Monday, April 21, 2014

Ellis Joins OKC on Loan - Sporting Loan Update

Sporting Kansas City announced today that the team had sent a third player on loan to their USL-Pro affiliate, Oklahoma City. The team is sending right back, Kevin Ellis to join Christian Duke and Jon Kempin with the Energy. Ellis had started three league games early in the season and both of the team's Champions League games against Cruz Azul. In those games Ellis had looked strong, like a solid back up to starter Chance Myers. Since the arrival of Igor Juliao though the Brazilian has been making the bench ahead of the home grown player. This move will prove to be a good one for Ellis, this should give him the game times that will give him the chance to continue to develop.

For the rest of KC's players loaned out, it was a quiet week.Mikey Lopez and Orlando City didn't have a game, while Oklahoma City's only game came on Tuesday against FC Dallas' reserves. And only one of KC's loaned players played. Duke missed the game due to the injury he picked up against Arizona last weekend. Kempin was the only player to play. He stopped a first half penalty by Andrew Jacobson to keep the score level at 0-0. OKC did give up a goal in the 53rd minute though and missed a late penalty as the Energy fell 1-0 to Dallas.

This week Orlando will get their turn at the FC Dallas reserves on Tuesday, before the affiliate match up on the weekend when Oklahoma City will host Orlando in their home opener.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday After Stats

The game was Peter Vermes' 150th league game in charge of Sporting. He is 65-46-39 as head coach.

Aurelien Collin scored his 16th goal in all competitions for KC, breaking his tie with Jose Burciaga, Sasha Victorine, Claudio Lopez, and Jack Jewsbury for 20th place on that list. It also tied Collin with Francisco Gomez for 19th on that list.

This is the sixth time in club history that an own goal has proven to be the game winning goal.

In the first minute, Matt Besler broke his tie with Tony Meola for 13th place for minutes played in league play. Besler finished the game with 11,421 minutes played.

Besler made his 126th start in league play for KC, breaking his tie with Tony Meola for 13th, and tying Matt McKeon for 12th all time.

In the 12th minute, Graham Zusi passed Kei Kamara for minutes played in league play for KC. Zusi finished the game with 8,988 minutes played in league play.

Zusi made his 128th league appearance for KC, tying him with Jimmy Nielsen for 13th all time on that list.

Zusi started his 96th league game for KC, tying him with Sasha Victorine for 20th all time.

In the 26th minute, Chance Myers moved past Jose Burciaga and into 17th place for minutes played in all competitions for KC. Myers finished the game with 10,689 minutes played.

Myers made his 114th start in all competitions for KC, breaking his tie with Sean Bowers for 19th on that list.

Sporting Lay Four on the Impact

It took a while to get things going last night for Kansas City, but when they did they were able to sweep aside the Montreal Impact, keeping them winless on the season and picking up their third win of the season themselves.

KC controlled the game early on against the Impact, as they seemed to sit back, playing the style many expected from Frank Klopas' team. Unlike those Fire games though, the Impact looked extremely dangerous on the counter attack. In fact they were the better team in creating chances. With KC putting numbers forward as the Impact allowed it, Felipe broke on a 2v1 break with only Aurelien Collin back for KC. Collin did well cutting off the pass to Marco Di Vaio in the middle until Eric Kronberg committed to Felipe. When Felipe did find Di Vaio, Collin had retreated to cover the goal line and knocked away Di Vaio's effort as Felipe squared the ball to him. The rebound fell to Collen Warner who shot right at Kronberg, who covered the shot up.  KC continued to pressure the Impact, keeping the ball in the Impact's end on their way to 65% possession in the first half. Benny Feilhaber continued his fine run of form and continued to push to try to make the World Cup roster with another good performance. In the 26th minute he played a perfect through ball on the ground behind the Impact defense for Sal Zizzo. Troy Perkins was quick off his line though and blocked Zizzo's effort. The pressure finally paid off with a goal in the 31st minute.  Matt Besler on a long throw in looked to pick out Lawrence Olum or Collin on the play. The ball was just above Olum, but ended up hitting off the head of Impact midfielder, Callum Mallace. His headed looped into the air and dropped into the far corner behind Perkins, giving KC a 1-0 lead. The Impact almost responded immediately down KC's right side, but the pass back to Di Vaio was then fired just wide of the target by the Italian.

