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What The World Cup Meant To Fans

Jul 02, 2014 -- 8:17am

By Chad Rader

The road would end sooner than later, or at least, any realistic U.S. soccer fan knew that would be the case in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

But Team USA didn’t let any fan down. Whether a critical die-hard, or a casual fan just picking up the sport over the past three weeks. Even in the last two losses, the U.S. lost by a mere goal, and suspense ran until the final whistle.

Yes, the United States still has a way to go before seriously competing for a World Cup. Its one thing to make the Sweet 16. Its another to contend for the title. For non-soccer fans, we can relate this to a K-State or Mizzou vs a Kansas or Kentucky.

But the U.S. still played within a goal of Germany and Belgium, both alive into the round of eight. (Granted, "within a goal" can be like playing within 10-14 points in the NFL, but still). And as each World Cup progresses, the country becomes more captivated by the sport. As we know, Kansas City represented hugely with its turnout at the P&L District’s watch parties, as presented by Sports Radio 810, Sporting KC, Coors Light and Sprint.

So what does the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the USMNT mean for soccer, and fans in the area? Besides excuses to leave work early to watch the matches, or just a few extra bucks, give or take thousands upon thousands, for the P&L District?


Die-hard, true soccer fan – There will be levels of disappointment from 2014. Giving up the last minute goal to Portugal. Seemingly playing for a draw or penalty kicks from the opening kick vs Germany and Belgium. The play of Michael Bradley will be debated.

But in the end, emerging from the Group of Death, and playing down to the wire will be remembered. If the U.S. got buried 2-0 in extra time vs Belgium, a sour taste would remain. But losing 2-1 and missing on a well executed play in the final minutes will be what’s replayed for years.
Result: Feel pretty good about the nation's upward curve of following their sport; also the upward arrow of U.S. international play

Sports fan who casually follows soccer – Most of the guys at the radio station qualify here. The level of soccer interest increases annually, especially in Kansas City. The FIFA World Cup will be marked on our calendars for the rest of our lives as must-see TV, and it certainly was the last few weeks. Each match continued to get better and better, and advancing to the elimination rounds for two straight World Cups for the first time in U.S. history will be the remnant taken away.
Result: Will pay more attention to soccer ahead, attend more Sporting KC and soccer events

Fan off the street – The last three weeks showed that more than a handful of common fans or young soccer players or neighbors from the ‘burbs care about soccer. Many massive parties were shown throughout the country as well. Plus local get togethers outside of downtown KC congregated – whether at work, at a restaurant or buddies house.

And the ol’ gag of the football fan walking in, seeing soccer on and complaining they hate soccer, or “What’s there to like about soccer?” wasn’t welcomed with 2-3 other affirmations, but instead blank stares in return – or merely continued stares at the TV. That act has got old.
Result: Knowing "hating soccer" isn't cool anymore, learned a few soccer terms and rules along the way


Sure, there was a learning curve to watching the game. I do crack up when people look at the TV like they are looking at a Sudoku puzzle for the first time, and utter “I just don’t understand soccer”. I explain it in about 90 seconds.

-          Let’s keep it simple to six items:               

o   Team with most goals wins – unless its not an elimination game

o   Offsides  – without thorough detail, simply can’t cherry pick and be ahead of ball and defenders

o   Three substitutions, that’s IT

o   Time: Two 45-minute halves, a 30-minute OT (with an intermission/flipping of the field), then penalty kicks. For whatever reason, the extra time added seems to be utterly baffling to common fans

o   Yellow card, red card: Everyone should know this already

o   Corner kick, free kick and penalty kick: Matter of where on the field it happens, and the violation

After that, more detail can be explained. Otherwise, American football or baseball is WAY harder to understand.


Overall, I think from the sports fan to the common person on the street can watch and get into soccer, baseball, football or skeet shooting. But one underlying theme has to be present: Something truly has to be on the line.

I can watch the NHL Finals – if its Game 7 and the third period. Otherwise, what’s there to watch?

Some feel the same about baseball or even the NFL – the playoffs is worth watching, the rest is okay, but not worth devoting three hours towards watching.

