Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City opens exhibition schedule Tuesday

Updated: 2014-01-28T02:34:58Z

By SAM MCDOWELL

The Kansas City Star

The MLS Cup champions are set to return to game action.

Sporting Kansas City will open its exhibition schedule at noon Tuesday against FC Tucson of the Premier Development League. The match will be played at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.

Sporting KC departed Friday for its fourth annual training circuit in Tucson. The team opens MLS regular season play March 8 in Seattle.

“Our focus with preseason matches is getting ready for the beginning of the season because once (the regular season) starts, it’s fast and furious,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “There’s not much time, so we’re going to have to accelerate and get ourselves going.”

Sporting KC will play Tuesday without Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber, who have been training with the United States men’s national team for the past month in preparation for its game against Korea Republic on Feb. 1 in Carson, Calif. The club will also be without defender Chance Myers, who remains without a contract for the 2014 season.

A match Tuesday against FC Tucson opens a three-match exhibition schedule for Sporting KC in Tucson. As part of its two-week training schedule, Sporting KC will also play the Portland Timbers at 7 p.m. Saturday and Indy Eleven, a North American Soccer League franchise, on Feb. 7.

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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