The second half saw the Impact make an immediate adjustment, bringing on Andres Romero for Justin Mapp. In the process it looked like Felipe moved up and the Impact started playing with two forwards. Whatever they ended up doing though, it seemed to completely negate what Felipe had done in the first half as he was a none factor in the second. KC continued to pressure early in the second looking for goal number two. In the 67th minute, Feilhaber again played a great through ball, this one to Dom Dwyer. His effort was saved by Perkins' face. The rebound fell to Graham Zusi, but he fired his effort right into Perkins' chest. Shortly after that KC had another opportunity as Zusi got free down the left and played a ball across field to Zizzo, who would have been in alone on goal but Zizzo couldn't catch up with the pass. Finally in the 71st minute KC grabbed a second goal. It again came off of a Besler long through. The ball pinged around the box a little bit, with Dwyer keeping the ball held in. Right when Montreal looked like they'd get it clear, Olum knocked the ball back to Collin who fired a shot that went through a number of players and beat Perkins at his near post to double the advantage. Perkins didn't look good on the replay, but replays after the goal showed just how badly screened he was on the play, making it near impossible to see the ball until it was too late. Just a few minutes later, in the 74th, KC made it 3-0. A long free kick went past every player and into the corner where Jacob Peterson raced it down. He then played a ball on the ground towards the near post where Collin had raced in. Collin though dummied the ball, letting it roll through his legs to Dwyer who slid the ball past Perkins and into the net to make it 3. KC didn't back off and found a fourth in the 86th. Zusi played a nice looping ball to the back post where Dwyer headed it past Perkins for his second of the game and the team's fourth on the night. It was Dwyer's last action of the night as he made way for Claudio Bieler. Bieler almost made it 5-0 seconds after coming on as he received a nice through ball, but his shot went just wide of the far post. KC cruised to victory. Offensively the team didn't look it's best but they controlled possession and limited Montreal throughout.

Wizards Man of the Match - Aurelien Collin
- One goal, one dummy to set up another goal, a fantastic recovery run to save a ball off the line. Collin had a superb game for Kansas City. Him and the rest of KC's defense limited the Impact to just three shots, and only two on goal. This from the team that was leading the league in shots averaging 16 per game and six on goal per game. Hopefully the tightness that he experienced that led to his sub

Honorable Mention - Dom Dwyer

Player Ratings - Kronberg 6, Sinovic 7, Besler 7, Collin 8, Myers 7, Olum 7, Nagamura 7, Feilhaber 7, Zusi 7, Dwyer 8, Zizzo 6. Subs Peterson 6, Martinez 6, Bieler NR.

FC Kansas City Fall on the Road

From FC Kansas City

FC Kansas City lost for the first time in the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season tonight to the Washington Spirit. Amy Rodriguez scored in her second straight match for Kansas City, but it wasn’t enough as Diana Matheson notched two goals for the Spirit as she led her team to a 3-1 victory.

Washington caught Kansas City off guard early. In the fourth minute Crystal Dunn beat Nikki Phillips to a ball in the midfield and raced down the field. At the last moment she dished a pass to Diana Matheson who found the near post open for the 1-0 lead.

FC Kansas City looked to rebound right away after a streaking Amy Rodriguez was taken down in the box and awarded a Penalty Kick in the seventh minute. Normally automatic at the penalty spot, Lauren Holiday was unable to convert the kick, keeping her side down by a goal.

Able to regroup themselves, FC Kansas City returned to their possession-style attack right away. In the 29th minute Liz Bogus received a pass from her midfield and drove straight to goal with Amy Rodriguez on her right and Lauren Holiday on her left. With the defense coming to her, Bogus laid it off to Rodriguez who hit a great shot right away. Spirit goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris was able to make the save on the initial shot, but Rodriguez followed that up with a shot that Harris had no chance on.