For Kansas City, every year that passes, more and more interest rises in Sporting KC and soccer. I’d reckon if SKC made the playoffs and another nice run, the P&L and other areas would be packed even more than last year’s title match.

But the confusion still lies in soccer in general. Sporting KC will play an MLS contest, then get into the CONACAF matches, back to an MLS, then an exhibition match vs a European team. Now back to a CONACAF match. Wait, SKC’s top scorer was just loaned overseas. Say what? Yeah, this all still doesn’t add up and makes it hard to follow.

Otherwise, when its on the line, we all watch. And were entertained. And will watch a little bit more, know a little bit more and hopefully for the U.S., win a little bit more too.

Minicamp Day Three Quotes

Jun 19, 2014 -- 6:02pm

Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes

Mandatory Minicamp
June 19, 2014


OPENING STATEMENT: “Really, the injuries were all given to you yesterday other than Joe McKnight had a little swelling in his knee so we held him out today. It was good to get the guys through this camp. We added a few things to both sides of the ball and special teams. I thought they handled it well. I was happy with the performance throughout the offseason program. I thought the guys came in in good shape and continued to build on that, and I thought they executed. There was some recall from the season and then the new things we added they took it in and worked hard on it. Likewise with the coaches; I thought the coaches did a good job. All in all, it was a good offseason. We’ve got a lot of work to do when we get to St. Joe and the guys understand that. They are wired that way. They don’t shy away from the work. Once we get up there we will be ready to go. That will be about in a month and I think we are probably all excited to get there, but we probably need to take a deep breath, relax for a minute and then get up there and get going. The time’s yours.”

Q: What’s the difference going into this training camp versus last year?

REID: “Yeah, we’re ahead of that, just the natural progression. That’s a good feeling. We were able to add some more to our packages. The guys weren’t shocked by it. Last year every day was a new day and it was a heavy work load plus the mental art of that and the new scheme. They are quite a bit ahead of that.”

Q: How do you spend the next few weeks before training camp?

REID: “I’m going to try and relax a little bit. I’ve got a place out west I go to. You can visit. We’ll make a splash, you and I – a real big splash.”

Q: Will Sean Smith return to his regular role?

REID: “We will see. There’s competition there and we’ll see how all that works. The other kids did a nice job. (Marcus Cooper) Coop was working in there and did a nice job. Parker did a nice job in the other corner. There’s competition at those positions.”

Q: What is it about Ron Parker that you like?

REID: “Listen, they’ve all got a long way to go. Ron is a tough kid that’s going to challenge every play and that’s the thing that jumps at you. We saw that last year when he was in the game he made plays. It seemed like the ball went his way. He forced turnovers when he had opportunities last year. That’s a plus.”

Q: What have you seen this camp from Sanders Commings?

REID: “He’s one of the ones I really am looking forward to seeing up at camp once we are able to hit. I think everyone is tired of this right here. They want to take a quick blow and then finish up their training and then get the pads on. We’ve done all the short stuff we can do. Now we need to take it up a notch with camp. We’ll definitely take it up a notch and be more physical with each other. Sanders, we sure liked what we saw in shorts, just have to see how it looks with pads on.”

Q: Will we get to see him range a little bit more?

REID: “He can cover a lot of ground.”

Q: During training camp how important is it to have physicality?

REID: “That’s what we do. We prep for that all year to get ourselves ready for the season. It’s worked. I’ve kept doing that over the years.”

Q: What do you think that gives your team?

REID: “It allows you to tackle, that’s a big part of it. Then there is a certain way that you protect your body when you are being tackled. I think that’s important that you learn both of those things. That’s why we do that.”

Q: What has impressed you the most about Demetrius Harris?

REID: “You look at the improvement he has made since last year. He came in as a basketball player so he hadn’t played football since high school. He would say now that he is a football player. He’s transitioned. I’m talking everything from body language to the side of the girth he’s put on, the strength he’s put on over the off-season and how he functions out there as a player.”

Q: Did you give a special speech this year and say keep out of trouble, don’t eat too much, keep working out?

REID: “You hit them all. That was good. You were right on cue.”

Q: What about the guys that are new to the league?

