Thursday, July 31, 2014

Match Day 22 - More Lineup Changes

Through 21 games this season, Sporting KC has played 21 different lineups. And heading into tomorrow's game against the Philadelphia Union, Sporting looks set to field it's 22nd different league lineup. Due to schedule congestion, injuries, call ups, suspensions, and everything else, KC has been unable to field a consistent lineup this season.

Philadelphia comes into the game in a transitional period. Earlier this week, the team announced the signing of Algeria's World Cup veteran, Rais Mbolhi to be the team's new starting goalkeeper. An odd timing for the move as they have Zac MacMath and first round pick, Andre Blake currently on their roster. Yes getting a player like Mbolhi is a solid move, but there were other areas that they could have upgraded. Current starter, MacMath is set to start for the Union tomorrow against KC, but it could be his final one for a while if Mbolhi is ready to go next week. Where MacMath's head is out heading into the game will be a big part of tomorrow's game. If he's already resigned himself to being a back up and departing Philly it could be a long night for the Union. He could also see it as an opportunity to be in the "shop window" and play lights out (which seems to happen more than it should against KC). Elsewhere on the field, Conor Casey has been a handful for opposing defenses, especially as of late and he'll be a big one for Aurelien Collin in KC's defense.

KC's defense will again have a makeshift feel to it tomorrow. With the suspension of Matt Besler, and Seth Sinovic doubtful with an injury, KC will again be shuffling the back line. Kevin Ellis is likely to fill one of those two positions. If Ellis is at centerback, then Jacob Peterson would seem to be the most likely one to replace Sinovic at left back having played right back against Houston and Manchester City. Other options at left back would include Sal Zizzo or Toni Dovale, both of whom have spent time as a wingback. The other possibility is that Ellis slots into Sinovic's left back position. If that happens, 17 year old Erik Palmer-Brown could get another start in the center of KC's defense. The other area KC has to replace, is the defensive midfield position right in front of the center backs. Filled recently by Lawrence Olum, he's on international duty now, so Jorge Claros could make his competitive debut for the club. If he doesn't start, slotting Benny Feilhaber back there as he has earlier this year would be expected. Lots of questions for KC's back four and midfield heading into tomorrow's game.

Gruenebaum
Juliao - Collin - Ellis - Peterson
Claros - Lopez
Feilhaber
Zusi - Dwyer - Dovale

Number to Rememer - 4 - That's the number of 2-1 wins hat KC has had in a row heading into tomorrow's game. Wins over Montreal, Columbus, and Toronto on the road, plus a win over LA at home by the same scoreline.

Key Match Up - Dom Dwyer vs Maurice Edu - The US international has slotted back into defense for the Union at this time and will be needed to shut down Dwyer. KC's leading scorer has been held scoreless in their last three league games, since his third brace of the season against the Impact. It's been good in a way for KC though, as other players have found net and now KC has more than two players with more than a single goal.

PREDICTION - Both teams come in on an unbeaten run, KC at seven games unbeaten in league play, Philadelphia unbeaten in four. Philadelphia was off last weekend, instead playing Crystal Palace in a friendly so they may be a little fresher heading into the game. For Kansas City, that 2-1 loss to the Union at home earlier this season has to be something that is in the player's mind, it's the second time in as many seasons that the Union have come to KC and grabbed all three points. That's something that I'm sure Vermes has pointed out this week. This is a game that KC should be able to win, even with their back line the way it is, they should have enough firepower up front to win.

SKC - 2 (Dwyer, Feilhaber)
PHI - 1 (Le Toux)

FC Kansas City Fall in Washington

From FC Kansas City.

FC Kansas City (11-6-4 37pts) lost 2-1 to the Washington Spirit (9-8-4 31pts) tonight in front of 2,744 fans at Maryland SoccerPlex. The Blues got on the board first when Becky Sauerbrunn scored in the 18th minute but two late goals from Kerstin Garefrekes and Christine Narin gave Kansas City a road loss.

The first half started out well for the Blues, maintaining possession of the ball and finding close chances on goal. The Spirit only had a few chances throughout the opening minutes, but those few were solid chances.

A Washington throw in found its way to Kansas City’s backline where Sauerbrunn took control of the ball. The 2013 NWSL Defender of the Year made one of her rare, yet stunning, runs toward the attacking third. She ran in to some pressure and passed the ball to Sarah Hagen while still running. Hagen fed the ball right back to the captain who took a chip shot over Ashlyn Harris for the first goal of the night. This was also Sauerbrunn’s first goal in her NWSL career.

