympic roster and if Rampone is one of them then it will be her 5th Olympic Games. Crazy.

Only 18 women will be on that Olympic roster and if Rampone is one of them then it will be her 5th Olympic Games. She would be 41 by then. Crazy.

The first game is June 2, 2016, in Denver, Colorado and the second is on June 5 in Cleveland, Ohio. The United States and Japan met in the 2015 World Cup Finals with Team USA crushing Japan 5-2.

SKC Academy Updates

The SKC Academy U-16 and U-18 teams both sit in playoffs spots with just two and three games to go respectively. From that same U-16 team, Grayson Barber and Maxi Rugova both got called up to the U-17 National Team. SKC affiliate, Omaha FC have rebranded to Sporting Omaha FC.

Lastly, Academy member Ezra Armstrong got his first action as a member of the Swope Park Rangers this past weekend. He came on late in the 2-1 victory over the Tulsa Roughnecks. Ezra is still in high school but comes from a strong soccer background. His father, Desmond, is a former US National Team member.

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