Monday, July 23, 2012

Friendly Season

It's that time of the MLS season when foreign clubs are in the US preparing for their seasons in Europe and play a few games against MLS and foreign competition.  Kansas City joins in on that tomorrow when they take on French champions, Montpellier at Livestrong Sporting Park.  Earlier today I posted a bit of a look at Montpellier HSC and some of their players ahead of the game.  Not sure how much we'll see of some of their best players, but one guy I am interested in seeing at least a little of is Younes Belhanda.  The one thing that will dictate quite a bit how much they play tomorrow is the fact that in 5 days, Montpellier has their first chance at silverware on the season when they play Lyon in New York for the French Champions Trophy.

Kansas City will be without 3 of their regular starters as they are in Philadelphia for the All Star game.  Aurelien Collin, Jimmy Nielsen, and Graham Zusi are all preparing to play Chelsea Wednesday at PPL Park and will not be available tomorrow.  Also not in KC tomorrow will be head coach Peter Vermes, he's in Philadelphia for league meetings, leaving assistant coach, Kerry Zavagnin in charge of the friendly.  It'll be interesting to see how much time the starters will get tomorrow, in previous comments Vermes has hinted that the starters would get some time.  But with the busy schedule that KC seems to be playing, it's also possible that Vermes will want Zavagnin to rest them as their busy schedule continues.  In fact Vermes said the following recently regarding the game "We're looking forward to getting a week in of training because we'll have a different team on the field come Tuesday night. Then we'll do the same thing next week and I think it will be a big help to us."

So I'd expect a lot of the reserves to get the majority of the time when the teams come out.  One question that is quite minor but interesting, is who is going to back up Eric Kronberg.  Nielsen is in Philadelphia, and Jon Kempin is out with a broken foot.  League keeper Steve Spangler, who has trained with Sporting is also injured.  According to the CBA, apparently no Sporting Juniors players (like Jacole Turner) can play in the friendly.  As Thad said on Twitter today, that would seem to leave a field player or goalkeeping coach, John Pascarella as Kronberg's back up.  That's a little worrisome as Kronberg probably isn't completely 100% from his back injury earlier this year.  While I don't think Kronberg is going to spend much time on the field this year, that could be a big blow to KC if Kronberg goes down, as Nielsen is still only 2 yellows away from a suspension.

Ellis - Olum - Markovic - Miller
Thomas - Warzycha
Aiyegbusi - Saad - Dwyer

PREDICTION - All I want are no injuries for players tomorrow.  Result means nothing, just don't get hurt.


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking several starters will start and the ones that dont will play, but i don't think anyone but kronberg will get more than 45 minutes.

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I think that it is the best time to play to different soccer types and learn a lot of it.