The game was turned in the 38th minute when Dunn was once again able to come across the Kansas City defense and find Matheson at the top of the penalty box. Matheson hit a one-time shot that curled away and into the upper left corner of the goal.

Right at the end of the half, Spirit forward Jodie Taylor was fouled just outside of the Kansas City penalty box. Christine Nairn hit her free kick into nearly the same exact spot of the goal as Matheson had minutes earlier. The restart goal gave Washington a 3-1 lead in the final minute of the half.

Just prior to the final goal, defender Nikki Phillips collided with a Spirit forward on a clearance attempt. She was attended to by the trainers and unable to return, being replaced by Nia Williams.

Neither side was able to capitalize on opportunities in the second half. FC Kansas City midfielder Frances Silva made her NWSL debut when she and Jenna Richmond were inserted into the lineup midway through the period. While both players were able to help Kansas City increase pressure on the Spirit, the team was unable to find the back of the net.

The loss is the first of the season for FC Kansas City, who heads to the Pacific Northwest next weekend for a battle with their rival, Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, April 26 at 9:00p.m. CT
. The team returns home on April 30 at 7:00p.m. CT against the Chicago Red Stars. Tickets are available by calling 855.4KC.GOAL or email at tickets@kcprosoccer.com

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quito Interested in Re-Acquiring Bieler?

Sporting KC designated player, Claudio Bieler has seen his minutes this season split between himself and Dom Dwyer. The two have alternated starts for the first seven games of Sporting's season. The split time as well as his lack of playing time in the second half of the 2013 season has led to plenty of speculation on Bieler's exit from KC, with former club, LDU Quito being the location that comes up regularly in discussions.

Those discussions picked up again this past week in the Ecuadorian media. In an interview, the club's president, Esteban Paz discussed the possibility of bringing back the Argentine who is a hero for the club. The story though seems to be one that the media there is building up, as Paz said that the possibility of Bieler returning is "remote." The reason for that Paz says has to do with Bieler's current wages. He would have to take a pay cut to return and Quito would likely need to get rid of some players to accommodate him.

Paz did mention that Sporting still owes the club money for when they purchased Bieler's contract from the club. Stating that they have opened discussions with MLS. The assumption here isn't that KC hasn't paid the transfer fee, if they hadn't, you would expect FIFA to be involved in the lack of payment. This situation more appears to be a situation where Sporting is staggering the fee out over a longer period of time than just paying it all up front.

An article yesterday indicated that Bieler would have to take a 50% pay cut from his current salary with Sporting KC if he wanted to return. The original article mentions that Bieler has had an argument with Peter Vermes and that could be seen as a reason for him wanting to leave KC.

But as I stated earlier, this whole thing seems to be a creation by the media in Ecuador as it was not something that was directly brought up by Paz, it was instead asked by media.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sporting Welcome the East

Sporting KC has spent the entirety of the early MLS season playing the Western Conference. The team's first five games have all been against the Western Conference, with Sporting earning a 2-1-2 record against the West going 1-1 on the road and 1-0-2 at home. But now Kansas City steps back into conference play as the team's next 10 games are against the Eastern Conference. Every team that KC plays between now and the team's break for the 2014 World Cup will be against a conference rival, starting this Saturday against Montreal.

The Impact come into tomorrow's game winless on the season, with a 0-3-3 record after drawing with the Chicago Fire 1-1 last week in Montreal. The Impact have two dangerous goal scorers now up top as they have Marco Di Vaio who scored 20 goals last year, and the recently acquired Jack McInerney, who scored in the team's draw last weekend. Another new face for the Impact is their coach, Frank Klopas. The former KC player moved to take over the job in Montreal after leaving the Chicago Fire at the end of last season. The big question on Montreal heading into this game is if the team will be adopting Klopas' tactics he's deployed the last few years at Sporting Park. This has involved packing it in, slowing the game down and trying to hit on the counter. This has led to two 0-0 draws and just three goals scored in the last four times these teams have met at Sporting Park. With that strategy picking up a point on the road, I'd expect similar tactics to be deployed by the Impact tomorrow.

