Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Major Announcement" Today

It's game day for Sporting Kansas City as the team takes on BPL Champions, Manchester City in a friendly at Sporting Park. The game though looks like it may not be the biggest news of the day (at least for me). Yesterday, Sporting Club announced that they would have a "major announcement" today that would include the club, Wyandotte County unified government representatives, and Kansas governor Sam Brownback.

The team's release doesn't say what the announcement today is about, the guess that has been made by many in the community is that this is going to have to do with the US training complex that the club had announced the intentions to build in 2013.

To add to that speculation, the training complex was a topic of discussion last week for the Unified Government. The training center would be at 98th and Parallel in Kansas City, Kansas, to the north and east of Sporting Park's current location. The complex would be included in the STAR Bonds that were used to build the Legends and Sporting Park and would anticipate opening in 2015.

The $65 million project would be another big step for Sporting Club in establishing Kansas City as the "Soccer Capital of the USA" that they've called KC since last year. And while in the past I've mocked that name a little bit, the club is certainly working very hard to make that true.

The training complex would include multiple outdoor fields as well as an indoor facility. I'm still hoping that part of the complex will include the re-establishment of the US Soccer Hall of Fame and it's archives, but that may still be wishful thinking.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Match Day Friendly - Friendly Time

Let's face it, this game tomorrow between Sporting KC and Manchester City is not a game that I'm the primary target for. This game is set up for the fans of City and those neutrals who are interested in seeing the BPL champions play. I was much more interested in Saturday's league game against the Galaxy than I am in the game tomorrow against City. The addition of the "Champions Shield" trophy does nothing for me.

The Manchester City squad that will be available tomorrow is not their full squad or close to it. Four of City's World Cup veterans are joining the club after tomorrow's friendly. The roster that will be available does have experience in the Premiership, including last season's BPL winning squad. Ten of the now 22 man roster for the game (Alvaro Negredo is out injured now) played for City last year in the Premier League. Eight of those ten ended up picking up winner's medals for playing 10 games for the club during the Premier League Season.

As for Kansas City they're right in the middle of a busy stretch of the season. They're just coming off a stretch of three games in eight days and travel to Toronto this coming weekend for a league game. It would appear that Peter Vermes has an eye on that as well heading into tomorrow's game. According to quotes today, he looks set to use two groups for the game tomorrow, which is probably the smartest move as it'll give many KC fans what they want, a chance to see the likes of Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Aurelien Collin go against some BPL players.

PREDICTION - It's going to take a lot for this game to be the worst friendly Sporting KC has played the last few years, that honor goes to the Newcastle game. It's also going to have to be a heck of a game to top the excitement of the then Wizards 2-1 win over City's city rivals, Manchester United back in 2010. With City's lack of stars for this game and ticket prices, the game has not yet sold out Sporting Park for tomorrow night. That fact alone has to sting a little bit for Sporting ownership, especially coming off a game against the Galaxy that drew over 21,000. I'll be there for the game tomorrow, but the thing I'll be rooting for is zero injuries for Sporting heading further into the second half of the season.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Besler's Path to Break the Record Books

Back when news was first starting to really come out about Matt Besler and a potential move abroad, Besler's agent, Eddie Rock said that there were really only three options for Besler, a move to the EPL, a move to the German Bundesliga, or stay with Sporting KC.

Rock said in the article that “If Matt re-signs with the league now, his intentions would be to be a one-club player for the rest of his career. His goal would be to finish atop Sporting and the Wizards in all-time appearances and longest captaincy. He would try to build a dynasty there,”

With Besler having signed a new contract with the club making him a designated player and it rumored to keep him in KC through 2018, let's take a look at Besler's path to set the records for the club for appearances in league and all competitions and minutes played in both. I currently don't have a list of who the captain was for each game in KC (maybe I can bug Sporting for that), but if I do I will pass that information along too.

Currently Besler is 12th in team history for league appearances, with 138 and tied for 11th in all competitions with 165. Davy Arnaud is the team's leader in league appearances with 240, while Kerry Zavagnin is the leader in all competitions with 291. With 14 games left this year in league play I'd expect Besler to play in most. In all competitions I'd expect anywhere from 16 to 20 games this season. In league play that would put Besler at 152 league appearances. That would leave Besler less than 90 appearances away from Arnaud's team record for league appearances. Besler would basically need to average 22 appearances over the next four seasons to tie Arnaud.