REID: “They hear it often. These are young guys. You give them constant reminders. They heard what you just said.”

Q: What was the assimilation process of Vance Walker?

REID: “He’s playing three positions. He plays all three inside positions. You need six of those guys who play for you in every game. I could set him as a starter, that’s how I look at those six and that’s what we are striving for, that’s what Dorsey is striving for bringing in the competition. He picked things up. He is a very intelligent guy. He picked things up fast. He’s done a nice job.”

Q: What’s your comfort ability level with the offensive line?

REID: “We rotated guys in there. From a coaching standpoint we were able to get as much of a picture as we could without pads on. It’ll be important to get Eric (Fisher) in there and get him going in training camp and re-acclimating him to playing again. I think when you have him in the mix you have a good group right there.”

Q: What were you able to gage with Travis Kelce, Kyle Williams and De’Anthony Thomas this week?

REID: “They did the individual periods and the group install periods where we come together as a team and we run the plays versus air. They didn’t do any offense versus defense. It was good. That’s the first step. It was good to get them back out there and moving around. They looked like they were strong and in good shape from what we asked them to do. The main thing was they had no swelling in the joints that they had operated on. That’s a plus.”

Q: Was there any discussion about getting Dontari Poe off the field every so often?

REID: “He’s is a unique guy. You go in and do these conditioning tests and he’s 340 pounds or whatever he is. His body percent fat is zero. He’s goes out and runs these things and is the first guy out front with the big fellas. He’s one of those guys. He’s a unique character. To get him off the field you have to pull him off. He’s not one to tap out. That’s not how he goes. You monitor that the best way you can. We didn’t see a decline in his play as the season wore on. There are a handful of teams that do what we do where you play certain guys a high percent of the plays. We do want to find people that can rotate in there. That is important, to answer your question.”

Q: Did you see any cumulative effect on Derek Johnson playing so many plays last year? 

REID: “You didn’t see it but you heard people talking about it. Really, when you study it, evaluate it, I don’t think you see that. At least we didn’t as coaches. We have a little bit of experience with it.”

Q: Regarding Vance playing three positions, have you seen him play the nose on the defense?

REID: “He did a little bit of that against us in that first game against Oakland.”

Q: So you saw a lot of versatility?

REID: “Sure, yeah. I mean he’s got a pretty good feel for doing that.” 

Q: Is this it as far as everybody being done even if the rookies can have another week of work?

REID: “This is it.”

Q: Was that your decision or a collective decision?

REID: “No, that’s my decision. They have another week I believe where they can be here but they are going to go down to the symposium and do their thing down there. We’ve gotten enough reps and time out of them. They weren’t included in that collective bargain.”

Q: Did the two extra weeks with the draft make a difference for the rookies?

REID: “That helped plus when all of the veterans leave, the veterans only have X amount of hours they can be in the building. Consistently, the rookies can be in here 10 hours a day. When you let the veterans go, you have the rookies for another three or four hours and we got a lot done. We tried to utilize that time so that we didn’t have to keep them around here with no supervision around and get them back home, relax. They’ve had plenty of reps for what they need here to function in camp. That’s where we are at.”

Minicamp Day Two Quotes

Jun 18, 2014 -- 9:44pm

Chiefs Player Quotes

Mandatory Minicamp
June 18, 2014



Q: How does it feel to be out there with all of your teammates and not just the rookies?


THOMAS: “I just feel great to be out here. I feel like it’s a great group of guys and great coaching. I’m excited just to be here and just execute and get to know this play book.”


Q: Are you getting to know a better sense of how the team will use you?


THOMAS: “Yes, a little bit of everywhere and just going out there and having fun.”


Q: Did they run you into the ground yesterday?


THOMAS: “Yeah, and me just getting used to this weather and stuff like that. I just have to train with it and get better.”


Q: How will you adapt your training to this humidity?


THOMAS: “Just got to keep working hard and keep some fluids in my body.”


Q: What kind of coaching did you get while you were gone with Eric Bieniemy?


THOMAS: “Yes, every day just learning, learning from him. He’s a great coach and I’m excited.”


Q: What kind of stuff did you go over?


