— Homegrown Player/defender Kevin Ellis, who attended Oak Park High School was born in Kansas City, Mo., turns 22 on Sunday.
He received an early birthday present Saturday night when he made his MLS debut, subbing on at left back for Seth Sinovic in the 63rd minute.
“You can’t really ask for more than that (as a birthday present),” Ellis said. “It’s special to me to make my debut here at home — in front of my family, in front of my friends and in front of these incredible fans we have here in Kansas City. It means a lot.”
Ellis, who signed with Sporting KC after a standout career at Oak Park, became the first Homegrown Player in club history to appear in an MLS match.
“You have to be able to step up and do your job when called upon, whether it’s right back, left back, anywhere,” Ellis said. “When you’re called upon, you know you have a job to do. That’s all I thought about in my head, ‘Go in and do your job. Hopefully, we’ll get out of here with three points.’”
He did and Sporting KC did.
— Midfielder Mikey Lopez was spotted Saturday at Sporting Park. He had been gone since late May with the U.S. under-20 men’s national team, which was eliminated Monday from the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Lopez, 20, was Sporting Kansas City’s first-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, No. 14 overall. He has yet to appear in an MLS match, but he did start Des Moines Menace in the third round of the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
“I had an amazing time,” Lopez said. “Obviously, any time you play in a World Cup it’s a thrill.”
Lopez subbed on against France and Spain then started against Ghana, but the U.S., which went 0-2-1, was eliminated after the group stage.
— It was 17 years ago Saturday — June 29, 1996 – that midfielder Mike Sorber’s goal was the difference in a 1-0 win for Sporting KC, then known as the Wiz, against the Dallas Burn at the Cotton Bowl. It was the first victory in club history against the team now known as FC Dallas.
| Tod Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org