The momentum slightly shifted as the Spirit became more aggressive and found more chances on goal. A close one came in the 27th minute when Garefrekes fired off a shot from less than 18 yards out. The ball hit the post and went out to safety.

From that shot on, FC Kansas City seemed to collect possession again and control the run of play. Harris performed well as the Blues’ offense challenged her throughout the first 45 minutes including three corner kicks in a row from Lauren Holiday. None of the chances from either side connected with the back of the net and the teams took a break with the Blues up 1-0.

Washington came back from the locker rooms hungry for an equalizer. Garefrekes was the answer to that in the 49th minute. A corner from Narrin was sent in to the box which found Garefrekes’ head and the Blues were there for stop that. The ball bounced towards the byline and the play seemed to end until Narin saved it. Lisa De Vanna got a hold of it and sent it back to Garefrekes who sent it past Nicole Barnhart to even the score 1-1.

With the score tied up, the battle for the upper hand saw an increased intensity. Both sides played smarter and created opportunities in the attacking thirds. De Vanna played a ball to the top of the box to find Narin. She fired a shot while Barnhart dove to try and save. The ball went just beyond Barnhart’s hands to put the Spirit up the 67th minute.

FC Kansas City applied offensive pressure throughout the rest of the match, but neither team scored any additional goals. The Blues took a 2-1 road loss and begin to focus on Saturday’s match against first place Seattle Reign FC.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jewsbury Plays 300th MLS Game - Former SKC Wizards Update

 Jack Jewsbury joined a bit of an exclusive club this past weekend. Against the Montreal Impact, Jewsbury played his 300th MLS game as the Portland Timbers topped the Impact 3-2. Jewsbury played the full 90 minutes in the win for Portland.

Also this week, three former players have been involved in Europa League qualifying. Pablo Punyed and Milos Stojcev both advanced with their clubs. Meanwhile Igor Kostrov and his club bowed out of the competition. Here's the rest of this week's update.

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

MLS
Davy Arnaud - DC - Started and played 82 mintes in DC's 3-0 win over Toronto.
Teal Bunbury - New England - Started and played 81 minutes in New England's 2-1 loss to Columbus. Started and played 90 minutes in New England's 2-1 win over Colorado.
Bobby Convey - New York - Did not dress in New York's 1-1 draw with Salt Lake.
Luis Gil - Salt Lake - Dressed but did not play in Salt Lake's 3-1 win over Montreal. Came off the bench and played 23 minutes in Salt Lake's 1-1 draw with New York.
Michael Harrington - Portland - Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 3-2 win over Montreal.
Jack Jewsbury - Portland - Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 3-2 win over Montreal.
Eddie Johnson - DC - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in DC's 3-0 win over Toronto.
Chris Konopka - Toronto - Dressed but did not play in Toronto's 2-1 loss to KC. Dressed but did not play in Toronto's 3-0 loss to DC.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Portland - Did not dress in Portland's 3-2 win over Montreal.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - No game this week.
Tyson Wahl - Columbus - Dressed but did not play in Columbus' 2-1 win over New England.

NASL
Stefan Antonijevic - Fort Lauderdale - Did not dress in Fort Lauderdale's 1-1 draw with New York.

USL
Brian Fekete - Pittsburgh - Dressed but did not play in Pittsburgh's 5-2 win over RSL's reserves. Came off the bench and played 10 minutes in Pittsburgh's 5-0 loss to Sacramento.
Cyprian Hedrick - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 3-0 win over Dayton.
Jonathan Leathers - Charlotte - Started and played 86 minutes in Charlotte's 2-0 win over Wilmington.
Kyle Miller - Oklahoma City - Came off the bench and played 5 minutes in OKC's 3-0 win over Dayton.
Michael Thomas - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in OKC's 3-0 win over Dayton.
Yomby William - Richmond - Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 2-1 win over Harrisburg.
John Wilson - Charleston - Started and played 90 minutes in Charleston's 2-0 win over Arizona. Dressed but did not play in Charleston's 1-0 win over Montreal.

