Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sporting Roster to be Tested again with Call Ups and More Injuries

Sporting KC is going to have more selection issues as the team goes into the final four games of the regular season. Today the team made two announcements about player availability in the final month.

First the team announced that midfielder Jorge Claros had been called up by Honduras for the country's two national team games next week against Mexico (October 9th) and the United States (October 14th). Claros will now miss Sporting's game against the Chicago Fire on October 10th at Sporting Park.

KC also announced today that defender, Erik Palmer-Brown's season is over. The 17 year old home grown player suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot and is done for the year. Palmer-Brown suffered the injury in training today at the team's Swope Park training complex.

While Palmer-Brown hadn't gotten a ton of game time this year, it leaves KC with just six defenders on the roster, one of whom is also the team's current starting defensive midfielder. Another injury or suspension and KC gets into emergency defensive position again. The team currently has just three outside backs with Seth Sinovic, Igor Juliao, and Kevin Ellis. With Jacob Peterson still out injured, the fourth outside back would probably be Sal Zizzo who has played there with Portland. In the center of defense KC just has four available defenders, starters Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin, starting defensive midfielder, Lawrence Olum, and then Ellis.

What this means is that some of the team's most tired legs are going to be getting basically all the minutes the rest of the season. Besler and Sinovic have both looked tired in games having played so much already this season. Collin is battling another injury, and Juliao has had some adjusting to do defensively with this team. With Olum getting the majority of his minutes in midfield, the Ellis is going to be the jack of all trades defensively for KC down the stretch. It does lead to the question that many fans have asked since both Ike Opara and Chance Myers went down with season ending injuries, why didn't KC look to bring in another defender to help provide some depth on the back line. Hopefully the team can hold up down the stretch, but the lack of ability to rotate some of the starters a little bit is going to hurt KC in the end.

A Move Back West Appears to be in Sporting's Future

It looks as if Sporting KC will be moving West next year. A few weeks ago the rumor broke that Chivas USA could go on "hiatus" after this season. Yesterday, Jeff Carlisle with ESPN FC reported that this rumor was true and that the club will take at least a 2 year break while their new owner works on getting a new stadium built for the team. The hiatus was apparently a condition of the sale of the team.

Chivas USA is having a horrible year, currently sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference with 24 points from 30 games. They also have the worst goal difference in the league, at -33. Not only that, but Chivas is on pace to set the league record for lowest average attendance. The prior record was 7,460 by the 2000 Miami Fusion (who folded 1 season later). Through 14 home games this year for Chivas, they are averaging 6,942 per game. They also set the lowest single game attendance this year, drawing an announced 3,702 for a game against the Portland Timbers. Later on in the season, they drew just 231 more when Sporting KC came to visit on a Friday. This is not a new thing for Chivas either, they have been the league's low attendance mark average wise for the two seasons before this one as well.

What this means for Sporting though is with New York City FC and Orlando City coming into the league next year and Chivas going away, that leaves MLS with 20 teams. With NYCFC and OCSC both on the East Coast it is easy to guess that those two will end up in the Eastern Conference. That would put the Eastern Conference at 12 teams and the West with just 8. To balance out the schedule, expect two Eastern Conference teams to move West. Houston was expected to move West no matter what to help balance the league when it was expected there would be 21 teams. Now with just 20, expect two to move. Sporting KC is the next furthest West team in the Eastern Conference, so for the second time in their history a conference switch for KC seems likely.

KC last moved conferences ahead of the 2005 season, moving East as MLS added teams in Salt Lake and Los Angeles (Chivas). Now it appears that KC will again get to switch. The move though was expected to come eventually for Kansas City. With team "22" being announced as Atlanta for 2017, if Sporting hadn't moved now (even if Chivas didn't go on hiatus) they'd be going to the West in 2017 to make the conferences 11 a piece.

With this switch the West becomes even stronger, losing their weakest team while gaining the Eastern Conference's MLS Cup representative the last three years. Since the 2011 season, only Houston and Sporting have represented the East at MLS Cup. In that same time, the Dynamo and Sporting have been five of the six Eastern Conference finalists, the one exception being DC United in 2012. Now Houston and KC will likely need to step their game up to compete in a Western Conference with the likes of LA, Seattle, Dallas, and Salt Lake.

It is a bit disappointing in the fact that this moving of conferences doesn't allow Kansas City to really generate much in the way of rivalries. They'll at least still have Houston to face, but the Dynamo will get back their primary rival, Dallas. Colorado has Salt Lake, LA will have San Jose, and the Cascadia teams will all have themselves. While I'm sure there will be some rivalry with Houston, Salt Lake, and Seattle, Kansas City will likely be the "secondary" rival for those teams. A similar thing was still happening in the East nine years after that move. KC's front office had tried to develop one with Chicago, but the Chicago fans more or less laughed at it. Houston become one because of the playoff battles, the hope would be that a move would allow that rivalry to continue to grow at least on the field.

For Chivas USA's remaining fans, I feel for them. The situation they are now facing is a step further than the KC Wizards ever got, but they were certainly close. For years after Lamar Hunt put the team up for sale there was a worry that "this season" would be the last season. Now Chivas' remaining fans are staring "this season" straight in the face it seems. I feel bad for the ones I met and had beers with at the 2011 season opener, they are good people that wanted a team to support.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sporting Academy Players in College Update

Here's another update of Sporting academy players in college . Sporting KC has updated their academy alumni section of the site recently so I have removed a couple players who were on this list last week who no longer appear on Sporting's list. I've also added one player, Noah Mudd who had not previously been on the list.

Class of 2010

Brandon Fricke (Butler University) - D - RSr - Started for Butler and scored the game winning goal in a 2-1 OT win over Evansville. Started in Butler's 2-0 loss to Georgetown.

Class of 2011

Eric Hymer (Fort Hays State) - D - Sr - Started in Fort Hays 8-0 win over Lindenwood. Started in Fort Hays 5-0 win over Southwest Baptist.

Raymond Lee (Saint Louis University) - MF - Sr - Started for Saint Louis in their 2-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Eric Moore (Rockhurst University) - D - Sr - Did not play in Rockhurst's 1-0 win over University of Missouri-St. Louis. Came on as a substitute in Rockhurst's 4-0 win over Maryville.