And with the way that KC has finished chances at home, it's not overly surprising if they do. Sporting has yet to score from the run of play at home in league play this season. Their last goal at home from the run of play was in the Eastern Conference finals against Houston, a span of 505 minutes since Dom Dwyer beat Tally Hall that KC has gone without a goal in the run of play against MLS competition (their goal against Cruz Azul in the Champions League was a run of play goal though). The team has always struggled a bit offensively to put the ball away while generating a number of chances, but the team can't keep relying on penalty kicks or set pieces, someone needs to start finding goals from the run of play. The big question for Kansas City will be who is going to start up top for KC. Whether it'll be Dwyer or the team's designated player, Claudio Bieler. So far this season Peter Vermes has rotated the two with them alternating starts over the course of the first seven games in all competitions. If Vermes keeps to that pattern, Bieler should start this weekend. But the argument can be made that the lack of consistency is one of the things that is causing problems for the forwards. I think Vermes will try to correct that tomorrow and start Dwyer.

Kronberg
Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Olum - Nagamura
Feilhaber
Zusi - Dwyer - Zizzo

Number to Remember - 4 - In the theory of win at home, draw on the road, KC has dropped four points so far this season at home after draws with FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake. It goes back to the team's lack of finishing.

Key Match Up - Lawrence Olum vs Felipe - With Oriol Rosell suspended for this game a lot will fall on the shoulders of Olum to fill that gap. Olum has done well in that position when called upon, including coming off the bench after only eight minutes in last year's MLS Cup final. Still Olum will need to be on his game tomorrow, Felipe can cause KC a number of issues in the midfield.

PREDICTION - I expect this game to be like the Fire games the past few years at Sporting Park. Which is to say I expect it to be a fairly ugly game unless KC can score early. In Klopas' tenure as Fire coach, KC's one win at Sporting Park came when they scored in the opening 10 minutes. The longer the game goes scoreless the further back Klopas had his team sit. I expect similar from Montreal. The difference with the Impact is that KC will have to be more mindful of the counter. With the likes of Di Vaio and McInerney, the Impact have more of an ability to hit back at KC when they push numbers forward than the Fire did against KC. The Impact though have been allowing a number of goals so far this year and that is something that will hopefully help KC confidence wise to find the net a couple times tomorrow night. With the extra break and more finishing practice over the past few weeks, I'd expect KC to come out on top of this one though.

SKC - 2 (Dwyer, Zusi)
MTL - 0

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sporting Anounce Prices for Manchester City Games

Sporting KC announced the prices for tickets for this summer's friendly against EPL side, Manchester City. As you'd expect with a game against one of the big EPL clubs played at a venue that has a maximum capacity of 21,650, the ticket prices are not cheap. Prices vary from $30 for standing room only tickets all the way to $350 for tickets in the Field Club in section F1. The Members' Stand is the second least expensive ticket at $50 and the South Stand comes in at $10 higher at $60.

Here's the full pricing structure.


Season ticket holders will get first stab at the tickets starting on Monday the 21st. The season ticket holder presale will run through Thursday. During that window they'll only have the ability to buy their current number of tickets. After that presale, season ticket holders will then have 24 hours to buy extra tickets for the game. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday after the two sales.

Kamara Out After Hernia Surgery - Former SKC Wizards Update

Middlesbrough hopes that he'll be back before the end of this season, but former KC forward, Kei Kamara is on the sidelines with an injury again. This time it is while he recovers from having sports hernia surgery. Kamara had the surgery last week and is expected to return to training soon. 

Also this week, Davy Arnaud edged closer to the 50 goal mark in MLS play for his career, he scored his 49th, the only goal of the game, in DC's 1-0 win over New York last weekend. Here's the rest of this week's update.