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

International
Korede Aiyegbusi - Auerbach - Germany - No game until 8/1.
Scott Angevine - Sporting Kristina - Finland - Started and played 90 minutes in Sporting's 2-1 loss to Kerho 07 (SJK II)
Federico Bessone - Millwall - England - No game until 8/9
Omar Bravo - Chivas - Mexico - Started and played 71 minutes in Chivas' 1-0 win over Pumas. Did not dress in Chivas' 3-1 win over Deportivo Tepic.
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 3-1 win over Hoang Anh Gia Lai.
Pablo Escobar - Cúcuta Deportivo - Colombia - Started and played 90 minutes in Cuuta's 1-1 draw with Patriotas Boyaca. Started and played 20 minutes in Cucuta's 2-1 loss to America de Cali.
Roger Espinoza - Wigan - England - No game until 8/9
Herculez Gomez - Tigres - Mexico - Came off the bench and played 25 minutes in Tires' 4-2 win over Leon. Started and played 73 minutes in Tigres' 4-0 cup win over Altamira.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Offseason.
Jeferson - América RN - Brazil - Started and played 90 minutes in America's 1-0 win over America Mineiro.
Will John - AZAL - Azerbaijan -No game until 8/9.
Kei Kamara - Middlesbrough - England - Started and played 90 minutes in Sierra Leone's 2-0 win over Seychelles.
Igor Kostrov - Veris - Moldova - Did not dress in either of Veris' Europa League games. Started and played 90 minutes in Veris' 5-0 win over Dinamo-Auto.
Carlos Marinelli - Universidad San Martin - Peru - Did not dress in Universidad's 4-0 win over UTC Cajamarca.
Neven Markovic - Servette FC - Switzerland - Started and played 90 minutes in Servette's 4-2 loss to Wohlen.
Yura Movsisyan - Spartak Moscow - Russia - No game until 8/1
Pablo Punyed - Stjarnan - Iceland - Started and played 120 minutes in Stjarnan's 3-2 extra time win over Motherwell. Started and played 90 minutes in Stjarnan's 2-0 win over IBV.
Oriol Rosell - Sporting Club de Portugal - Portugal - No game until 8/17.
Yann Songo'o - Blackburn - England - No game until 8/9
Milos Stojcev - FK Sarajevo - Bosnia -  Started and played 82 minutes, scoring a goal in Sarajevo's 3-1 win over Haugesund.
Matt Taylor - Saarbrücken - Germany - No game until 8/1
Ivan Trujillo - Deportivo Lara - Venezuela - No game until 8/10

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sporting Name Three to be Inducted as Sporting Legends

Sporting Club announced today that they will be inducting three people as Sporting Legends this year. After a fan vote that included Kerry Zavagnin, Chris Klein, and Mo Johnston, two players were chosen, Peter Vermes and Jimmy Conrad. The team also announced that the team's original owner Lamar Hunt would be inducted as well.

The trio will be inducted on Friday during half time of Sporting KC's game against the Philadelphia Union.

Of the players available for selection, neither one was my choice selection this year, my vote went to Mo Johnston. For me I was only looking at Vermes' playing career with Kansas City. With him currently being the coach of the club I personally had seen his coaching history as something to not yet be considered in the discussion. I felt of the candidates available, on their playing alone, Vermes was the weakest candidate for inclusion as a Sporting Legend. Based on his time as coach I figured once he was done coaching he would then go in as a legend for both his play and his coaching. But in the release the team put out they are including his coaching accomplishments. I understand including it, cause they are great accomplishments, but to me it just doesn't sit right when he is still the team's coach.

As for Conrad, he is 100% deserving of going in as a Sporting Legend. For me though I felt that at this time, Johnston was the more deserving candidate. Honestly Conrad was probably second in my head behind Johnston.

Then there's Hunt, who is probably the most deserving candidate of anyone that has been elected as a Sporting Legend. That's one of my issues with the Sporting Legends system right now, the fact that Hunt was not the first person selected for the honor. When the team announced Preki, Tony Meola, and Bob Gansler as the first class, I'd hoped that Hunt would be the second class, inducted by himself, getting the attention and honor he deserved as the team's founder and for bringing not just the team to this city, but bringing MLS to this country, and helping to keep KC and the league alive through the lean years of the league. I know I've said some bad things about Hunt over the years, especially after he announced the team but he's done so much for the team, he could have sold it to Rochester, San Antonio, or somewhere else before OnGoal came in and purchased the team. He really, I think, he deserved to be in a class all on his own.