Michael Oakley (University of Missouri Kansas City) - D - Sr - Started in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Paul Oliver (California Baptist) - D/MF - Sr - Started in Cal Baptist's 2-1 win over Dixie State.

Jordan Rideout (University of Missouri Kansas City) - F - Sr - Started in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Taylor Vinnage (Benedictine) - GK - Sr - Started in Benedictine's 1-0 loss to #9 Grand View.

Class of 2012

Andrew Brown (Bradley University) - MF - Jr - Started in Bradley's 2-1 OT loss to Loyola.

Eric DeJulio (Creighton University) - D - Jr - Started in #12 Creihton's 1-0 win over Villanova.

Daniel Hare (Loyola University in Chicago) - D - Jr - Came on as a substitute in Loyola's 1-0 loss to Valparaiso. Started in Loyola's 2-1 OT win over Bradley.

Andrew Lightner (Dayton) - D - RSo - Started in Dayton's 1-0 win over Ohio State.

Andrew Miller (Baker University) - D - Jr - Started in Baker's 4-3 win over Ottawa.

Nate Opperman (University of Evansville) - F - Jr - Did not play in Evansville's 2-1 OT loss to Butler.

Derek Schrick (University of Missouri Kansas City) - MF - Jr - Did not play in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Chris Tuso (Baker) - MF - Jr - Did not play in Baker's 4-3 win over Ottawa.

Shane Woods (Drury University) - F - Jr - Came on as a substitute in Drury's 4-2 win over Truman. Came on as a substitute in Drury's 3-2 loss to Quincy.

Class of 2013

Joe Amico (Jacksonville) - D - So - Started in Jacksonville's 1-0 win over Campbell. Started in Jacksonville's 3-0 loss to Georgia Southern.

Chris Arce (Neosho CC) - MF - So - Came on as a substitue in Neosho's 2-1 win over KCK Community College. Came on as a substitute in Neosho's 3-1 win over St. Louis Community College. Started in Neosho's 1-0 win over St. Charles Community College.

Matt Bernard (Drake) - MF - RFr - Came on as a substitute in Drake's 0-0 draw with Cal Poly. Started in Drake's 4-1 loss to UC Santa Barbara.

Paul Dean (Rockhurst University) - D - So - Started in Rockhurst's 1-0 win over UM-St. Louis and their 4-0 win over Maryville.

Seo-In Kim (Duke) - MF - So - Started in #23 Duke's 2-1 loss to UNC Wilmington. Came on as a substitute in Duke's 1-0 win over Boston College.

Adam Lightner (Northern Illinois University) - D - So - Came on as a substitute in Northern Illinois' 2-2 draw with Milwaukee.

Clay Stewart - (University of Missouri Kansas City) - MF/D - So - Did not play in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Wes White (University of Missouri Kansas City) - F - RFr - Started and scored a goal in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Austin Wilcox (University of Missouri Kansas City) - MF - So - Did not play in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central ARkansas.

Drew Wilson (Fort Hays State University) - D - So - Started and recorded an assist in Fort Hays 8-0 win over Lindenwood. Started in Fort Hays 5-0 win over Southwest Baptist.

Kyle Vassar - (University of Missouri Kansas City) - D - RFr - Did not play in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central ARkansas.

Class of 2014

Darby Cronin (University of Missouri Kansas City)- MF - Fr - Did not play in UMKC's 1-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Andrew Dittemore (Missouri State) - GK - Fr - Did not play in Missouri State's 3-1 loss to #25 UAB.

Andy Ericks (Colorado School of Mines) - MF - Fr - Did not play in Colorado's 2-1 loss to Regis. Came off the bench in Colorado's 2-0 win over Colorado Chistian. Did not play in Colorado's 3-2 win over Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Heath Honold (Wake Forest) - F - Fr - Did not play in Wake's 7-0 win over VMI. Did not play in Wake's 3-1 loss to Clemson.

Mason Leonard (Drake) - D - Fr - Started in Drake's 0-0 draw with Cal Poly. Started in Drake's 4-1 loss to UC Santa Barbara.

Blake Levine (Baker) - F - Fr - Started and scored two goals in Baker's 4-3 win over Ottawa.

Matthew Lewis (Fordham) - D - Fr - Started in Fordham's 2-0 loss to Columbia. Started in Fordham's 2-0 loss to Dartmouth.

Andy Lopez (North Carolina) - MF - Fr - Did not play in UNC's 2-0 loss to #1 Notre Dame.

Noah Mudd - Trevecca - D - Fr - Started in Trevecca's 7-0 loss to Carson-Newman. Started in Trevecca's 4-3 win over Kentucky Wesleyan.

Joey Piatczyc (West Virginia) - MF - Fr - Came off the bench and had an assist in West Virginia's 4-3 OT loss to James Madison. Started and had an assist in West Virginia's 2-0 win over Niagara.

Cole Stevenson (Denver) - F - Fr - Came off the bench and had an assist in Denver's 4-0 win over Oral Roberts.

Austin Williamson (Northeastern State University) - GK - Fr - Did not play in either of Northeastern's games.

Zach Wright (North Carolina) - F - Fr - Came off the bench in UNC's 2-0 loss to #1 Notre Dame.

Updated MLS Player Salaries

The MLS Players' Union today released their updated salaries for the 2014 season. The union usually does this two to three times a year. This year the second release was later in the season than most people expected it to be released.

With it there are some updates to Sporting KC's salaries from earlier in the year.

The biggest changes are for KC's two new designated players, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. Both saw their base salaries jump to $600,000. Besler jumped from $200,000, Zusi from $365,000. Besler has the largest guaranteed compensation at $633,250 while Zusi is right behind him at $631,388.89.

Sporting's three new signings are also on the list. The lowest of which is midfielder, Michael Kafari making $36,504. Ahead of him is Honduran midfielder, Jorge Claros making $90,000. The highest of KC's midseason acquisitions was Swiss-Filipino midfielder, Martin Steuble who is making $120,000. It bit surprising considering the roles of the two players so far that Steuble is making more than Claros.

With the new salaries, Sporting KC now has the 11th highest payroll in MLS, moving up two spots from where they were when the first salaries came out this year. And according to the numbers, Besler is the 21st highest paid player in the league, Zusi the 22nd.

