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Blue Notes: USYNT Callups for Pierre and Cisneros, KC Current TV Schedule, US Open Cup

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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

There is some exciting and promising news for some young Sporting Kansas City players and a few stories that may have slipped through the cracks around KC soccer that we wanted to highlight.

United States Youth National Team Call Ups

Sporting KC right back Kayden Pierre and midfielder/forward Ozzie Cisneros both earned call ups to various USA youth national teams.

Pierre will join the U-20s for a camp in California that starts today and runs through April 30th. There are no games during this camp, but it will be good preparation as the United States preps for the U-20 World Cup in 2023 in Indonesia and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Fellow SKC Academy member Jayvin Van Deventer earned a similar call up in January. Pierre has played for the U-20s before. Catch some highlights from last fall versus Brazil.

Cisneros will join Pierre, but he’ll be with the US U-19s. They are also headed to Carson, California for camp starting today, but running a day longer until May 1st. This is a step up for Cisneros, who has previously represented the US U-15s. However, like Pierre, this is just a camp with no scheduled games that we can watch. That’s unfortunate, as I’d love to see more from these guys, but I suppose that rules out Pierre bursting into the starting lineup for SKC.

KC Current TV Schedule

As the Kansas City Current continue to lead their group in the 2022 Challenge Cup (final game to determine playoff seeding is Sunday at 4PM), it slipped through the cracks that the NWSL hadn’t announced their TV Schedule yet. Well they have now.

The 22-game season features six nationally televised matches. Four of those games will be streamed on Twitch and two more will air on the CBS Sports Network. The 16 other games will be on Paramount+, which is a must have for any NWSL fan at this point.

The NWSL season is actually set to start next weekend on the 30th of April, but the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup are May 4th, so it’s unclear if any shuffling may take place. The finals are May 7th and the Current have a regular season game on the 8th, so if they make the finals, that would have to be changed.

Update: The league confirmed semi-final games will happen midweek after the season opener and the two teams in the finals would have their Week 2 games rescheduled.

Round of 32 US Open Cup Schedule

As you no doubt saw, Sporting KC are set to enter the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in the Round of 32 against FC Dallas. That game is on Tuesday, May 10th at Children’s Mercy Park. But of course, there are 30 other teams not accounted for. The complete Round of 32 schedule is available on US Soccer’s website.

If SKC were to advance, there is a re-draw of groups on May 12th.

Some of the most fun in the Open Cup are the upsets. Quite a few lower division teams advanced, however, many of them played against other lower division teams (Phoenix Rising, Sacramento Republic, Louisville City, Richmond Kickers, Rochester NY, California United, Tormenta FC).

But there were some legit upsets. Detroit City FC beat the Columbus Crew, this weekend’s opponent for Sporting KC. Union Omaha (USL League One) upset the Chicago Fire. San Antonio (who SKC had the chance to play but didn’t get them drawn) beat Austin FC. And finally the Northern Colorado Hailstorm (USL League One) upset Real Salt Lake. Who doesn’t love a good Cupset?

SKC II Lose a Defender to Injury

In a bit of bad news, Sporting KC II lost center back Aljaz Dzankic for the season to a torn ACL. The 20-year-old had an up and down debut season but in the two games he started and finished in 2022, the team was undefeated. He had to leave the game against the Houston Dynamo 2 and the team hasn’t won since (obviously, it’s bigger than just Dzankic). He had definitely showed early signs of improvement.

The SKC II roster is a bit unclear as to where guys play still, with Jahon Rad, who used to primarily play in the midfield, consistently lining up at CB. His brother Kaveh plays there at times too and can come down on loan from the first team. 2022 SKC draft pick Esai Easley subbed on for Dzankic when he left injured (and immediately gave up a PK).

Other Bits of News