That leads to another thing with the Sporting Legends program right now. I understand that there is catching up to do with regards to inductees into the program, we've gone almost 20 years without one, so there is history in the team that needs to be recognized and celebrated. But in the first two years there have now been six selected.

In my mind there aren't that many more players I would consider "Legends" for the club at this point who are no longer playing. Really in my mind the only ones right now not in that should be, are the three who didn't get in this year (Johnston, Klein, and Zavagnin), along with Nick Garcia, Jimmy Nielsen, and Josh Wolff. And even all of that may be pushing it, look at the likes of DC United, who only have 10 players in their Hall of Tradition, only twice have they inducted more than one per year, and they started in 2003. Or the Chicago Fire who have seven in their Ring of Honor who have never inducted more than one a year. As I said earlier, I understand that there's a need to catch up, but I'm not sure there a reason to basically induct as many in two years as the Five have since 2003. I would hope the inductions slow down to just one a year, if that, at this point. I don't want to get to the point where a player is being elected just to elect someone.

Monday, July 28, 2014

FCKC Top Sky Blue FC

From FC Kansas City

FC Kansas City fought with Sky Blue FC to a 2-1 victory in front of 1,852 fans tonight on Verizon Wireless Field. The Blues’ undefeated record at home still stands as Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday secure an important win tonight.

The match had an exciting start. Katrina Gorry took a tumble after a shot that goalkeeper Jill Loyden saved quickly. The game’s energy matched the Kansas City summer heat on the field. Erika Tymrak also had a close shot. NWSL’s 2013 Rookie of the Year took a beautiful shot that Loyden just saved.

Though the Blues had stunning offensive attacks, the New Jersey club challenged Kansas City and kept the pressure in the defensive third. FC Kansas City finally broke through Sky Blue FC’s defense in the 34th minute. The dangerous team of Sarah Hagen, Holiday and Rodriguez worked the ball around the defenders in the box. Holiday found an open Rodriguez who fired a shot past Loyden. It was Rodriguez’s eleventh goal of the season.

FC Kansas City controlled the ball for the remaining minutes of the first half. Gorry looked up to see a streaking Hagen but Sky Blue’s defense was there to intercept the pass. The first half closed out with the Blues up 1-0.

The second half looked similar to the first, the Blues controlled the ball with a few chances against the run of play. Rodriguez looked dangerous in the 59th minute when she had a close shot for her 12th goal of the season but Loyden was there to keep the score 1-0 with 30 minutes remaining.

Amy LePeilbet made a huge defensive play for FC Kansas City in the 64th minute. LePeilbet took on multiple New Jersey attackers on her own to possess the ball and clear it out of the defensive third.

The score increased by one in the 70th minute when Frances Silva sent a beautiful cross from 18 yards out to find an open Holiday. She found her opportunity to take a shot and found the back of the net. The Blues went up to 2-0 with Holiday’s eighth goal of the season.

Sky Blue FC scored in the 87th minute. Gorry had a pass intercepted by Nadia Nadim who turned the ball and broke the shutout. The New Jersey club controlled the match with scary close chances on goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. June’s Player of the Month held strong and the game ended at 2-1.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Olum Called Up by Kenya

Sporting KC announced today that Lawrence Olum has been recalled to the Kenyan national team for their upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho. The game on August 3rd is the second game of their home and away series against Lesotho. Kenya lost the first leg on July 20th 1-0. Meaning they need to win to even have the chance to advance.

The call up will cause Olum to miss this Friday's game against the Philadelphia Union. Like Olum's last call up to Kenya it comes at a bad time for Sporting KC. Sporting will be without Matt Besler for Friday's game after his red card last night against Toronto. There is also the potential risk of being without Seth Sinovic, who left last night's game early with a groin strain. The problem is that the primary back up to fill both Besler's and Sinovic's role is the same player, Kevin Ellis. With Ellis only able to fill one spot, it could get interesting.

If Sinovic can go Friday, it's simple, Ellis plays center back next to Collin, Sinovic plays left back. If Sinovic can't go though there are a number of ways things could go. One option would be that Erik Palmer-Brown could slide into central defense and Ellis could play left back. Palmer-Brown though has missed time lately with an injury as well, if he can't go it gets more complicated. Ellis would likely need to play center back, leaving the left back slot open. There are a few options for KC at left back in this scenario. Jacob Peterson, who has played right back at times this season, including in a league game against Houston could slide left. Sal Zizzo, who played outside back with the Portland Timbers could also be called in as an emergency full back. The third option is Toni Dovale, who played left back for Celta de Vigo before KC brought him in. So KC has options, but they're not the most ideal.