A Look at Where Sporting's at and Where the Final Month Goes

Sporting Kansas City is limping into the final month of the MLS regular season this year, having lost five of their last six league games (and come on how many people really count a win over Chivas any more). Since the beginning of August, only Colorado (2) and Chivas (1) have picked up fewer points than Sporting KC's 8 points. With that, Sporting has fallen from contenders for the Eastern Conference and for the Supporters' Shield to fighting to make the playoffs. With KC 6 points now behind DC United for first in the East, the defending MLS Cup Champs are closer to missing the playoffs (5 points ahead of 6th place TFC) than they are to winning the East.

Simply a huge drop in form for Sporting in this current stretch. When the month of August started the Eastern Conference looked like this, with Sporting sitting in first place, comfortably ahead of New England, Columbus, Toronto, and New York.

# Club PTS GP PPG W L T GF GA GD
1 Sporting Kansas City 38 21 1.81 11 5 5 31 19 12
2 D.C. United 37 20 1.85 11 5 4 32 20 12
3 New England Revolution 26 21 1.24 8 11 2 28 33 -5
4 Columbus Crew 26 21 1.24 6 7 8 43 36 7
5 Toronto FC 26 19 1.37 7 7 5 27 28 -1
6 New York Red Bulls 25 21 1.19 5 6 10 33 32 1
7 Philadelphia Union 23 21 1.1 5 8 8 33 35 -2
8 Chicago Fire 21 20 1.05 3 5 12 27 33 -6
9 Houston Dynamo 19 20 0.95 5 11 4 22 40 -18
10 Montreal Impact 14 20 0.7 3 12 5 21 37 -16

A month later, and here we sit with that 12 point gap gone and now just two points sit between Sporting and playing in the play-in game for the Eastern Conference.

# Club PTS GP PPG W L T GF GA GD
1 D.C. United 51 30 1.7 15 9 6 46 34 12
2 New England Revolution 45 30 1.5 14 13 3 44 42 2
3 Sporting Kansas City 45 30 1.5 13 11 6 45 37 8
4 Columbus Crew 43 30 1.43 11 9 10 43 36 7
5 New York Red Bulls 41 30 1.37 10 9 11 48 46 2
6 Toronto FC 40 29 1.38 11 11 7 42 45 -3
7 Philadelphia Union 38 30 1.27 9 10 11 45 44 1
8 Houston Dynamo 36 29 1.24 10 13 6 35 50 -15
9 Chicago Fire 31 29 1.07 5 8 16 37 45 -8
10 Montreal Impact 24 30 0.8 6 18 6 34 54 -20

So heading into the final four games of the season, Sporting sits in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference and their magic number to qualify for the playoffs for a 4th year running is 8. The New York Red Bulls have the 6th lowest maximum points of 53, so a combination of eight points picked up and dropped by KC and New York respectively would see KC in the playoffs.

It's not going to be an easy path for Kansas City to pick up those 8 points though. KC's final four opponents are unbeaten against Sporting this year, a combined 5-0-3 against Sporting, including a 2-0-3 record at Sporting Park where two of KC's final four games take place.

The trip month starts this Friday with Sporting KC taking on Conference Leaders DC United. Back at the beginning of August this game was expected to be the Conference deciding game between the two teams. Now DC is looking to move 9 points clear of Sporting and sweep the season series with KC, the same that New England has done. DC is 2-0 this year against KC winning 1-0 in DC in May and 3-0 at Sporting Park in August. And while DC will be without the suspended Perry Kitchen, this is a game that KC doesn't look likely to win.

KC then returns home for another Friday night home game, this time against the rival Chicago Fire. Chicago has a 1-0-1 record against Sporting this year, picking up a 2-1 win at Toyota Park at the height of KC's injury issues earlier this year, and then drawing 1-1 at Sporting Park in July. Chicago could very well be eliminated from playoff contention by the time this game is played as they currently sit 10 points behind 5th place New York, although they have a game in hand. There's also the potential that Sporting could play this game without a few of their international players, with the game falling on a FIFA international break date. So the likes of Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Jorge Claros, and Soony Saad could all miss this game if they're called up for national team duty.

Sporting plays their final road game of the regular season in Philadelphia against the Union. Philadelphia, like Chicago has a 1-0-1 record against KC this year, having won 2-1 at Sporting Park in May and tying 1-1 at Sporting Park in August. Sporting will this time travel to PPL Park where they opened and closed the 2013 regular season with wins and will be looking to make it four straight wins at PPL Park in all competitions. Philadelphia, like Chicago will potentially know their playoff fate by the time this game takes place with them currently in 7th place but only three points behind 5th place New York.

Before Sporting KC close out the regular season at home against New York, Sporting travels to Costa Rica for the final game of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage. KC need to avoid a loss of 2-0 or a loss by more than 2 goals for them to advance out of the group and into the knock out round next February and March (a 3-1 loss sees a drawing of lots for who advances).

After the trip to Costa Rica, Sporting will welcome the New York Red Bulls to Sporting Park to close out the regular season. New York is also 1-0-1 this year against KC, drawing 1-1 in KC in May before beating Sporting KC 2-1 at Red Bull Arena during KC's four game losing streak. The Red Bulls, like Sporting will be busy with a midweek Champions League game, but New York will be playing that game at home and are already eliminated from the competition. Based on how tight the Eastern Conference is right now, there is little chance that this meaningless. At the least I expect this game to be worth seeding positions in the East. A win here could be the difference between the play-in round or not.

So as you can see, the run up to the end of the season is not going to be an easy one. The "easiest" of KC's opponents, Chicago, Sporting is likely going to face without a few players due to international call ups, while the rest will be fighting for playoff position. KC is going to need to figure out their current issues if they want to make noise in the playoffs.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Could Espinoza Return to Sporting?




Last night during KC's 3-2 loss to the New England Revolution, ESPN analyst, Taylor Twellman made the above tweet. Normally this sort of Tweet would just be looked over and people would move on. But Twellman is becoming notorious for breaking news about MLS, including Michael Bradley's return to MLS and Landon Donovan's retirement, so when Twellman says something about an MLS team or potential news, people should listen.

That's why I'm not immediately bypassing this Tweet from Twellman, him saying something like this has me thinking that there's more than a little truth to that move potentially happen.