In all competitions, Besler will have over 180 appearances, so he'll be somewhere around 100 appearances short of Zavagnin's clubs record in all competitions. So 25 appearances a season over the next four seasons would see him top Zavagnin's record.

When it comes to starts, Besler has 133 starts in league play and 158 in all competitions, both have him in 9th place. The club record for both of those is held by Zavagnin, 228 in league, 281 in all competitions. With 14 league games left this year, Besler could finish with 147 starts, leaving him only 81 starts short of Zavagnin's record. Just over 20 league starts a season over the next four and he'd reach it. In all competitions Besler is likely to have around 175 starts, just over 100 short of Zavagnin's record. Again a little over 25 starts over the next four years in all competitions and Besler will top Zavagnin's record there.

The other club records that this will put him in line for is the most minutes played in league and in all competitions.  Currently both are held by Zavagnin, 20,516 in league play 25,290 in all competitions. Besler sits at 12,051 in league play and 14,397 in all competitions. Good for 9th on each of those lists. So with 14 games and 1,260 minutes still available to play, Belser is 8,465 minutes short in league play. If Besler plays every league minute the rest of the way he'll be 7,205 away from Zavagnin's club record. In his prior five seasons before this one, Besler averaged just under 2,200 minutes a season, that would mean that it'd take about three and a half seasons to top Zavagnin if he follows his average.

In all competitions, Besler is 10,893 minutes behind Zavagnin. Besler's minutes the last three seasons have been quite a bit higher than his league averaging over 3,000 minutes a season in all competitions over the last three years. If he keeps a similar pace up it will take just over three years again for him to top Zavagnin for the club record.

All goals that are certainly well within reach of Besler in the next few years. I have little doubt that as long as he avoid serious injury, he will be re-writing the Sporting KC/KC Wizards record books before he retires.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday After Stats

Stats following yesterday's game against the LA Galaxy.

In the 81st minute, Jacob Peterson hit the 10,000 minute mark in MLS play for his MLS career. He finished the game at 10,009.

Andy Gruenebaum made his 100th start in all competitions in his MLS career.

All three of Lawrence Olum's career MLS goals have been game winners.

Seth Sinovic started his 100th league game for KC.

In the 63rd minute, Graham Zusi moved past Uche Okafor and into 16th place for league minutes played for KC. Zusi finished the game with 9,541 minutes played.

Zusi and Sinovic made their 124th start in all competitions for KC, breaking their tie with Jose Burciaga for 16th on that list.

Matt Besler made his 165th appearance in all competitions for KC, tying him with Josh Wolff for 11th all time on that list.

Besler made his 158th start in all competitions for KC, breaking his tie with Mo Johnston for 9th place on that list.

Sporting Top the Galaxy

Sporting Kansas City extended their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference, moving four points clear of the idle DC United with a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy at Sporting Park. Kansas City rode a strong start to the game to help them extend their unbeaten run to six, end their four game winless run at home, and end he Galaxy's eight game unbeaten run.

Kansas City started the game with some very early pressure against the Galaxy and pushed the game early on. In just the sith minute, Igor Juliao forced a good save out of Jaime Penedo as he raced forward after a quick switch. Throughout the first half, KC did a lot of attacking down their left, LA's right, trying to take advantage of the match up with Tommy Meyer who has spent more time as a center back than a wide player. Soony Saad, on KC's left was a focal point of KC's attack, in the 10th minute he won a free kick after beating Meyer on that side. Benny Feilhaber stepped up curled the free kick over the wall and into the net in the 11th minute to give Sporting the 1-0 lead against the Galaxy, Feilhaber's second in as many games and third of the season. KC continued to attack down their left, specifically with Saad, causing lots of issues for the Galaxy back line. Saad in the 32nd forced another save out of Penedo. With all the chances that KC had in the first half you had to wonder if they'd pay for only scoring the one goal.

