With one of my precious days off today from my job that pays the bills, I made my way to Swope for Sporting KC's practice today and the press conference with Peter Vermes and Soony Saad. The one thing that was most surprising about practice today was that it was more laid back than I thought it was. With yesterday being more of a recovery day for the guys and tomorrow likely being a light day before departing for Houston I figured today would be more of an intense day. It was still a hard work out for the guys overall, but not as intense as I thought it would be.
Stephane Auvray is still no where to be found, and actually seeing Vermes reaction to questions about him just reinforces what I'd believed for a while and what people had told me, that Auvray is gone. While Vermes comments in the press conference were non-committal on the Guadeloupe captain, his mannerisms when asked about it just drove the point home for me.
On the Richmond game, Vermes didn't want to touch on that much more, stating again that the team did not play well and that there was a lack of effort and a lack of recognition of things that were not taken advantage of. He also talked about how players didn't do themselves favors in terms of getting more playing time after they failed to impress in the opportunity that was given to them. He also said that some players either didn't respect the Kickers, or their teammates during the game on Tuesday. Vermes said that the players now have to change that perception. It'll be interesting to see which of those players get bumped back down a little bit because of the poor performance against Richmond. Some of these comments when I think about the game would seem to be directed towards Teal Bunbury and his poor performance.
On Ryan Smith, Vermes emphasized that Smith is not a free agent, he's free to sign for teams over there, but there would have to be some sort of compensation in some form from any team that signed him to MLS and Sporting. He's not a "free agent" as reports out of England have suggested.
He talked about Matt Besler's all star selection, really talking up the local product, talking about how he's improved from year to year, saying this year he's become a "man at the position". Vermes did tip Besler for eventually being called up to the US national team, saying that if he continues the way he has he will get a call up to the US team. A lot of good things to say about Besler.
Vermes did tip his hat towards Saturday a little bit towards Saturday. After talking Soony Saad up for a little bit, including talking about how Saad has a different mentality than many guys as he is really pushing to scrape together goals. But Vermes did say that Saad is on the travel roster for this weekend in Houston. Saad was the player involved in today's press conference, and the kid looks extremely excited to be playing here. He lite up when asked about LIVESTRONG Sporting Park and talked up the crowd atmosphere in the stadium and how we was looking forward to contributing and becoming a fan favorite. He came across as a kid with a lot of drive to become a star and a kid who literally is living his dream of being a professional player.
Craig Rocastle continues his recovery from injury, running and some agility work, and is still on schedule. Vermes said some time in mid to late August Rocastle would hopefully be back.
With regards to Jeferson Vermes says that he's not going to comment on things at this time. Vermes said he loves that Robb will tip his hand, but he's not going to show his. But the team is looking to be active in the transfer window that opens tomorrow, within and outside the league.
For next week with the busy schedule of game Saturday, reserve game (that Vermes says that he is battling with the league over moving), Newcastle, and Toronto the following Saturday, Vermes said it's going to be a difficult thing to do. He expected trialists and Juniors to play a major role in the reserve game against the Fire.