Roger Espinoza moved to Wigan Athletic, then in the English Premier League in the January 2013 transfer window on a free transfer after his contract with Sporting KC expired. Espinoza found some initial success at Wigan appearing 12 times for Wigan in the Premier League and also played in the FA Cup final that Wigan ended up winning over Manchester City. At the same time though Wigan was relegated to the Championship. In the Championship in the 2013-2014 season, Espinoza made just 19 appearances for the Latics as they qualified for the Championship playoffs, but did not make a return trip to the Premiership. Unfortunately this season has not gone as well so far for Espinoza, he's appeared in just one of Wigan's league games so far this season, as a substitute and started in Wigan's loss in the League Cup. It's gotten to the point where Espinoza has been relegated all the way to playing with Wigan's U21 side.

So a move by Espinoza wouldn't be the most surprising thing in the world once the next transfer window opens up, Espinoza has to be wanting to get himself more playing time and a move back to MLS would allow him that opportunity. And since Espinoza left Kansas City after his contract expired and Sporting made him a "bona fide" offer, Sporting retain his MLS rights so if he were to return to MLS, Sporting KC would have the first chance to sign him.

Espinoza would be able to slot right back into KC's midfield in the 2015 season. Paulo Nagamura, who has played mainly in Espinoza's role when he left has struggled with injuries the last two years and missed big chunks of time during the summer both years. He still provides a lot to KC as was evident last night, but turned 31 early in the season this year and made a base salary of $220,000 this season according to the Players' Union numbers. KC needs to probably start to look at a replacement for the Brazilian and from the games he's played Mikey Lopez doesn't appear to be that guy, at least not right now. And Espinoza fits that bill exactly, he's hard nosed and while not the same player as Nagamura who wears his emotions on his sleeve, he'll do the dirty work in the midfield that Nagamura does.

So we'll see if Twellman is once again on the money with news.

S.A.S. Saturday After Stats

Dom Dwyer's goal was his 22nd league goal, breaking his tie with Graham Zusi for 9th place on that list.

Dwyer scored his 25th goal in all competitions, breaking his tie with Teal Bunbury for 10th on that list.

Dwyer's goal was his 13th at home in league play, tying him with Mark Chung for 10th on that list.

It was Dwyer's 15th in all competitions at home, tying him with Igor Simutenkov for 10th on that list.

At 31 years, 208 days, Paulo Nagamura is the 16th oldest player to score a goal for KC.

He became the 17th oldest player to score a goal for KC in all competitions.

Matt Besler made his 142nd league start, tying him with Mo Johnston and Jack Jewsbury for 7th on that list.

Graham Zusi made his 145th appearance in league play for KC, breaking his tie with Matt McKeon and Josh Wolff for 11th on that list.

Benny Feilhaber started his 50th game in league play for KC, he's the 45th player to hit that mark.

Seth Sinovic started his 136th in all competitions for KC, breaking his tie with Diego Gutierrez for 16th on that list.

It was Sinovic's 109th start in league play, breaking his tie with Gutierrez for 17th on that list.

Sporting Allow Three at Home Again

Sporting KC continued their free fall in the standings last night, falling for the fifth time in six games and for the third straight time at home, 3-2 to the New England Revolution. KC has now allowed nine goals in the last three league games played at Sporting Park and haven't recorded a shutout at home in league play since May.

Kansas City had a chance early on as Dom Dwyer curled a fourth minute free kick just wide of Bobby Shuttleworth's far post. That was really the only chance early on for either side, but in the 22nd minute, the Revolution were the ones that got on the board first. Kevin Alston and Teal Bunbury combined down the Revolution's right before Alston played a ball across the box that made it through to an unmarked Kelyn Rowe at the back post who just one timed the ball back across goal and into the net to make it 1-0 for New England. Things got worse for the home side in the 35th minute. New England center back, Jose Goncalves won the ball off Paulo Nagamura in the Revolution half of the field. The center back dribbled half the field with next to no pressure from any KC player. Finally near the top of the box Goncalves took a low shot that beat Eric Kronberg inside the far post to double New England's lead. In the 40th the Revolution had another opportunity to add to their lead as Chris Tierney curled a free kick towards goal that Kronberg had to punch clear. KC really struggled to create chances in the first half never really testing Shuttleworth outside of Dwyer's early free kick.

The second half saw KC come out quickly, looking to find a way back into the game. In the 54th minute it paid off. Kevin Ellis played a nice through ball from the back onto Nagamura who had floated off the shoulder of Goncalves. Nagamura dribbled into the box and fired a shot into the roof of the net to pull Kansas City within one goal. Two minutes later, Sporting KC were level. Toni Dovale received the ball out wide on the left. With a chance to get his head up, Dovale curled a cross to the back post where Nagamura won the ball, heading it back across goal. Dwyer had made a run towards the opposite post and was able to head the ball into the open net for his 20th of the season. With the game level, KC looked the better side, pressuring the Revolution and looking for a goal to take the lead. In the 69th Kevin Ellis had a header saved from point blank range by Shuttleworth after an Igor Juliao shot was deflected into his path after a corner. Ellis though was offside on the play and the goal wouldn't have counted. In the 85th though KC gave the game away. Lee Nguyen played a short pass to Jermaine Jones in the middle of KC's half of the field. Jones, with no mark on him dribbled up and fired a low shot that beat Kronberg who was well out of position, leaving the lower corner open for Jones to fire the shot in. A number of mistakes and break downs defensively cost KC on that goal. KC was unable to find a way back and fell for the third time this season to the Revolution.

Wizards Man of the Match - Paulo Nagamura - Tried to carry KC to a win with his play last night, especially in the two goals.

Player Ratings - Kronberg 3, Juliao 4, Besler 3, Ellis 4, Sinovic 4, Claros 4, Nagamura 6, Feilhaber 4, Zusi 3, Dwyer 5, Dovale 4. Subs Saad 4, Sapong NR.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Match Day 30 - Battle for Second

Sporting Kansas City head back to league play tomorrow after having last weekend off between their two home Champions League games. And they return to action in a big game against the New England Revolution at Sporting Park. The Revolution sit just three points behind second place KC at the moment. Meanwhile KC sits just three points behind first place DC as the Eastern Conference playoff race gets tighter.