Early in the second half the Galaxy almost did make them pay. Some good work down the Galaxy's right found Landon Donovan 1v1 with Aurelien Collin. Donovan tried to square the ball into the middle, but Matt Besler cut it out. The ball only went as far as Baggio Husidic, whose shot skimmed the outside of Andy Gruenebaum's near post. The start of the second half became very open as KC had a great chance to double their lead. Graham Zusi won a ball in the Galaxy half of the field, dribbled into the box and then squared a ball into the middle of the box, but there was no one there for KC to tap the ball home. The Galaxy came back the other way immediately and almost found the equalizer. After some good work by Robbie Keane he played a ball in to Marcelo Sarvas, Sarvas played the ball to Gyasi Zardes who was 1v1 with Gruenebaum, but KC's goalkeeper was quick off his line and blocked the effort. Both teams looked for chances and the Galaxy almost struck on the counter in the 54th minute. A turn over by Feilhaber in KC's offensive end led to a 2v1 break for the Galaxy on Juliao. Juninho fed the ball across to Keane who fired a shot over the goal as Gruenebaum raced out. Keane wanted a call after the play, but referee Allen Chapman gave a goal kick. Shortly after that, KC doubled their lead. A Zusi corner was partially punched by Penedo. Collin collected the ball, instead of laying it back to an open Saad, Collin lofted a cross back into the box where Jacob Peterson headed the ball on goal. Penedo again made the save, tipping it onto the cross bar, but the ball fell to Lawrence Olum who headed the ball into the net to make it 2-0 KC. The Galaxy continued to press, but the offside flag played a roll a number of times as Keane and Zardes both got called off on good opportunities. When Keane was onside, KC got help from the cross bar. A long ball saw Keane find space behind KC's defense, but he fired his effort into the cross bar and over. In the 79th though the Galaxy fond a way back into the game. A short corner by the Galaxy was partially cleared, but Husidic headed the ball back into the area, it was flicked on by Bradford Jamieson into the path of Keane who slotted a shot past Gruenebaum and into the net as Feilhaber attempted to clear it. Freeze frames of the play show that Keane was JUST in front of Feilhaber and offside, but in a situation like that it would have been quite difficult to catch that in real time. The Galaxy tried to find an equalizer, but Sporting had chances of their own, Collin had a chance off a corner but it was cleared out. Then in the 89th minute, Zusi picked out Dom Dwyer all alone in the box, but his header was right at Penedo. The Galaxy had the pressure late on but really didn't test Gruenebaum and KC extended their unbeaten run.

Wizards Man of the Match - Lawrence Olum - Did a good job of breaking up the Galaxy's midfield. Most of their most dangerous chances came from balls over the top that avoided KC's midfield entirely. He also picked up the game winning goal.

Player Ratings - Gruenebaum 6, Juliao 6, Collin 6, Besler 7, Sinovic 7, Olum 8, Feilhaber 6, Zusi 6, Saad 7, Dwyer 5, Dovale 5. Peterson 5, Sapong 5, Ellis NR.

Collin Joins Besler and Zusi on the All Star Team

Sporting KC defender, Aurelien Collin will be headed to Portland along with teammates Matt Besler and Graham Zusi for this year's All Star game against Bayern Munich. Yesterday at half time of KC's game against the LA Galaxy, the entire 23 man roster was announced. All the players from the fan 11 were there along with 12 other players. Included in that number was Collin.

Two names absent from that list that arguably deserved to be there were Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber. Dwyer is the only player with 10+ goals that did not get selected to the team, Robbie Keane (who hit 10 yesterday) was in the fan vote, Jermain Defoe and Bradley Wright-Phillips were selected by Caleb Porter, and Erick Torres was a pick by Don Garber, leaving no room for KC to have a fourth representative. Feilhaber has arguably been KC's MVP this season with his consistent play for Sporting. But once again limited spots in the midfield keep Feilhaber out of the 23.