Active without a club or unknown
Jamar Beasley
Jose Burciaga
Julio Cesar
Edson Elcock
Adnan Gablejic
Josh Gardner
Aaron Hohlbein
Mike Jones
Neal Kitson
Nelson Pizarro
Akeem Priestly
Peter Schmetz
Scott Sealy
Shavar Thomas
Diego Walsh
Konrad Warzycha

MLS
Davy Arnaud - DC - Started and played 66 minutes, scoring a goal in DC's 1-0 win over New York.
Teal Bunbury - New England - Started and played 90 minutes, recording an assist in New England's 2-0 win over Houston.
Bobby Convey - New York - Did not dress in either of New York's games.
Luis Gil - Salt Lake - Did not dress in Salt Lake's 2-2 draw with Philadelphia.
Michael Harrington - Portland - Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 1-1 draw with Chivas.
Jack Jewsbury - Portland - Dressed but did not play in Portland's 1-1 draw with Chivas.
Eddie Johnson - DC - Started and played 84 minutes in DC's 1-0 win over New York.
Chris Konopka - Toronto - Did not dress in Toronto's 1-0 loss to Colorado.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Portland - Did not dress in Portland's 1-1 draw with Chivas.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Did not dress in San Jose's 1-1 draw with Columbus.
Tyson Wahl - Columbus - Came off the bench and played 14 minutes in Columbus' 1-1 draw with San Jose.

NASL
Stefan Antonijevic - Fort Lauderdale - Started and played 90 minutes in Fort Lauderdale's 2-0 win over Ottawa.

USL
Brian Fekete - Pittsburgh - Did not dres in Pittsburgh's 4-3 loss to Wilmington.
Cyprian Hedrick - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 4-0 win over Arizona. Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 1-0 loss to Dallas
Jonathan Leathers - Charlotte - Did not dress in Charlotte's 2-1 win over Richmond.
Kyle Miller - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in OKC's 4-0 win over Arizona. Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 1-0 loss to Dallas.
Mike Reidy - Rochester - Did not dress in Rochester's 1-1 draw with Dayton.
Michael Thomas - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes, recording two assists in OKC's 4-0 win over Arizona. Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 1-0 loss to Dallas.
Yomby William - Richmond - Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 2-1 loss to Charlotte.
John Wilson - Charleston - Started and played 90 minutes in Charleston's 1-0 loss to Orlando.

Indoor
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Offseason.

International
Korede Aiyegbusi - Servette FC - Switzerland - Did not dress in Servette's 3-0 loss to Schaffhausen.
Scott Angevine - Sporting Kristina - Finland - Season starts 4/27
Vicente Arze - FK Hoverla Uzhhorod - Ukraine - Came off the bench and played 29 minutes in Hoverla's 1-0 win over Metalurh Zaporizhya.
Federico Bessone - Millwall - England - Did not dress in Millwall's 2-2 draw with Watford.
Omar Bravo - Chivas - Mexico - Started and played 45 minutes in Chivas' 1-1 draw with Morelia.
Mitchell Cardenas - Atlético Coatzacoalcos - Mexico - Beat Inter Playa 4-0.
Sunil Chhetri - Bengaluru - India - No game this week.
Eloy Colombano - UAI Urquiza - Argentina - Did not dress in either of UAI's games.
Daneil Cyrus - W Connection - Trinidad - No game this week.
Pablo Escobar - Cúcuta Deportivo - Colombia - Did not play in Deportivo's 1-0 win over Deportes Quindio.
Roger Espinoza - Wigan - England - Dressed but did not play in Wigan's 1-1 (2-4) PK shootout loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Herculez Gomez - Tijuana - Mexico - Did not dress in Tijuana's 1-1 draw with Tigres.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Suspended
Jeferson - Boavista - Brazil - No game this week.
Will John - AZAL - Azerbaijan - Started and played 90 minutes in Aza's 0-0 draw with Qabala.
Kei Kamara - Middlesbrough - England - out injured.
Igor Kostrov - FC Costuleni - Moldova - Lost 2-0 to Veris.
Carlos Marinelli - Universidad San Martin - Peru - Suspended for San Martin's 2-1 win over Cesar Vallejo.
Neven Markovic - Servette FC - Switzerland - Started and played 64 minutes in Servette's 3-0 loss to Schaffhausen.
Yura Movsisyan - Spartak Moscow - Russia - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in Spartak's 1-0 win over Krylya Sovetov.
Michal Mravec - Podbeskidzie - Poland - Did not dress in Podbeskidzie's 1-0 win over Wisla Krakow.
Pablo Punyed - Stjarnan - Iceland - Beat Vikingur Olafsvik 4-0 in the cup.
Yann Songo'o - Ross County (Blackburn) - Scotland (England) - No game this week.
Milos Stojcev - FK Sarajevo - Bosnia - Started and played 75 minutes in Sarajevo's 3-0 win over Zvijezda.
Matt Taylor - Preußen Münster - Germany - Dressed but did not play in Munster's 4-2 win over Hansa Rostock.
Ivan Trujillo - Deportivo Lara - Venezuela - Started and played 53 minutes in Lara's 0-0 draw with Aragua.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Duke Leaves OKC Win Early with Injury - Sporting Loan Update