The Revolution head into tomorrow night's game having lost their five game winning streak last weekend in Columbus, the 1-0 loss ended the streak that included a 3-1 win over Sporting in New England earlier this month. They did it without Teal Bunbury who was suspended for the game due to yellow card accumulation. He'll be available for tomorrow's game though. The Revolution have already won the season series with KC, winning both of the games played at Gillette Stadium by a combined 5-1 scoreline. A bit of a surprise considering Kansas City's traditionally good history there. But the Revolution at the moment look to be a team in good form at just the right time of the season to make a playoff run.

Kansas City for there part could very well be rounding themselves into form as well. After four straight losses, three of them by multiple goals, KC has now won three straight in all competitions, winning all of them by multiple goals. Tomorrow though will be tougher than those previous games have been for KC. There may be some tired legs after the midweek game against Real Esteli that saw KC play a number of players you'd expect to start tomorrow. One player that looks set to miss out tomorrow is Aurelien Collin who said today that he's not sure if he'll be able to go tomorrow. If Collin can't go that puts KC in a corner when it comes to their center back position because the team will also be without Lawrence Olum who is suspended for tomorrow's game for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. That means that either Kevin Ellis or Erik Palmer-Brown are likely to partner Matt Besler in the center of defense. In a big game like this, it'll be a challenge for either one to step up into Collin's position.

Kronberg
Juliao - Ellis - Belser - Sinovic
Claros - Nagamura
Feilhaber
Zusi - Dwyer - Dovale

Number to Remember - 3 - That's the number of points separating these two teams. A loss would see Kansas City fall to third in the conference behind the Revolution and allow DC to further distance themselves from KC.

Key Match Up - Jorge Claros vs Lee Nguyen - Nguyen is having himself an MVP like season for the Revolution, leading the team with 13 goals and adding four assists. He's been playing extremely well for them this year. Being able to shut him down is key for Kansas City if they want to get a result tomorrow. That job is likely to fall on Claros defensively, with Paulo Nagamura helping out as well. Nguyen will try to operate in the space between Claros and KC's center backs, so the Honduran will need to be mindful of where he's at defensively.

PREDICTION - This should be a very good game tomorrow night. Both teams having been playing well the last few games. KC has a bit of a point to prove after the Revolution beat them 3-1 a few weeks ago. While New England is going to be looking to move up the table. The last few games Graham Zusi has been getting himself more involved in the play, if he can get involved and go at defenders like he has been lately, it'll create space for Toni Dovale and Dom Dwyer to work in up top. KC's defense will certainly be tested without Collin, but the team's play the last few games lifted morale heading into the stretch run and I think KC walks out with a close win.

SKC - 2 (Dwyer, Zusi)
NE - 1 (Davies)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Will John Moves to Morocco - Former SKC Wizards Update

 Will John has moved to a new club. The local KC product and former KC Wizard has made another club change. This time he's moved to Morocco and signed with Magred Fez of the Moroccan league. It's the eighth country that John will play in after stints in the US, Denmark, Croatia, Ukraine, Serbia, Slovakia, and his last club before this was in Azerbaijan. A lot of moves for the now 29 year old midfielder signed a two year contract with the club.

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

Active without a club or unknown
Vicente Arze
Federico Bessone
Jose Burciaga
Julio Cesar
Edson Elcock
Adnan Gabeljic
Mechack Jerome
Peterson Joseph
Kei Kamara
Neal Kitson
Michal Mravec
Nelson Pizarro
Akeem Priestly
Peter Schmetz
Scott Sealy
Konrad Warzycha

MLS
Davy Arnaud - DC - Started and played 90 minutes in DC's 3-3 draw with Chicago.
Teal Bunbury - New England - Did not dress in New England's 1-0 loss to Columbus.
Bobby Convey - New York - Did not dress in New York's 4-1 win over Seattle.
Luis Gil - Salt Lake - Came off the bench and played 7 minutes in RSL's 5-1 win over Colorado.
Michael Harrington - Portland - Came off the bench and played 8 minutes in Portland's 3-0 win over Vancouver. Started and played 90 minutes, recording an assist in Portland's 6-0 win over Alpha United.
Jack Jewsbury - Portland - Dressed but did not play in Portland's 3-0 win over Vancouver. Started and played 62 minutes, scoring a goal in Portland's 6-0 win over Alpha United.
Eddie Johnson - DC - Did not dress in DC's 3-3 draw with Chicago.
Chris Konopka - Toronto - Dressed but did not play in TFC's 3-0 win over Chivas.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Portland - Did not dress in Portland's 3-0 win over Vancouver. Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 6-0 win over Alpha United.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Dressed but did not play in San Jose's 2-0 loss to Montreal.
Tyson Wahl - Columbus - Started and played 90 minutes in Columbus' 1-0 win over New England.

NASL
Stefan Antonijevic - Fort Lauderdale - Started and played 90 minutes in Fort Lauderdale's 2-1 win over Indy.

USL
Brian Fekete - Pittsburgh - Offseason.
Cyprian Hedrick - Oklahoma City - Offseason.
Jonathan Leathers - Charlotte - Offseason.
Alex Martinez - Orange County - Offseason.
Kyle Miller - Oklahoma City - Offseason.
Michael Thomas - Oklahoma City - Offseason.
Yomby William - Richmond - Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 3-2 loss to Harrisburg.
John Wilson - Charleston - Offseason.

Indoor
Jamar Beasley - St. Louis - Offseason.
Pat Healey - Baltimore - Offseason.
Paul Wright - San Diego - Offseason.