As someone who has spoke about my frustration with the All Star game (2 injuries and an over play in the last three all star games for KC players) I'm happy that KC only has the three selected. With another nine players needing to be named as reserves, one would hope that Feilhaber will be added to that list. Unfortunately, Dwyer won't get the opportunity to be named one as MLS rules state that the 32 man roster can only contain 7 forwards, all of which are currently on the 23 man roster named by Porter and Garber.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Besler and Zusi Given New Contracts, Made DPs

A big announcement today ahead of Sporting KC's game against the LA Galaxy, the team announced that they'd re-signed the clubs two World Cup veterans, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi to new contracts. The new contracts will not only keep the pair in Kansas City through the 2018 season, but also makes the two players designated players, filling all three of KC's DP slots at this time. The pair become the fifth and sixth DP in club history (after Claudio Lopez, Omar Bravo, Jeferson, and Claudio Bieler).

The signing will put an end to plenty of rumored speculation on the two players and their potential departure from the club. Specifically Besler who had been linked with a move abroad ever since the World Cup. But in the end this is great for the league in that they keep two of US national team players from the World Cup, two players that have been proven to be fairly marketable, and it proves that teams will reward players for their development. It also proves that Kansas City and Peter Vermes more specifically is good at developing quality talent, and that the club will reward that talent for their loyalty to the club. Really I love that the two are being rewarded and that both are set to spend close to the rest of their career in Kansas City, giving both the opportunity to be one club players.

FCKC Draw in Rochester

From FC Kansas City

FC Kansas City (10-5-4 34pts) tied 1-1 with the Western New York Flash (7-9-3 24pts) tonight at Sahlen’s Stadium in front of Rochester fans. Sarah Hagen scored the Blues’ sole goal of the night in the 17th minute. Samantha Kerr scored the Flash’s goal in the 22nd minute.

Lauren Holiday started the match off with a close shot in the 6th minute. After missing the last match due to illness, the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League MVP fired off a shot that went just over the crossbar in the opening minutes of the match.

FC Kansas City made it on to the board a few minutes later when a running Holiday received a ball from Erika Tymrak. Holiday then pushed the ball up to Hagen. She chipped the shot over Flash goalkeeper Kelsey Wys for the first goal of the night.

The Flash equalized five minutes later when Kerr capitalized when Carli Lloyd headed a cross to the Australian. The Blues had a close chance directly after the Flash’s goal. Rodriguez received a Holiday free kick but the shot bounced off the goal post and out of bounds.

The Blues looked much better all over the pitch after an abnormal performance in Portland. FC Kansas City’s defense solidified and stopped multiple attacks from Kerr and Lloyd throughout the night. The Kansas City offense was stronger tonight at well with attacks from all over the lineup. Even with a better performance from the Blues, the score remained in a stalemate at 1-1 going in to the locker rooms.

The second half did not see any more goals, but a much more aggressive Flash offense. The ball remained in the Blues’ defending third throughout the last 45 minutes. FC Kansas City had multiple scoring chances in the second half but nothing could find the back of the net. Kansas City and the Flash were evenly matched and it showed tonight. The match ended kept the same score of 1-1 at the final whistle.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Match Day 20 - Looking for Some Home Form

Sporting KC are the defending MLS Cup champions. Tomorrow at Sporting KC welcome the winner of the previous two MLS Cups, the LA Galaxy to Sporting Park. Kansas City will be looking for their first win at home since early May when KC beat the Columbus Crew 2-0. Since then they have played four games at home, getting a loss and three draws in those four games. With KC's continued want to have Sporting Park be a fortress, this current string of games combined with the team's general history at Sporting Park is disappointing for the team as a whole. The team can't continue to rely on their road form to carry them, they're going to need to start picking up wins at home.

The Galaxy come into Sporting Park on a nice unbeaten run, having not lost in eight league games. They extended it to eight games on Wednesday night when they destroyed the New England Revolution 5-1. Their offense is really clicking with Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes both scoring two goals on Wednesday night. And they still have Landon Donovan in the team, one of those players who has really hurt KC over the years, he has 13 league goals against KC in his distinguished career in MLS. The one area where the Galaxy have struggled this year is in defense, specifically in their wide positions. They got even thinner on Wednesday when Dan Gargan was red carded for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity foul on Teal Bunbury. That means that Gargan will miss tomorrow's game against KC, leaving LA with few options in defense, an area that KC needs to exploit.