The call up also means that we could see Jorge Claros make his MLS debut in the midfield for KC.

Sunday After Stats

Graham Zusi's goal was his 19th league goal for KC, tying him with Teal Bunbury and CJ Sapong for 10th on that list.

Zusi is now tied with Sapong as KC's active goals leader in league play.

Zusi's goal was his 21st in all competitions for KC, tying him with Mark Chung for 11th on that list.

Zusi's goal was his 8th in league play away from home, tying him with Sasha Victorine for 11th on that list.

It was his 9th away from home in all competitions, tying him with Chris Brown and Matt McKeon for 11th on that list.

There have been 13 red cards in KC games this year, only 2009 saw more (16).

In the 20th minute, Seth Sinovic moved past Chance Myers and into 17th place for minutes played in all competitions for KC. He finished the game with 11,121 minutes played.

In the 78th minute, Aurelien Collin moved past Uche Okafor and into 20th place for minutes played in all competitions. Collin finished the game with 10,294 minutes played.

Collin made his 116th start in all competitions, tying him with Okafor for 20th on that list.

CJ Sapong made his 100th league appearance for KC, he's the 28th player to hit that mark.

Matt Besler made his 166th appearance in all competitions for KC, breaking his tie with Josh Wolff for 11th all time on that list.

Besler made his 159th start in all competitions, tying him with McKeon for 8th all time on that list.

Ten Man Sporting Top Toronto

Sporting extended their team record winning streak on the road last night to five games with a 2-1 win over Toronto at BMO Field. Kansas City did it after going down a man, losing Matt Besler to a red card after he picked up two yellows. In reality though it was not one of KC's best performances, Toronto easily could have been up a couple goals in the first half.

Early on KC had a good chance to take the lead, but Joe Bendik made a good save. After a weak punch by the TFC keeper fell to Igor Juliao, the Brazilian took a touch and fired a shot on goal but Bendik made a good save knocking the ball away. Toronto's Dominic Oduro caused Kansas City troubles all night down KC's left. In the 16th minute Oduro set up the opener. After Seth Sinovic went forward to win a header, he ended up flicking the ball into the path of Oduro. He got past Besler and then slotted a ball into the box for Jackson who had gotten past Juliao. Jackson rounded the Andy Gruenebaum and fired the ball into the net to give Toronto the lead. Things could have gotten worse in the 23rd minute. A through ball for Gilberto looked like he'd be 1v1 with Gruenebaum. Aurelien Collin came into a tackle with the Brazilian knocking him over. No foul was called but an argument could easily be made for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity. While the game continued, Toronto almost scored a second anyway. Oduro found space again down TFC's right and crossed a ball into the middle for Nick Hagglund. The defender's header beat Gruenebaum, but hit the near post and was knocked away. Toronto continued to pressure down KC's left with Oduro causing Sinovic all kinds of issues. In the 33rd Oduro again turned him and raced towards goal. He fired a shot at Gruenebaum's near post, but that shot hit the post and was eventually cleared away by Lawrence Olum. KC escaped the first half only having conceded the one goal, and were honestly lucky in that regard.

The second half though started great for Kansas City. After Benny Feilhaber got the ball into the box, the ball pinged around as Toronto tried to clear it away. Eventually the ball fell to Graham Zusi at the top of the box. Zusi took a touch and curled the ball into the far corner of the goal past a couple TFC defenders on the line after Bendik came out. But the same issues from the first half cropped up again as Oduro continued to cause Sinovic tons of trouble. In the 53rd he got past him again and played a cross that Besler cut out. The ball went right back to Oduro who was fouled just outside the box and Besler picked up his first yellow of the night. Sinovic on the play looked to have pulled up lame and was replaced shortly after by Kevin Ellis. KC did find some opportunities going forward in the second, Feilhaber had a shot well saved by Bendik after CJ Sapong chested a cross down into his path. Even with the change at left back, Oduro was still finding space and in the 65th should have been up again as Oduro found Jackson at the back post but he put his shot over the goal.