The Oklahoma City Energy picked up the biggest win of their young history this past weekend against Arizona United. It came at a bit of a cost though as one of KC's two loaned players, Christian Duke, left the game after only nine minutes. His replacement, former SKC academy midfielder, David Leichty, picked up the assist on OKC's first goal as they cruised to a 4-0 win on the road.

Goalkeeper, Jon Kempin picked up his first win and first shutout of the season in the game. Kempin had to make three saves in the win, but OKC played 47 minutes up a man after a first half red card. OKC is back in action tomorrow night as they travel to Dallas to take on FC Dallas' reserves in a game.

Meanwhile in Orlando, Mikey Lopez was again an unused substitute for Orlando City as they pulled out a 1-0 win over the Charleston Battery. The Lions next game isn't until a week from tomorrow when they too will take on the FC Dallas reserves down in Dallas.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

FCKC Draw Opener

From FC Kansas City

FC Kansas City ties Sky Blue FC 1-1 in the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season opener. Amy Rodriguez once again made FC Kansas City’s goal the first in the league. In front of 3,107 fans at Verizon Wireless Field at Durwood Stadium, Rodriguez scored her first ‘Blues’ goal. Katy Freels scored the equalizer for Sky Blue FC early in the second half.

The ‘Blues’ played the first half with their traditional style of heavy possession. Sky Blue had a difficult time breaking through a dangerous midfield and defense; only tallying one shot on goal in the first half. FC Kansas City however had five on target with one finding the back of the net.

Rookie draft pick Kassey Kallman sent a ball across to Rodriguez who slid the ball by Sky Blue goalkeeper Jill Loyden. The goal came at the 42nd minute, which had Kansas City up at half time. Old friends Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday led the ‘Blues’ offensively with 6 and 4 shots, respectively.  Goal scoring Freels led Sky Blue with 3 shots for the night.

The second half saw the same level of intensity from both teams. Kansas City was determined to hold on to the lead created while Sky Blue fought back. A missed clearance led to Freels finding the back of the net unassisted. Rodriguez and Holiday worked the ball in the Sky Blue defense, but couldn’t get another goal. Even with substitutes from both teams, the score stayed at 1-1 at the final whistle.

FC Kansas City hits the road for the next two games. The ‘Blues’ will travel to Maryland to face the Washington Spirit on April 19 at 5:30p.m. CT, then on to Portland to visit the Thorns on April 26 at 9:00p.m. CT. Kansas City will return home on April 30 to take on the Chicago Red Stars at 7:00p.m. CT. For tickets and information call 855.4KC.GOAL or email tickets@kcprosoccer.com