Sporting will be relieved that the independent group that reviewed Aurelien Collin's red card rescinded it, allowing the Frenchman to play tomorrow partnering Matt Besler in central defense. Kansas City should also welcome back Graham Zusi to the starting 11 after not playing on Wednesday night against the Crew, being given the night off by Peter Vermes. Zusi's rest is going to be key for Sporting KC tomorrow, him and if Toni Dovale starts should both be causing a number of issues for the Galaxy defense, especially wide, which as I said is a current weak point for the Galaxy defense. With the way that KC likes to attack down the wings there could be a lot of space for whoever KC starts wide to operate against the Galaxy.

Gruenebaum
Juliao - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Olum - Feilhaber
Zusi
Sapong - Dwyer - Dovale

Number to Remember - 3 - That's how many more wins Sporting has on the road (6) than they do at home (3). KC is 6-4 at home this year and currently sit 3-1-5 at home. While they only have the one loss, KC has left another 10 points on the table with all those draws this year. KC really needs to start picking up all 3 points at home.

Key Match Up - KC Wingers vs Galaxy wingbacks - As I mentioned, the Galaxy are hurting when it comes to their wingbacks. KC has shown, especially lately that they are going to spend a lot of time attacking the wings. This could be a great game for KC in that regard. If CJ Sapong gets another start he also provides a big body in the box to help Dom Dwyer against the likes of Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo.

PREDICTION - This game is all dependent on how the Galaxy choose to play. Are they going to come in and sit back like the Chicago Fire do when they come here, or are they going to come out and try to push KC like the Portland Timbers have done to great success at Sporting Park the last few years. I honestly think with the Galaxy's attacking ability they are going to come out and play more against KC, Bruce Arena really hasn't shown with the Galaxy that he's the type to really sit back. The question is going to be whether KC can exploit the space that this creates. In the end this game is going to come down to whether KC can take advantage of the openings they're going to get with the Galaxy's issues in the back. If they can they should be able to take all three points.

SKC - 2 (Dwyer, Zusi)
LA - 1 (Zardes)

Manchester City Announces Travel Roster

We're less than a week away from the Champions Shield match up between Sporting Kansas City and Manchester City at Sporting Park, and today, the EPL champions announced their travel roster for the game. Unfortunately for a lot of people, there's going to be disappointment as none of City's 10 players that were at the World Cup are on the roster. Those players don't look like they'll join the club until after the game with KC so no Joe Hart, no Yaya Toure, and no Sergio Aguero along with others.

That's certainly going to be a big talking point for a lot of people that bought tickets hoping to see big name players that played during City's run to the EPL title. Less than half of the roster (11 of the 23) played in the Premier League last season. For me there are really only nine names on the roster that stick out to me as names that I really recognize.

The names on the roster really aren't going to be those that really move tickets much. And while sales look better than they earlier this week, there still appears to be a number of tickets available for the game.

Manchester City FC Travel Squad
Goalkeepers (3): Willy Caballero, Richard Wright, Ian Lawlor
Defenders (8): Micah Richards, Dedryck Boyata, Gael Clichy, Karim Rekik, Aleksandar Kolarov, Matthias Bossaerts, Matija Nastasic, Jason Denayer
Midfielders (8): Fernando, Samir Nasri, Scott Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Jesus Navas, Jack Rodwell, Bruno Zuculini, Emry Huws
Forwards (4): Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic, John Guidetti, Kelechi Iheanacho

Collin Red Card Rescinded

Aurelien Collin will get the opportunity to be on the field tomorrow against the LA Galaxy after an independent review panel agreed with Sporting KC's appeal of his red card. Collin picked up his second red card of the season in the 55th minute of Wednesday's game against the Columbus Crew when he went up for a header against Adam Bedell. Collin's arm movement on the play appeared to be the natural movement during an attempted jump, swinging the arms up to try to get more on his leap. As Collin came down from the jump, his elbow hit Bedell on the nose, causing the Crew forward to bleed. Referee Edvin Jurisevic did not even call a foul on the play, instead calling one seconds later. It was only after conversing with his assistants that he produced the red card.