Toronto fans wanted another red card for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity in the 69th. Oduro again was at the center of the situation as he led a counter attack down KC's left. Juliao, who was covering pulled back on Oduro's jersey earning a yellow card on the play. The reason it wasn't a red card probably had to do with Oduro's position on the field, he was still wide of the sides of the goal box and there were three Sporting KC players that would have likely been able to cut off the play, which is what likely had referee Ted Unkel pull only a yellow on Juliao. In the 75th KC did finally go down a man. Again it came from an attack through Oduro. The TFC player received the ball out wide. As Besler stepped to him, Oduro touched the ball past him and ended up getting fouled as he went over Besler's foot. Sporting's captain picked up his second yellow of the night and was off. The red card led to KC needing to adjust, Olum dropped back to partner Collin with Jacob Peterson entering the game for Mikey Lopez. It was Peterson that stepped up to be the hero with KC down a man. A cross by Ellis was deflected towards Peterson. Like against the Crew, Peterson tried to spin with the ball, but only got a slit touch. The ball went to Dom Dwyer who back heeled the ball back into the path of Peterson who slotted the ball into the corner to make it 2-1 KC. Toronto threw numbers forward trying to find an equalizer but were struggling to create good chances as KC sat back. Their best chance actually came from attacking down the right this time as Jackson played a very nice ball to the back post but Oduro could not get a touch on it. KC was able to hold on and take all three points again on the road.

Wizards Man of the Match - Aurelien Collin
- While the left side had plenty of trouble, Collin had a very solid game. He could have been sent off for the challenge on Gilberto, but was strong overall in the back. He kept KC's back line organized, especially after Besler's sending off.

Player Ratings - Gruenebaum - 5, Juliao 5, Collin 7, Besler 4, Sinovic 3, Olum 5, Lopez 4, Feilhaber 5, Zusi 6, Dwyer 4, Sapong 4. Subs Ellis 4, Saad 4, Peterson 6.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Match Day 21 - Looking for Five Straight on the Road

Sporting KC are back on the road and looking to continue their club record run on the road. Tomorrow night in Toronto, Sporting will be looking to grab their fifth straight win on the road. The four straight is already a club record, so they'll be looking to extend that tomorrow. The team is also on a six game unbeaten run, dating back to a 1-0 loss to DC United.

Toronto is coming into this game with a bit of a gap offensively. The Reds will be without their leading scorer, Jermain Defoe. The Englishman picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend and is now suspended for tomorrow's game due to accumulation. That will leave a hole offensively up top for TFC tomorrow to fill with the likes of Luke Moore and Gilberto. They will still have American midfielder, Michael Bradley, who did not play in the clubs midweek friendly against Spurs. That should have him rested and ready to go for the game.

Kansas City meanwhile rested one of their two World Cup veterans for Wednesday's friendly against Manchester City. Graham Zusi did not play a part in the game. Zusi should be rested for tomorrow's game. Slotting him back into the midfield would seem to be the way to go for tomorrow's game. The rest of the team should be fairly similar to the one that took the field against the BPL Champions. Paulo Nagamura is still out with an ankle injury, and Eric Kronberg is out with the break in his hand. Potential changes could see Toni Dovale back with the first team, or Jacob Peterson up top to provide the defensive cover that Peter Vermes enjoys when on the road. Jorge Claros could also make his competitive debut for the club.

Gruenebaum
Juliao - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Olum
Zusi - Feilhaber
Peterson - Dwyer - Saad

Number to Remember - 15 - That's the number of goals that number of goals scored by both teams outside their leading scorer. Kansas City has scored 29 goals this year, 14 of which have been from Dwyer. Defoe meanwhile has scored 11 of Toronto's 26 goals this year.

Key Match Up - Graham Zusi vs Michael Bradley - The two World Cup veterans are likely to see a lot of time together in the midfield. Although Benny Feilhaber will see just as much action with Bradley, the two World Cup veterans will be the one to watch.

PREDICTION - Toronto without Defoe is still a much improved side from last year. Bradley is going to be a handful for Kansas City in the middle of the field. KC's defense should be able to hand a Defoeless Toronto attack, the question will be whether KC can find the net at the other end. And while it's not something you'd expect people to say, a win by KC on the road against Toronto would be a good statement win for KC. Toronto is currently 3rd place in the Eastern Conference and has three games in hand on the East leading KC. I'm not sure that KC will get the full three tomorrow, but I do think they'll walk out with a point on the road.

