Sporting KC

Goal chasers: Sporting KC prepares for opener

Updated: 2013-02-27T20:12:44Z

1. NEW JERSEY(S). Sporting KC finally has its first jersey sponsor: Ivy Funds, an Overland Park-based company specializing in investment strategies. The multi-year agreement includes redesigned jerseys that will officially be unveiled today.

2. BYE-BYE, KEI. Forward Kei Kamara has been the face of the franchise, not to mention its leading scorer the last three seasons, including career-high marks for goals (11) and assists (eight) in 2012. But he is on loan through at least May 6 with Norwich City of the English Premier League. Also gone is Roger Espinoza, who signed with the EPL’s Wigan Athletic. Chances are slim either returns anytime soon.

3. HELLO, NEW GUYS. With Kamara away indefinitely, the offseason acquisitions of forward Claudio Bieler, an Argentinian/Ecuadorian scorer and the third Designated Player in club history, and Benny Feilhaber, a midfielder obtained in trade from the New England Revolution, become even more important. Both players will be counted upon to bolster an offense that had trouble finishing its scoring chances last season.

4. HELLO ALL-STARS. One year after hosting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City will welcome the MLS All-Star Game to Sporting Park. Slated for July 31, the showcase will pit the league's brightest against a yet-to-determined international opponent.

5. STADIUM NAME. The cause was noble, the idea novel. Butless than two years after striking a stadium naming-rights partnership with the Livestrong Foundation — and just days after former cyclist and Livestrong founder Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his run to seven Tour de France titles — Sporting KC and the charity parted ways in a somewhat messy divorce. For now, the club’s home will be known as simply “Sporting Park.”

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