Most non-partisan viewers seemed to think that the red card was harsh, as did a number of Crew fans that I saw posting about it on social media. In the end it was very much the right move for the panel to overturn the red card. Funny enough it's the second time that a red card that Jurisevic has given Collin has been overturned. The last time was in 2011 and it was a case of mistaken identity. It'll give KC a boost ahead of tomorrow's game against the Galaxy and their attack.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kamara on His Way Out at Boro? Former SKC Wizards Update

A few weeks ago, Kei Kamara Tweeted that he was in KC and had been getting treated for malaria. In the same tweet, he blasted both his club, Middlesbrough and his national team for their lack of assistance with the illness. The full story of that has not been relayed, but my running thought has been that it was misdiagnosed by both and it wasn't until he was in KC that it was correctly diagnosed. The tweet though hasn't endeared Kamara to the Boro fans. And with the club in preseason there have been rumors that Boro is looking to get rid of the Sierra Leone striker.

Here's the rest of this week's update.

Active without a club or unknown
Jose Burciaga
Julio Cesar
Edson Elcock
Adnan Gabeljic
Aaron Hohlbein
Mechack Jerome
Mike Jones
Neal Kitson
Alex Martinez
Nelson Pizarro
Akeem Priestly
Peter Schmetz
Scott Sealy
Konrad Warzycha

MLS
Davy Arnaud - DC - Started and played 90 minutes in DC's 2-1 win over San Jose.
Teal Bunbury - New England - Started and played 90 minutes in New England's 1-0 loss to Chicago. Started and played 90 minutes in New England's 5-1 loss to LA.
Bobby Convey - New York - Started and played 61 minutes in New York's 4-1 win over Columbus. Came off the bench and played 3 minutes in New York's 3-1 loss to Philadelphia.
Luis Gil - Salt Lake - Started and played 45 minutes in Salt Lake's 1-0 loss to LA.
Michael Harrington - Portland - Started and played 120 minutes in Portland's 3-1 loss to Seattle in the US Open Cup. Started and played 83 minutes in Portland's 2-0 loss to Seattle.
Jack Jewsbury - Portland - Started and played 81 minutes in Portland's 3-1 loss to Seattle in the US Open Cup. Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 2-0 loss to Seattl.e
Eddie Johnson - DC - Started and played 88 minutes, scoring a goal in DC's 2-1 win over San Jose.
Chris Konopka - Toronto - Dressed but did not play in Toronto's 4-2 win over Houston. Dressed but did not play in Toronto's 1-1 draw with Vancouver.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Portland - Started and played 120 minutes in Portland's 3-1 loss to Seattle in the US Open Cup. Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 2-0 loss to Seattle.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Stated and played 90 minutes, recording an assist in San Jose's 2-1 loss to DC.
Tyson Wahl - Columbus - Came off the bench and played 31 minutes in Columbus' 4-1 loss to New York. Dressed but did not play in Columbus' 2-1 loss to KC.

NASL
Stefan Antonijevic - Fort Lauderdale - Started and played 90 minutes in Fort Lauderdale's 3-0 loss to Minnesota.

USL
Brian Fekete - Pittsburgh - Dressed but did not play in Pittsburgh's 2-0 loss to OKC.
Cyprian Hedrick - Oklahoma City - Dressed but did not play in OKC's 2-0 win over Pittsburgh.
Jonathan Leathers - Charlotte - Started and played 90 minutes in Charlotte's 0-0 draw with Charleston. Started and played 90 minutes in Charlotte's 1-0 los to Sacramento.
Kyle Miller - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 2-0 win over Pittsburgh.
Michael Thomas - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in OKC's 2-0 win over Pittsburgh.
Yomby William - Richmond - Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 2-1 win over Sacramento.
John Wilson - Charleston - Started and played 90 minutes in Charleston's 0-0 draw with Charlotte.

Indoor
Jamar Beasley - St. Louis - Offseason.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Offseason.

