Saturday, January 28, 2012

Training Thoughts

Today was Sporting KC's last training session in Kansas City before heading off to Arizona for a few weeks. A fairly light session for the most part, that involved two teams scrimmaging, and a third team working off to the side.

First game:

Orange team - Nielsen, Collin, Olum, Harrington, Warzycha, Thomas, Aiyegbusi, Dwyer, Kamara

Blue team - Kronberg, Myers, Cesar, Besler, Sinovic, Sassano, Joseph, Convey, Saad

Neutral - Zavagnin

Only one goal in this one, a Joseph Peterson and Luke Sassano worked a very nice 1-2 together finishing with Joseph flicking the ball past Nielsen and into the net. Shortly after that though, Joseph went off with an injury that he was icing later.

Second Game

Blue team - Kempin, Myers, Cesar, Besler, Sinovic, Sassano, Convey, Saad

Green team - Sangler, Strunk, Hedrick, Antonijevic, Miller, Kuhn, Saydee, Garcia, Ellis

Neutral - Warzycha

This game ended 1-1. The green team, full of trialists certainly came out the hungrier of the two teams to start, really pushing the blue team. The green team got rewarded with a goal as Konrad Warzycha played a 1-2 with Matt Kuhn and Warzycha buried his shot past Kempin. The goal seemed to wake the blue team up as much of the rest of the game was controlled by them. Warzycha got their goal as well finishing off a cross from Soony Saad. Later on, Kevin Ellis suffered what appeared to be a sprained ankle as he went for a long cross. Ellis went down and seemed to be in a lot of pain, but was helped off and left with ice on his ankle.

Third game

Orange team - Nielsen, Collin, Olum, Harrington, Warzycha, Thomas, Aiyegbusi, Dwyer, Kamara

Green team - Angevine, Strunk, Hedrick, Antonijevic, Miller, Kuhn, Saydee, Garcia, Saad

Neutral - Zavagnin

This game ended 0-0 with Saad forcing a good save out of Jimmy Nielsen at the end of the game to keep it scoreless. The orange team though was the better of play throughout this one. Saydee had to clear one chance off the line for the green team, but other than that both teams struggled to create real opportunities during this game.

Jacob Peterson, Roger Espinoza, and Paulo Nagamura were all running on the side of the field. Birahim Diop and Daneil Cyrus are both taking care of family issues (although rumors abound that Diop is going to go to Colombia to join Octavio Zambrano).

So who was impressive during the short scrimmages this morning?

The player that impressed me the most today was Konrad Warzycha. He looked incredibly comfortable on the ball. In the second game where he was on offense only he showed a good ability at being able to settle the game and pick out players on his team. Both of his finishes were well taken as well.

Matt Besler continues to step his game up. I thought he was at a different level last year, but just in the training today it seems like he's taken it to another level. Yes it was only a practice, but Besler looked intense out on the field. He also did a very good job of getting forward (although I doubt he'll be doing a ton of that in real games).

Really other than that it was hard to pick out guys who really stood out. The games were short field (they played between the 15's on the Chiefs practice field). But overall compared to last year when I attended the same practice, the level of the practice was a totally different level than it was last year. There seems to be a different level of intensity going on this year. More focus and more centered on certain things. That could come from the fact that Peter Vermes and players have driven home this week, that they've all come in, in better shape and better prepared. That means that Vermes doesn't have to spend as much time on certain things and instead can build quicker.

Finally some quick thoughts on the trialists and draft picks. Remember that these are based on just my one training session of viewing.

Scott Angevine - Goalkeeper that is trialing with the team. He's going to have trouble making the team I think though, but based off his tweets is heading to Arizona with the team.

Stefan Antonijevic - The kid is definitely big. He plays simple which is good for a defender, but the biggest thing that stood out to me was when he got shouldered off the ball by Soony Saad.

Dom Dwyer - Lots of movement teamed with Kei Kamara on his team, didn't get a ton of touches in either game though.

Cyrpian Hedrick - Hedrick did a decent job for the green team in the center of defense, did well with his distribution.

Irving Garcia - The guy was active on the field with a lot of movement off the ball, but really didn't do a whole lot when he did get the ball.

Matt Kuhn - Not going to say a lot here to avoid bias claims, (although I may be more harsh on him since I've seen him play a lot more). Kuhn had some decent play, did a good job of on Warzycha's goal for the green team. Did well getting his head up and with his passing, but could be a step quicker with decision making.

Kyle Miller - Partnered well with Kuhn in the midfield for the green team, did well getting forward and hanging back when needing to.

Pablo Punyed - Wasn't there, hasn't been there all week apparently. Looking at options overseas it appears.

Myron Samuel - Was not out there today. Didn't get any confirmation, but it seems he may already be gone.

Cyrus Saydee - The guy is small like his bio shows, Aiyegbusi size. He did a decent job down the wing, but his size is going to work against him.

Shawn Singh - Didn't realize until I was typing this up, but I didn't see KC's first round supplemental draft pick today.

Steve Spangler - Didn't make any mistakes in goal, nothing he really could have done on the goal he allowed, but he has his work cut out for him trying to make this team with KC already having 3 goalkeepers on the roster. The team isn't going to get rid of Jimmy Nielsen or Jon Kempin, so Spangler is going to have to beat out Kronberg to make this team, and I don't see it.

Kevin Struck - In these short games it's easier for the backs to get forward, and Struck did a good job of getting forward when he could.

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