Sporting KC

Pregnant or not, no way she was going to miss this game

Updated: 2013-05-09T04:39:35Z

Super mom watches Sporting hubby

Sporting Park security parked Michelle Gardner’s car as close to the exit as possible.

“The valet put it at the front of the garage in case we have any movement going on,” said Gardner, whose husband, Josh, was traded to Sporting KC from Montreal in December.

Michelle is pregnant with the couple’s third child — a boy who will be named Cade. She isn’t due until May 19, but childbirth isn’t an exact science.

Even with toddlers Caleb and Addison in tow, Michelle wasn’t about to miss Wednesday’s match against the Seattle Sounders FC in which Josh Gardner made his first start with Sporting KC.

“I was hoping to come either way, but when I found out he was starting it was a little more motivating,” Michelle said. “It’s hard being 38 weeks pregnant with two kids, but I couldn’t miss it.”

• Defender Matt Besler, who was the MLS defender of the year in 2012, remained sidelined Wednesday by a right knee sprain, giving Ike Opara his second straight start alongside Aurelien Collin at centerback.

Chance Myers returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Sunday’s 4-0 win against Chivas USA, but Sporting coach Peter Vermes elected to rest left back Seth Sinovic, who hadn’t missed a minute this season.

Gardner, who made his Sporting KC debut against Chivas and recorded an assist, got the nod in Sinovic’s place.

Designated Player Claudio Bieler also was held from the starting lineup for the first time, but he entered the match in the 66th minute for Benny Feilhaber.

• Several Chiefs were spotted at Sporting Park for Wednesday’s match, including four Pro Bowlers: Jamaal Charles, Brandon Flowers, Eric Berry and Justin Houston. Anthony Toribio, Shaun Draughn and Kendrick Lewis also were among those on hand.

• Backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann’s dismissal prompted an odd stoppage in the 24th minute when referee Geoff Gamble came to the sideline to consult with the fourth official. He then banished Hahnemann from Seattle’s bench for “foul or abusive language” toward the fourth official, Tyler Ploeger.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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