International
Korede Aiyegbusi - Servette FC - Switzerland - No game until 7/20
Scott Angevine - Sporting Kristina - Finland - Started and played 90 minutes in Kristina's 3-0 loss to Kraft.
Vicente Arze - FK Hoverla Uzhhorod - Ukraine - Offseason.
Federico Bessone - Millwall - England - No game until 8/9
Omar Bravo - Chivas - Mexico - No game until 7/20
Mitchell Cardenas - Atlético Coatzacoalcos - Mexico - Offseason.
Sunil Chhetri - Bengaluru - India - Offseason.
Eloy Colombano - UAI Urquiza - Argentina - Offseason.
Daneil Cyrus - Ha Noi T&T (W Connection) - Vietnam (Trinidad) - Started and played 90 minutes in Ha Noi's 2-2 draw with Song Lam Nghe An.
Pablo Escobar - Cúcuta Deportivo - Colombia - Did not play in Cucuta's 2-0 win over Alianza Petrolera.
Roger Espinoza - Wigan - England - No game until 8/9
Herculez Gomez - Tigres - Mexico - No game until 7/19
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Offseason.
Jeferson - Boavista - Brazil - No game until 7/20
Will John - AZAL - Azerbaijan - Offseason.
Kei Kamara - Middlesbrough - England - No game until 8/9
Igor Kostrov - FC Costuleni - Moldova - Offseason.
Carlos Marinelli - Universidad San Martin - Peru - Came off the bench and played 26 minutes before being subbed out in San Martin's 0-0 draw with Sporting Cristal. Did not dress in San Martin's 3-1 win over Los Caimanes.
Neven Markovic - Servette FC - Switzerland - No game until 7/20
Yura Movsisyan - Spartak Moscow - Russia - Nogame until 8/1
Michal Mravec - Podbeskidzie - Poland - No game until 7/18
Pablo Punyed - Stjarnan - Iceland - Started and played 89 minutes in Stjarnan's 2-2 draw with FH. Started and played 90 minutes in Stjarnan's 4-0 win over Bangor City.
Oriol Rosell - Sporting Club de Portugal - Portugal - Offseason.
Yann Songo'o - Blackburn - England - No game until 8/9
Milos Stojcev - FK Sarajevo - Bosnia -  Offseason.
Matt Taylor - Saarbrücken - Germany - No game until 8/1
Ivan Trujillo - Deportivo Lara - Venezuela - Offseason.

Bieler Linked with a Move Back to Ecuador

Matt Besler isn't the only player with interest abroad right now that plays for Sporting KC. Word out of Ecuador today is that Barcelona SC (the one in Ecuador) is interested in bringing in Sporting KC designated player, Claudio Bieler. The team's manager, Ruben Israel is apparently for the move. Barcelona (who oddly enough played Kansas City in the Copa Mercanorte in 2001) is apparently looking to put the investment in to bring Bieler back to Ecuador.

Bieler has gotten little playing time for Sporting KC this season, especially in recent weeks. His last game for KC was Sporting's 2-0 win over Minnesota in the US Open Cup. His last league appearance was against the Chicago Fire in Chicago. He's appeared in eight league games, but started just three of them, scoring just one goal and playing just 274 minutes. A lot of that has to do with the success that Dom Dwyer is having playing in the center forward position for KC. It also has to do with Dwyer playing the forward position more like Peter Vermes, Dwyer will pressure a lot more from the top forward position than Bieler has. I liked what Bieler brought to KC last year, but at this point it may be best for him to make a move for his career, and for KC to free up the cap space.

S.A.S. Thursday After Stats

Here are some stats from yesterday's win against Columbus.

At 21 years, 146 days, Mikey Lopez became the 18th youngest player to start a league game for KC, knocking Matt McKeon out of the top 20.

He became the 19th youngest player to appear in a league game for KC, knocking Vicente Figueroa out of the top 20.

CJ Sapong scored his 19th league goal for KC, tying him with Teal Bunbury for 10th all time on that list.

Sapong's goal was his 9th league goal away from home, giving him sole possession of 10th place on that list.

It was Sapong's 10th goal in all competitions away from home tying him with Scott Sealy and Mo Johnston for 8th on that list.

Seth Sinovic made his 100th league appearance for KC, he's the 27th player to hit that mark.

Sinovic made his 99th start in league play, breaking his tie with Chance Myers for 20th on that list.

It was Sinovic's 123rd start in all competitions, tying him with Jose Burciaga and Graham Zusi for 16th on that list.

Matt Besler made his 157th start in all competitions, tying him with Mo Johnston for 9th place on that list.