International
Korede Aiyegbusi - Auerbach - Germany - Started and played 76 minutes in Auerbach's 3-1 loss to BAK 07.
Scott Angevine - Sporting Kristina - Finland - Defeated Kerho 07 2-1.
Omar Bravo - Chivas - Mexico - Started and played 90 minutes in Guadalajara's 2-0 win over Tijuana in the Copa MX. Started and played 90 minutes in Chivas' 4-1 loss t Queretaro.
Mitchell Cardenas - Atlético Coatzacoalcos - Mexico - Tied Real Cuautitlan 0-0.
Sunil Chhetri - Bengaluru - India - Offseason.
Eloy Colombano - AD Berazategui - Argentina - Lost 1-0 to Defensores Unidos. Tied JJ Urquiza 2-2.
Daneil Cyrus - Ha Noi T&T (W Connection) - Vietnam (Trinidad) - Offseason.
Pablo Escobar - Cúcuta Deportivo - Colombia - Started and played 90 minutes in Cucuta's 2-0 loss to Santa Fe. Did not play in Cucuta's 1-0 win over Calledupar.
Roger Espinoza - Wigan - England - Did not dress in either of Wigan's games.
Herculez Gomez - Tigres - Mexico - Came off the bench and played 11 minutes in Tigres' 1-0 win over Universidad Guadalajara. Started and played 90 minutes in Tigres' 1-0 Copa MX win over Queretaro.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Offseason.
Jeferson - América RN - Brazil - Did not play in either of America's games.
Will John - Maghreb Fes - Morocco - Just signed for the club.
Igor Kostrov - Veris - Moldova - Defeated Dacia 2-0.
Carlos Marinelli - Universidad San Martin - Peru - Did not dress in San Martin's 2-1 loss to Alianza Lima.
Neven Markovic - Servette FC - Switzerland - Lost 2-1 to Wohlen in the Schweizer Pokal.
Yura Movsisyan - Spartak Moscow - Russia - Did not dress in either of Spartak's games.
Pablo Punyed - Stjarnan - Iceland - Started and played 90 minutes in Stjarnan's 1-0 win over Wikingur Reykjavik. Started and played 63 minutes in Stjarnan's 0-0 draw with Fjolnir.
Oriol Rosell - Sporting Club de Portugal - Portugal - Did not dress in Sporting's 1-1 Champions League draw with Maribor. Came off the bench and played 27 minutes in Sporting's 4-0 win over Gil Vicente.
Yann Songo'o - Blackburn - England - Did not dress in either of Blackburn's games.
Milos Stojcev - FK Sarajevo - Bosnia - Started and played 88 minutes in Sarajevo's 4-2 win over Olimpic Sarajevo.
Matt Taylor - Saarbrücken - Germany - Started and played 85 minutes in Saarbrucken's 2-0 win over Hoffenheim II.
Ivan Trujillo - Deportivo Lara - Venezuela - Did not play in Lara's 1-1 draw with Metropolitanos.

S.A.S. Wednesday After Stats

Claudio Bieler became just the sixth player to score a league goal, playoff goal, Open Cup goal, and international goal for KC, joining Chris Brown, Preki, Matt McKeon, Francisco Gomez, and Dario Fabbro.

Bieler's 2 goals give him 16 in all competitions for KC, tying him with Gomez and Aurelien Collin for 20th on that list.

Bieler's 2 goals gave him 13 in all competitions at home, tying him with Brown, Mark Chung, and Graham Zusi for 13th on that list.

Bieler's first goal was his 5th game winner in all competitions for KC, tying him with Jack Jewsbury, Jimmy Conrad, and Soony Saad for 20th on that list.

Paulo Nagamura made his 250th appearance in all competitions in his MLS career.

Graham Zusi made his 171st appearance for KC in all competitions, breaking his tie with Michael Harrington for 10th on that list.

Zusi made his 136th start in all competitions for KC, breaking his tie with Diego Gutierrez for 15th on that list.

Seth Sinovic made his 135th start in all competitions for KC, tying him with Gutierrez for 16th on that list.

Eric Kronberg recorded his 4th win in international competition, tying him with Tony Meola for the most wins.

Clearing Up CCL Advancement Possibilities for Sporting KC

Since Sporting KC's win yesterday over Real Esteli I've seen a number of questions directed at me and on other Sporting related social media platforms trying to figure out exactly where KC stands heading into the final game of the group stage in October against Deportivo Saprissa in Costa Rica.

First let's take a look at the group standings at this time.


To start things off, Esteli is eliminated, they've finished group play with just the two points from their home draws against KC and Saprissa. That leaves just KC and Saprissa alive in the group, with KC ahead of Saprissa by three points. 

The simplest solution for Sporting to advance is to win or draw when they travel to Costa Rica in October. Those results would put KC on 10 or 8 points while Saprissa would be on 4 or 5 depending on which of the two results occur. If KC loses, that's where the complication comes in a little bit, especially with the tie breakers employed by CONCACAF.


1. Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned
2. Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned
3. Greater number of goals scored away from home in matches between the teams concerned
4. Reapply first three criteria if two or more teams are still tied
5. Greater goal difference in all group matches
6. Greater number of goals scored in group matches
7. Greater number of goals scored away in all group matches
8. Drawing of lots

So a loss would put Sporting KC and Saprissa level on points at 7, sending the teams into the tiebreakers. The first tiebreaker would immediately be bypassed as the teams would be tied here on 3 points each in the head to head match up. The second tie breaker is the first place things could be decided in a loss. KC holds the lead in head to head goal difference after the 3-1, they sit with +2 while Saprissa is -2. That means if KC loses to Saprissa by 1 goal (1-0, 2-1, etc), Sporting KC would advance because they would sit at +1 goal difference to Saprissa's -1. If KC lose by 3 goals to Saprissa (3-0. 4-1, etc) then it would be Saprissa advancing as they would overturn KC's +2 goal difference.

If KC loses by 2 goals to Saprissa both teams would be even on head to head goal difference, meaning the teams would have to go to the third tie breaker, the greater away goals in head to head match ups. Currently Saprissa has the 1 away goal from the 3-1 loss. This means that a 2-0 loss by KC would see Sporting KC eliminated from the competition. On the other hand, a 2 goal loss where KC scores more than 1 goal (4-2, 5-3, etc) would see Sporting go through.

A 3-1 loss by Sporting KC though would see the two teams level on goal difference and on away goals, meaning they'd have to move further down the tiebreakers. The 4th tiebreaker does not apply as there can only be 2 teams tied. The 5th tie breaker, greater goal difference in all group games would also be level between the two sides. Sporting and Saprissa would both be at +3 because both won their home games against Esteli 3-0. The sixth tie breaker would also be tied as both teams would have scored 8 goals in all group games. The seventh tie breaker would also be even as the teams would both have scored two away goals. What that means, is that if Sporting KC loses to Saprissa in Costa Rica in October, the winner of the group will be decided by a drawing of lots. 

That certainly makes some of those misses by Dom Dwyer against Saprissa and Claudio Bieler against Esteli stand out more prominent now. 