THOMAS: “Just looking over what they did in practice and that stuff. I feel like that’s about it.”


Q: Did it help?


THOMAS: “Yes.”


Q: How does your offense at Oregon compare to the Chiefs?


THOMAS: “It’s a lot different. I mean it’s the same scenario, but it’s a lot different. I feel like there’s better guys here and better players on offense.”


Q: How does Eric Bieniemy differ from your coaches at Oregon?


THOMAS: “I feel like he just makes us be disciplined and being in the right depth in our routes, getting the right foot work on our runs and stuff like that. That’s what’s going to make us great. Finishing forty yards down the field, finishing twenty yards down the field. You know, just working hard. ”


Q:  What’s it been like to deal with quarter situation and not participate in OTAs?


THOMAS: “Yeah, it was tough, but I’m excited to be here now and now I just have to come and compete.”


Q: How much of it is mental and physical?


THOMAS: “Everything. Just going out there having fun, going out there, training hard, and practicing hard. Like I said, what a great group of guys. It’s great to learn from them and be motivated.”     




Q: What have OTAs and minicamp been like for you?

PARKER: “OTAs and minicamp have been good to me so far and as a group, I think the secondary, we’ve come in here and worked hard every day and gave it our all. I think everybody is getting better every day.”

Q: What’s it like with the personnel changing and do you think you’ll be able to compete for a spot?

PARKER: “Oh yeah, I always think I’m going to be able to compete for that spot. But with the present opportunity today, I’m just doing whatever the coaches are asking me to do. Whatever they’re asking me to do, I just try to do it to the best of my abilities.”

Q: Have you ever gotten this much work before?

PARKER: “I haven’t had so much opportunity like this to get with the ones, but a little bit last year. I got a little bit of work with the ones and then with my last game in San Diego I started. I felt like that was a little bit of work too. I’m getting used to it and I’m adjusting really well.”

Q: How good was the San Diego game for you?

PARKER: “I think it was a pretty good game for me. I just went out there and played and played my heart out and gave it all I could. I just did the best I could do and just see at the end of the game, I had a good game I think.”

Q: What has the transition from safety to cornerback been like for you from college to pro?

PARKER: “The transition was really cool for me because I played a little bit of corner in high school and I got to the league and they switched my position to corner. I’ve been adjusting really well and doing really well at it. So I think I’m pretty good over there on the outside too.”

Minicamp Day One Quotes

Jun 17, 2014 -- 6:09pm

Chiefs Player Quotes

Mandatory Minicamp
June 17, 2014



Q: Is there a big difference between what happens in OTAs and minicamp?

SMITH: “I think it’s a continuation of the OTAs. There are less guidelines as far as the hours. Obviously we can be here all day. We get the morning walk through. I think the biggest thing is we all know that this is the culmination of our offseason, so to speak. So I think in that sense, the sense of urgency is just turned up. These are our last three days of practice. You’re trying to end on a great note and really finish off this offseason.”

Q: How did Travis Kelce look?

SMITH: “I thought he looked great. It’s great to see him out here. He’s been working his tail off for a long time now and it’s tough work behind the scenes. He’s been here trying to get it right, so this is just the next step for him. I thought he looked good.”

Q: What about De’Anthony Thomas?

SMITH: “A little bit of a crash course for him, just because of (Oregon) with the quarter system, it’s tough. We’re trying to cram a lot in in three days. A lot of reps, a lot of mental stuff. I’m sure he’ll be spending a little bit these few days (working on that.)”

Q: Isn’t the mental side one of the things that makes this different than OTAs?

SMITH: “Yeah, we have more time for install, so we’re not as crammed on time and we can install. We get the walk through to go through these different looks and then after we get through all of the film. It’s tough in OTAs to squeeze all that in in six hours. So, minicamp-wise, a little more relaxed pace. We really can take our time and kind of zero in on details.”

Q: Is there ever a time that you have enough time to do everything?

SMITH: “Yeah I mean you’re always trying to cram it in and be as efficient as possible and get more time, especially come season because now not only are you focusing on what you have to do, you’re trying to look at their stuff as well.”



Q: Did it become a little more real to you now that Brandon is not here?


