Sporting KC's last announced preseason game is now in the books as the Wizards took on the US U17 team today out at ESPN's Wide World of Sports. Sporting took the lead through Konrad Warzycha who headed home a cross from trialist, Mozzi Gyorio. Shortly after KC grabbed the lead, the US team was level off of an indirect free kick inside the box. Rubio Rubin fired in just under the cross bar after a touch from Junior Flores.
Early in the second half, Sporting retook the lead, as Kyle Miller took a pass from Gyorio and slotted it into the far post making it 2-1. In the 64th, Soony Saad got on the score board firing a shot into the opposite corner making it 3-1. Shortly after Saad made it 3-1, he made it 4-1. Saad played Shawn Singh into the box, where he was fouled. Saad stepped up this time and buried the penalty kick past the keeper to make it 4-1 to Sporting KC.
Here are the highlights.
Eric Kronberg hasn't gotten much action so far this preseason due to one injury or another. Now he's going to miss the next 4-6 weeks due to a lower back injury. With the injury, that currently leaves Sporting with only 2 keepers on their roster, Jimmy Nielsen and Jon Kempin. Meaning the teenager is going to be Nielsen's backup until Kronberg comes back from injury. It's certainly a blow for Kronberg, who I was really hoping would really push Nielsen this year. With Kronberg in the final guaranteed year of his contract (next year is an option year held by the team), him impressing this year would be a good way for him to earn a starting job either with KC or elsewhere.
It's a huge opportunity for Kempin though, as he's now only an injury or red card to Nielsen from making his first team debut. And while he's a good keeper, I'm not sure he's quite ready to step up the way Zac MacMath did for Philadelphia last year.
The question becomes whether KC will look to put Kronberg on injured reserve and add a third goalkeeper for the short term or not. With trialist goalkeepers, Steve Spangler and Scott Angevine having been in camp since Arizona. It'd be possible that KC could sign one of them in the short term, or another possibility is that one of them could be signed as a league keeper and train with KC, similar to the situation when Andrew Kartunen was drafted by the team but then signed as a league keeper.