Heading into a very busy part of their schedule, KC is starting to find things a little thin on the team. Yesterday I mentioned Luke Sassano being out for 2 months due to his surgery, and today we learned that Matt Besler is going to miss one to three weeks due to appendicitis. Besler joins a growing list of players on the defensive side of things that are on the injured list. He joins defensive minded players Korede Aiyegbusi, Shawn Singh, Kevin Ellis, Cyprian Hedrick, Sassano, and Paulo Nagamura on the out list on the injured report.
The loss of Besler may be the biggest loss of them all for Kansas City. Besler has played in everyone of KC's games so far this year and has continued to improve over his performance over last year. Besler and Aurelien Collin have performed extremely well as a central defensive partnership. Now KC's depth at center back and at midfield is going to be tested. The primary candidate to replace Besler in the middle of defense is actually starting midfielder, Julio Cesar. Cesar moved to central defense at times last year after Collin/Besler had established themselves when Collin was suspended. But that means losing what Cesar brings to the center of midfield. That would likely put Nagamura in Cesar's spot, if Nagamura isn't able to go, then it'll likely be Lawrence Olum filling in for him. If Vermes doesn't want to drop Cesar back, then it could be Olum that goes into the center of defense partnering Collin. The final potential option right now is Konrad Warzycha, Warzycha, a midfielder coming into this season has moved back to central defense and got his first appearance for KC in that position against Orlando in the US Open Cup.
Neither one of these two options are extremely appealing. Cesar is much better in the midfield in KC's system then he is in defense. And on top of that, the last time that Cesar and Collin partnered in central defense, KC lost 4-1 against the LA Galaxy. Since then, Besler has been a staple of central defense. As for Olum, he's yet to impress me in reserve games in central defense and hasn't looked overly impressive in the midfield where he's played at when he gets in first team games. And Warzycha didn't impress at all against Orlando, forcing Collin to put himself into much more dangerous situations.
This whole situation just underscores the point I've stated since the end of last season. And that's that KC needed to add central defense depth, someone with some MLS experience that could fill in when KC needs it without having to disrupt another position on the field like would happen should Cesar move back there. Hopefully this is something that KC can improve on in this upcoming window, but I think Vermes is happy with the way things are.