COOPER: “You know every day I come out here as if I was the starter. I can’t say that it’s a different feeling or it’s not. Whether Brandon was here or wasn’t I still would still compete as if I was going for the starting job. There’s no big difference.”


Q: What do you feel that you need to do to get that job?


COOPER: “Keep grinding, just getting better every day, keep the deep balls out, be quick at the defensive line, and just keep doing the stuff that we do as the Kansas City Chiefs corners.”


Q: What would you say your weaknesses are as a player right now?


COOPER: “Everything. I’m still learning the position, you know. In the grand scheme of things, I still have to continue to work on everything I do out there.” 


Q: Coming in as a possible starter instead of a seventh round draft pick, do you lose your edge?


COOPER: “Oh no. You have no time to lose that. This game’s not for long and you really have to come out there at the top of your peak. That’s what I try to do every day.”


Q: Do you gain an edge with this opportunity?


COOPER: “Like I said, I continue to go in daily, every day as a starter no matter what. There’s no gain. There’s no drop off. I just continue to make the team.”


Q: Collectively, how does the secondary feel with everyone being gone?


COOPER: “We’ve got a good group of guys here. I’m sorry for the guys that have departed. We can’t look at what they’re doing. We have to focus on us and the opportunity to get better as a group.”


Q: Does that create a void in leadership?


COOPER: “No, we still have a couple of our guys here minus Flowers and those other guys. We all have to step up at different times and we all have to come at times. We just all are going to collectively lead and push forward.”


Q: Where were you when Flowers was released?


COOPER: “I had just finished working out here. I found out when you guys probably found out.”


Q: What was your immediate reaction personally?


COOPER: “I can’t get into that. I am just worried about myself and worried about my football shift.” 

Watch Team USA at Power & Light District Today!

Jun 16, 2014 -- 7:39am

Join Coors Light & Sports Radio 810 at KC Live! in the Kansas City Power & Light District today for the WORLD'S largest watch party and help us cheer on the USA as they take on Ghana!

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Oh and did we mention that there will be prizes, lots of prizes and plenty of refreshing Coors Light for your enjoyment.

Kansas City, it is Summer Time in the Soccer Capitol brought to you by the Sprint Framily Plan, Sporting Kansas City, the Power & Light District, Sports Radio 810 WHB & Coors Light. Coors Light, the official beer of Soccer Fans around the world reminds you to drink responsibly and always designate a driver!

Chiefs OTA Quotes, June 13

Jun 13, 2014 -- 6:01pm

Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
June 13, 2014


OPENING STATEMENT: “The guys that are injured: (Weston) Dressler who has the hamstring, he did that yesterday; (Eric) Fisher, you know about; (Junior) Hemingway had strep throat, so we kept him out of the building away; (Travis) Kelce, you know about; Chris Owens has a hamstring, getting better; (David) Van Dyke, hamstring; Kyle Williams with the ACL tear. (A.J.) Jenkins worked today and got some things done. We think next week we’ll be able to get a little bit out of Kelce and possibly Kyle Williams. We’ll have to see how all that works. (Phillip) Gaines, (Jeff) Allen and Jamaal (Charles) have all been excused for personal reasons. I appreciate the work of the guys. They’ve had a good camp thus far. They’ve busted their tails and done everything we’ve asked of them. We’re getting better. We have a long way to go, but we’re getting better, we’re getting there. At least we’re getting ourselves ramped up to a position where when we get to training camp, we’ve got a lot installed and can just pick up from where we leave here after next week and get going.”

Q: Is there any difference between an OTA practice and a minicamp?

REID: “You can have them in the building a little longer, and you can have a walk-through. That constitutes a second practice. What we’ll do is we’ll have a walk-through in the morning, and then we’ll have the practice in the afternoon. The practice will be like this.”

Q: How do you think the minicamp will help the guys prepare for camp in July?

REID: “A couple ways, obviously they’re working out and doing football stuff, so from a physical standpoint, it gives them that. Most of all, in these camps it gives you that mental preparation. That’s important. When you can combine the two of those, when you’re physically fit and you’ve got the scheme down, normally you’re going to get the best out of that player and see what they’re all about and they’ll be able to show you their best.”