Hope that clears up the situation for everyone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sporting Eliminate Esteli, Move Three Points Clear of Saprissa

Sporting Kansas City moved three points clear of Deportivo Saprissa and eliminated Real Esteli tonight in a 3-0 win at Sporting Park over the visiting Nicaraguan side. Sporting KC had a dominate performance that like Thursday vs Saprissa could have been a lot worse for the visitors with better finishing from Kansas City.

Esteli actually had some early pressure, creating a couple chances, Elvis Pinel forced a save out of the returning Eric Kronberg after turning Igor Juliao and getting free in the box. KC got on the board first in the 13th minute. Seth Sinovic and Benny Feilhaber did well working down KC's left before Sinovic fired a cross into the middle of the box that Claudio Bieler turned home, slotting into the far corner to give KC the 1-0 lead. Like last week against Saprissa, KC continued to pile on pressure looking for a second goal. Bieler had another good opportunity, this time after Graham Zusi got free down the left, but Bieler scuffed the shot after goalkeeper Justo Lorente committed to coming towards Zusi, leaving the goal free. Zusi shortly after had a chance of his own, getting played in behind the Esteli defense, Lorente came off his line, but Zusi beat him to the ball, chipping it over him, but putting it just wide of the near post. As the first half continued, Bieler forced a good save out of Lorente off a free kick that was headed towards the lower corner, but Lorente turned it around the post for a KC corner. Bieler also appeared to have a penalty shout as he appeared to get knocked down in the box, but was waived off by the referee. Esteli had some chances on goal, but the other efforts ended up being right at Kronberg. The big talking point of the half, and the game as a whole was the yellow cards. Six yellows were handed out in the first half, three for each team. Two more were handed out to KC in the second, one of which went to Zusi who will now miss the game in October against Saprissa due to yellow card accumulation.

KC continued their pressure in the second half, looking to add to their lead, but were unable to find the net. Esteli looked dangerous coming the other way, but didn't create much in the way of dangerous scoring chances. Finally in the 69th, KC won a chance to add to their lead. Bieler was brought down in the box again, and this time won the penalty kick. Bieler stepped up himself and buried the PK past Lorente to make it 2-0. KC kept up the pressure and were able to make it 3-0 in the 78th. After winning a corner kick, Toni Dovale played the corner to the near post where Sal Zizzo flicked the ball on with his head over Lorente and into the net to make it 3-0 KC. Even with the three goal lead, KC still didn't sit back as they looked to pad their goal difference in the group. Zizzo just missed playing Paulo Nagamura through for an open chance, and Bieler just missed finishing off his hattrick late on. In the end KC had to settle for a 3-0 win over Esteli.

KC will now head into the final game against Saprissa knowing that a win, draw, or one goal loss will see them through. A two goal loss is where things would get iffy, with a 2-0 loss seeing KC eliminated, a 3-1 loss seeing a drawing of lots. Any other two goal loss would see KC go through on away goals in the head to head match up with Saprissa. Any loss by more than two and KC will be eliminated.

Wizards Man of the Match - Claudio Bieler - Had two goals, could have easily had four. Hopefully this is a step towards Bieler finding some form, which would be good for KC as a chance to spell Dom Dwyer a little bit and in case he hits some poor form or gets hurt.

Player Ratings - Kronberg - 7, Juliao 6, Palmer-Brown 5, Besler 6, Sinovic 7, Olum 6, Nagamura 6, Feilhaber 5, Zusi 6, Bieler 7, Dovale 6. Subs Zizzo 6, Claros 6, Medranda NR.

Monday, September 22, 2014

CCL Match Day 3 - Building on Good Results

Sporting Kansas City will host their second Champions League game in less than a week tomorrow night when they welcome Real Esteli to Sporting Park. With the win last week against Saprissa putting KC on top of the group, this is their chance to extend their lead over the Costa Rican side.

Esteli comes into their final game of the group stage needing a win to keep their slim hopes of advancing alive. For Esteli to advance they need a big win against KC tomorrow and then need a draw between KC and Saprissa in Costa Rica to advance. That'll be a tall task for a team that has never won a game in the Champions League in tomorrow's game. But this is the same team that came into Sporting Park last year and grabbed the lead in KC before a Jacob Peterson goal salvaged a point for KC. They still have Rudel Calero, who scored the goal in Kansas City last year in their squad.

Kansas City will likely see some squad rotation for this game. Not only will it be the second game in six days, it's the second of three in nine as Kansas City host the New England Revolution in an MLS regular season match that will be very important for Kansas City. Those things would seem to point to a bit more reserve heavy lineup for KC. Eric Kronberg looks to make his return from injury after paper work kept him out of the Saprissa game. Also likely to be in the starting eleven for KC tomorrow is Lawrence Olum, who is unable to play on Friday against New England due to yellow card accumulation. I'd still expect a few starters to play tomorrow, mainly because of KC's lack of depth in the back leading to a number of those issues, but I think players like Dom Dwyer and Toni Dovale will be rested ahead of Friday's game.

Kronberg
Ellis - Olum - Besler - Sinovic
Claros - Lopez
Feilhaber
Saad - Bieler - Sapong


Number To Remember - 3 - Really this game is all about the three points with the win. A win puts Saprissa in the position of needing a multi-goal win against KC for them to advance when the two teams meet in October.

Key Match Up - KC's defense vs Esteli attack - With the Ike Opara injury, KC's center back depth has suffered greatly. With Olum suspended for the Revolution game it's tempting to play him there, especially with Aurelien Collin dealing with an injury. But that forces Jorge Claros to likely start three games in a little over a week in the center of midfield for KC, as you likely don't want to have Paulo Nagamura doing that.

PREDICTION - Considering last year's result at home against Esteli, I expect that Vermes has the team ready to come out and take care of business this time. He'll have an eye towards Friday and a very important league game against the Revolution that will see him rest a couple starters, but even with some rested, KC should be able to take care of business against Esteli. Esteli isn't a club that is at an MLS level, KC should be able to take care of business with a few reserves in the game. I expect Vermes has drilled last year's game into the team's head and they'll come out and take care of business tomorrow.

SKC - 2 (Saad, Bieler)
RE - 0

Academy Players in College

Here's this week's update of Sporting KC academy players in college and how they've done this past week.

Class of 2010

Brandon Fricke (Butler University) - D - RSr - Started in Butler's 0-0 draw with Indiana. Started in Butler's 2-1 win over Loyola.