SKC - 1 (Dwyer)
TFC - 1 (Moore)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Former SKC Wizards Update

More of the leagues around the rest of the world are starting to kick off their seasons, adding more players to the list for those playing. It also means that some players are now no longer with teams, like Korede Aiyegbusi who apparently no longer with Servette in the Swiss second division.

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

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

MLS
Davy Arnaud - DC - Started and played 84 minutes in DC's 3-1 win over Chvias
Teal Bunbury - New England - Started and played 57 minutes in New England's 2-0 loss to Dallas.
Bobby Convey - New York - Did not dress in New York's 1-1 draw with San Jose.
Luis Gil - Salt Lake - Started and played 57 minutes in RSL's 1-1 draw with Vancouver.
Michael Harrington - Portland - Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 2-1 win over Colorado.
Jack Jewsbury - Portland - Started and played 90 minutes in Portland's 2-1 win over Colorado.
Eddie Johnson - DC - Started and played 90 minutes, getting a goal and an assist in DC's 3-1 win over Chivas.
Chris Konopka - Toronto - Dressed but did not play in Toronto's 2-2 draw with Houston.
Rauwshan McKenzie - Portland - Dressed but did not play in Portland's 2-1 win over Colorado.
Khari Stephenson - San Jose - Came off the bench and played 21 minutes in San Jose's 1-1 draw with New York. Came off the bench and played 2 minutes in San Jose's 5-1 win over Chicago.
Tyson Wahl - Columbus - Dressed but did not play in Columbus' 2-1 win over Montreal.

NASL
Stefan Antonijevic - Fort Lauderdale - Started and played 90 minutes in Fort Lauderdale's 2-0 loss to San Antonio.

USL
Brian Fekete - Pittsburgh - Dressed but did not play in Pittsburgh's 2-0 win over Charlotte.
Cyprian Hedrick - Oklahoma City - Dressed but did not play in OKC's 1-1 draw with Arizona. Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy II. Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 3-3 draw with Harrisburg.
Jonathan Leathers - Charlotte - Started and played 23 minutes in Charlotte's 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh. Did not dress in Charlotte's 2-1 win over Dayton.
Kyle Miller - Oklahoma City - Started and played 73 minutes in OKC's 1-1 draw with Arizona. Dressed but did not play in OKC's 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy II. Started and played 27 minutes in OKC's 3-3 draw with Harrisburg.
Michael Thomas - Oklahoma City - Started and played 90 minutes, scoring a goal in OKC's 1-1 draw with Arizona. Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy II. Started and played 90 minutes in OKC's 3-3 draw with Harrisburg.
Yomby William - Richmond - Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 4-0 win over Charleston. Started and played 90 minutes in Richmond's 1-1 draw with Charleston.
John Wilson - Charleston - Started and played 90 minutes in Charleston's 4-0 loss to Richmond. Did not dress in Charleston's 1-1 draw with Richmond.

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

International
Scott Angevine - Sporting Kristina - Finland - Started and played 90 minutes in Kristina's 4-2 loss to AIFK.
Vicente Arze - FK Hoverla Uzhhorod - Ukraine - Offseason.
Federico Bessone - Millwall - England - No game until 8/9
Omar Bravo - Chivas - Mexico - Started and played 90 minutes in Chivas' 1-1 draw with Chiapas.
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 1-1 draw wtih Song Lam Nghe An.
Pablo Escobar - Cúcuta Deportivo - Colombia - Did not dress in Cucuta's 2-1 win over Union Magdalena.
Roger Espinoza - Wigan - England - No game until 8/9
Herculez Gomez - Tigres - Mexico - Came off the bench and played 17 minutes in Tigres' 0-0 draw with Atlas.
Jermaine Hue - Harbour View - Jamaica - Offseason.
Jeferson - América RN - Brazil - Came off the bench and played 74 minutes in America's 4-2 win over Bragantino. Started and played 66 minutes in America's 1-1 draw with Vasco da Gama.
Will John - AZAL - Azerbaijan -No game until 8/9.
Kei Kamara - Middlesbrough - England - No game until 8/9
Igor Kostrov - FC Costuleni - Moldova - No game until 7/25
Carlos Marinelli - Universidad San Martin - Peru - Did not dress in San Martin's 1-0 loss to Union Comercio.
Neven Markovic - Servette FC - Switzerland - Started and played 90 minutes in Servette's 2-1 win over Biel-Bienne.
Yura Movsisyan - Spartak Moscow - Russia - No game until 8/1
Pablo Punyed - Stjarnan - Iceland - Started and played 90 minutes in Stjarnan's 2-2 draw with Motherwell. Started and played 80 minutes in Stjarnan's 3-1 win over Fylkir.
Oriol Rosell - Sporting Club de Portugal - Portugal - No game until 8/17.
Yann Songo'o - Blackburn - England - No game until 8/9
Milos Stojcev - FK Sarajevo - Bosnia -  Started and played 90 minutes in Sarajevo's 1-0 loss to Haugesund.
Matt Taylor - Saarbrücken - Germany - No game until 8/1
Ivan Trujillo - Deportivo Lara - Venezuela - No game until 8/10