Q: Do you expect Kelce, Fisher and Williams for training camp?

REID: “Yeah. They should be ready for training camp.”

Q: Do you have a little bit clearer vision of what your offensive line will look like after 10 OTA practices?

REID: “I think that’s one group that’s improving. We’ve had some guys that were in there and moved on and there are guys that have stepped up, with the exception of Fisher who can’t do anything. The other guys have grasped it pretty well and look like their doing pretty good.”

Q: Are you imagining combinations?

REID: “I am. You know you need more than five. You need to make sure that you have a good 10 of them ready go and you want to find that number whether it’s eight, nine, 10, you want to find that number and see what you’ve got there. So, we’ve been challenging them as much as you can challenge them here, which isn’t much.”

Q: Do you plan on moving guys in and out with that first group at camp?

REID: “We’ve done that. Even before we’ve done that. We have to make sure when one guy goes down, we’ve got that next guy that can go, so we do that throughout the year. It’s really no different than what you’re seeing now.”

Q: Do you expect Brandon Flowers and Justin Houston to be here next week?

REID: “I don’t know that. Really, it’s all their decisions to come or don’t come even though it’s a mandatory camp. We’ll see. The thing that you’re guaranteed of is that we’re going to coach whoever is here. We just don’t really worry about the ones that aren’t. We just go about our business and do our thing.”

Q: Donald Stephenson attended the Charles Bentley O-line performance academy in the offseason. What’s the biggest thing he’s brought back from that?


REID: “The thing they can do, there were a couple of them that went there, they can actually do football stuff there and work on technique and at the same time stay in good shape, continue to get strong and do the things you’re supposed to do in the off-season. You’ve seen that. Charles (Bentley) does a good job of that. He’s been playing in the league for a long time and he knows what it takes to play in the National Football League. So, whatever we can’t do in the offseason, from a coaching standpoint, these guys can go to these different places and as long as they are in good hands, they can learn something and get better at their profession.”


Q: What does it say about a player who spends his own money to get to this camp?


REID: “That says a lot about that person. He’s invested in himself, that’s what he’s doing. Everyone that comes back can make you a better football team.”


Q: How far has Tyler Bray come since last year?


REID: “He’s made a few changes. He’s a made the physical change. That’s obvious to everybody. He’s got a different body type now than what he had last year. A lot of the college kids today aren’t making the calls from the sideline they are being signaled in from the coaches. They’ve got to get in the huddle and spit out all the verbiage. He’s done a real nice job of learning everything though.”


Q: How do you coach an aggressive guy like that?


REID: “I get him several rules—throw it to your teammate.”


Q: The offense has done a good job picking up where it left off. How did they manage that?


REID: “You want to keep building on where you were before. You like to be better than that, but definitely not take yourselves back where you have to regain it and go. I feel like the guys have taken great steps in what they can do now. I’ll be curious to see how that transfers into camp.  They should be working hard.”


Q: How do you feel that Cairo Santos has progressed from Rookie Mini Camp to OTAs?


REID: “He’s been kicking the ball well there and kicking the ball well here now. He’s probably just getting used to the holder and the snapper would probably be the biggest thing there now. He’s still using the same steps that he’s used. I’m sure some of the kickoff things are a little different in where we locate the ball and want him to locate the ball in the scheme that we use. So, he looks like he’s handling things well and whether it’s here or somewhere else, he looks like he has a leg to be a NFL kicker. We’ll see.”


Q: In regards to Sean Smith, how long will his stay on the second team last?


REID: “We’ll see. The other guys are performing well so we will see.”


Q: What kind of impact does a quarterback like Tyler Bray have?


REID: “Well just talking to him you kind of know how that works. He came in as a young player, by age young and so you get thrown into the NFL as a quarterback, you grow up fast. I think he’s done that. I like the way he handles himself around the players. Sometimes when you’re one of the younger guys that was drafted, he wasn’t drafted, but is picked up and brought to a team, you can be a little brother and that’s not the way he’s approached it. He’s kind of worked his way in where he’s gained the players that are around him their respect. I’m proud of him for that.”

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