Class of 2011

Tom Adams (Oral Roberts) - F - Sr - No longer appears on Oral Roberts roster.

Asher Herbet (University of Missouri Kansas City) - MF - Sr - No longer appears on UMKC's roster.

Eric Hymer (Fort Hays State) - D - Sr - Started in Fort Hays 2-1 loss to Northeastern State. Started in Fort Hays 2-0 loss to Southern Nazarene.

Raymond Lee (Saint Louis University) - MF - Sr - Started and recorded an assist in Saint Louis' 2-0 win over UMKC. Started and recorded an assist in Saint Louis' 1-0 win over #3 ranked Creighton.

Eric Moore (Rockhurst University) - D - Sr - Came on as a substitute and scored a goal in Rockhurst's 5-0 win over Wisconsin-Parkside. Did not play in Rockhurst's 2-1 loss to Lewis.

Michael Oakley (University of Missouri Kansas City) - D - Sr - Started in UMKC's 2-0 loss to Saint Louis. Started in UMKC's 1-0 loss to Drake.

Paul Oliver (California Baptist) - D/MF - Sr - Came off the bench in Cal Baptist's 3-0 loss to UC-San Diego. Started in Cal Baptist's 2-0 loss to Cal Poly Pomona.

Jordan Rideout (University of Missouri Kansas City) - F - Sr - Started in UMKC's 2-0 loss to Saint Louis. Started in UMKC's 1-0 loss to Drake.

Taylor Vinnage (Benedictine) - GK - Sr - Started in Benedictine's 3-0 win over Ottawa. Started in Benedictine's 1-0 loss to John Brown.

Will Witherspoon (Virginia Tech) - F - Sr - No longer appears on Virginia Tech's roster.

Class of 2012

Andrew Brown (Bradley University) - MF - Jr - Started and recorded an assist in Bradley's 4-0 win over Marshall. Started in Bradley's 2-1 win over Mercer.

Eric DeJulio (Creighton University) - D - Jr - Started in #3 Creighton's 2-1 win over UIC. Started in Creighton's 1-0 OT loss to #20 Saint Louis.

Daniel Hare (Loyola University in Chicago) - D - Jr - Started in Loyola's 2-1 loss to Butler.

Andrew Lightner (Dayton) - D - RSo - Started and recorded an assist in Dayton's 5-0 win over IUPUI. Started in Dayton's 1-0 lossto Maryland.

Andrew Miller (Baker University) - D - Jr - Started in Baker's 3-2 win over AIB. Started in Baker's 1-0 win over Bethany.

Nate Opperman (University of Evansville) - F - Jr - Did not play in either of Evansville's games.

Derek Schrick (University of Missouri Kansas City) - MF - Jr - Did not play in either of UMKC's games.

Chris Tuso (Baker) - MF - Jr - Did not play in either of Baker's games.

Shane Woods (Drury University) - F - Jr - Came off the bench in Drury's 1-0 win over U of Indianapolis. Came off the bench in Drury's 5-0 win over Saint Joseph's.

Class of 2013

Joe Amico (Jacksonville) - D - So - Started in Jacksonville's 3-1 loss to Wofford.

Chris Arce (Neosho CC) - MF - So - Started in Neosho's 2-0 loss to Johnson County. Started in Neosho's 4-0 win over Cowley.

Matt Bernard (Drake) - MF - RFr - Came on as a substitute in Drake's 3-2 OT loss to DePaul. Came on as a substitute in Drake's 1-0 win over UMKC.

Paul Dean (Rockhurst University) - D - So - Started in Rockhurst's 5-0 win over Wisconsin-Parkside. Started in Rockhurst's 2-1 loss to Lewis.

Seo-In Kim (Duke) - MF - So - Started in Duke's 2-1 win over #1 North Carolina.

Adam Lightner (Northern Illinois University) - D - So - Did not play in Northern Illinois' 2-0 loss to Marquette.

Clay Stewart - (University of Missouri Kansas City) - MF/D - So - Came off the bench in UMKC's 2-0 loss to Saint Louis. Came on as a substitute in UMKC's 1-0 loss to Drake.

Wes White (University of Missouri Kansas City) - F - RFr - Started in UMKC's 2-0 loss to Saint Louis. Started in UMKC's 1-0 loss to Drake.

Austin Wilcox (University of Missouri Kansas City) - MF - So - Came on as a substitute in UMKC's 2-0 loss to Saint Louis. Did not play in UMKC's 1-0 loss to Drake.

Drew Wilson (Fort Hays State University) - D - So - Started in Fort Hays 2-1 win over Northeastern. Started in Fort Hays 2-0 loss to Southern Nazarene.

Kyle Vassar - (University of Missouri Kansas City) - D - RFr - Did not play in either of UMKC's games.

Class of 2014

Darby Cronin (University of Missouri Kansas City)- MF - Fr - Came off the bench in UMKC's 2-0 loss to Saint Louis. Did not play in UMKC's 1-0 loss to Drake.

Andrew Dittemore (Missouri State) - GK - Fr - Did not play in Missouri State's 1-0 win over Central Arkansas.

Andy Ericks (Colorado School of Mines) - MF - Fr - Did not play in either of Colorado's games.

Heath Honold (Wake Forest) - F - Fr - Came on as a substitute in Wake's 2-0 loss to Virginia Tech.

Mason Leonard (Drake) - D - Fr - Started in Drake's 3-2 loss to DePaul. Started in Drake's 1-0 win over UMKC.

Blake Levine (Baker) - F - Fr - Started in Baker's 3-2 win over AIB. Started in Baker's 1-0 win over Bethany.

Matthew Lewis (Fordham) - D - Fr - Started in Fordham's 1-0 win over Temple.

Andy Lopez (North Carolina) - MF - Fr - Did not play in either of North Carolina's games.

Joey Piatczyc (West Virginia) - MF - Fr - Did not play in West Virginia's 2-1 win over High Point.

Cole Stevenson (Denver) - F - Fr - Came off the bench in Denver's 2-1 loss to Utah Valley. Came off the bench in Denver's 2-1 win over Portland.

Austin Williamson (Northeastern State University) - GK - Fr - Did not play in either of Northeastern's games.

Zach Wright (North Carolina) - F - Fr - Came off the bench in North Carolina's 2-0 win over William & Mary. Came off the bench in North Carolina's 2-1 loss to Duke.