Sporting Park to Host Women's World Cup Qualifiers

There will be more international soccer coming to Sporting Park this year. For the first time since 2011, the US women's national team will be coming to Sporting Park this October Sporting Park has been named as one of four sites in the United States that will host the final round of qualification for the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada.

Sporting Park will host the first of the group games of the final eight team tournament on October 15th and 16th. All eight teams will play over the course of those two days. The eight teams (USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and four Caribbean teams) will be divided into 2 groups. After Kansas City the teams will head to Chicago, and then DC, before heading to Philadelphia for the semifinals and finals.

It'll be a good opportunity to welcome the women back to Sporting Park and a chance to see some of FC Kansas City's players represent the US national team in person. This will be the second time that the US women's team will play at Sporting Park, and the sixth time they've played in the KC metro area. For their comparative history though it's not the record you'd expect, the women are 2-0-3 all time in the KC metro area (0-0-1 at Sporting Park). The women have beaten Finland (1999 6-0), drawn Canada twice (2000 1-1, 2011 1-1), drawn Italy (2003 2-2), and beaten Mexico (2004, 1-0).

It should be a good time though and I'd hope that a number of fans come out to support the women's team, the women have always been well supported here with the women averaging 22,508 in their prior five visits to KC.

Sporting KC Fall to Manchester City

Last night at Sporting Park, Sporting KC fell to BPL champions, Manchester City in the Champions Shield match up. The visiting Citizens grabbed the lead in just the 2nd minute when Bruno Zuculini picked up a loose ball and beat Andy Gruenebaum with a very well struck finish. Even though KC went down early, they actually looked pretty good and had a couple opportunities to equalize. They almost did so immediately as CJ Sapong headed a ball off the cross bar. The rebound though was cleared away. Shortly after that, Sporting thought they had equalized. A free kick by Benny Feilhaber was headed on goal by Dom Dwyer. The shot was saved but the rebound fell to Dwyer who buried it, but Dwyer was ruled to have been offside on the initial free kick, ruling the goal out. Going the other way City had a number of good opportunties to add to their lead, but Gruenebaum in KC's net came up with some good saves to keep the score at 1-0. KC finally found themselves level in the 30th minute. A nicely lofted ball by Feilhaber was well settled by Sapong inside City's box. The forward brought it down and calmly slotted the ball into the corner. A nice play from Feilhaber to pick Sapong out and a calm finish from the forward. City continued to pressure looking for a second, Aurelien Collin came up with a nice defensive play, tracking back to knock a ball away from Stevan Jovetic right before he fired a shot on goal. Unfortunately right before half time City retook the lead. After a foul by Seth Sinovic near the corner for the box, Jesus Navas played a beautiful free kick into the box where Dedryck Boyata beat Collin in an aerial dual and headed the ball past Gruenebaum and into the net to make it 2-1.

At half time, Sporting made 11 changes bringing on the reserves, including new signings Jorge Claros and Michael Kafari, later in the half, Martin Steuble entered the game as well. The reserves did well for themselves in the early going, holding their own against a City side that only made one half time change. They even created a few chances as Kafari had a shot turned away by City goalkeeper, Willy Caballero. In the 72nd Kafari was again involved, but this time at the wrong end of the field, bringing down Scott Sinclair in the box. Aleksandar Kolarov stepped up and sent Jon Kempin the wrong way, giving City a 2 goal lead. Both teams had chances the rest of the way, but it was City who grabbed a fourth in the 88th. Navas again was the creator, turning Victor Munoz, who was filling in at left back, and creating space before sliding a ball back to the top of the box where Kelechi Iheanacho slotted a shot right inside Kempin's post to make it 4-1 to City.