Preseason is starting on Friday for Sporting KC. Just 48 days after Jimmy Nielsen lifted MLS Cup, Sporting KC players will be back at Swope Park taking their entry physicals for the 2014 season.
With that we can already begin to speculate on the roster spots that are currently filled, and those that are up for grabs in preseason.
First let's take a look at who is under contract:
Goalkeepers (3): Andy Gruenebaum, Jon Kempin, Eric Kronberg
Defenders (8): Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Kevin Ellis, Josh Gardner, Mechack Jerome, Ike Opara, Erik Palmer-Brown, Seth Sinovic.
Midfielder (10): Christian Duke, Benny Feilhaber, Peterson Joseph, Mikey Lopez, Jimmy Medranda, Paulo Nagamura, Lawrence Olum, Oriol Rosell, Sal Zizzo, Graham Zusi
Forwards (6): Claudio Bieler, Teal Bunbury, Dom Dwyer, Jacob Peterson, Soony Saad, CJ Sapong
So that's a total of 27 players under contract for the 2014 season.
Before we even talk about the players drafted, let's talk about the players who are here and not here.
First, missing from the list is Chance Myers. Sporting KC's starting right back is out of contract and we're waiting to hear if he'll be back or not. When Charles Gooch at the Star posted a question about re-signing Myers, Heineman responded to the question "if he wants to." In the preview for the draft on Thursday, it was mentioned that Myers was "flirting with Perennial Champions League participants Rosenborg." Since then, I have searched and been able to find anything else, including the Norweigen press about a potential move for Myers.
Personally I think Myers will end up re-signing, which would bump Kansas City up to 28 rostered players.
That's not the only potential move within the current roster that could be happening though. Another potential move within the roster is on loan midfielder, Jimmy Medranda. Medranda had been on loan to KC from Colombian side, Deportivo Pereira. The Colombian club is already in preseason for their upcoming season. In a preseason game on the 15th, Medranda started for the second division side. Him playing in that game on the surface would seem to indicate that he won't be coming back to KC.
That would drop KC back to 27 rostered players.
KC already has the MLS rights to four more players now after the draft. Adnan Gabeljic, Peter Schmetz, Alex Martinez, and Reinaldo Brenes will all be looking to earn a spot on the roster when preseason starts.
Of course the three open spots may not go to any of those four. Heineman likes to continue to drop hints of a signing coming in. That player could take a roster spot.
There's also the chance that some of the 27 players on the roster won't make the final roster. For example there was the information that Jacole Turner, the former Sporting junior goalkeeper, would be returning to KC. If he's brought in as even a trialist, there is the outside chance that he could grab a spot.
There's also the questions surrounding whether Claudio Bieler will be back. With Bieler's playing time dropping late in the season a number of questions came up about whether Bieler would be back with KC. Rumors of him returning to Ecuador or Argentina had cropped up early in the offseason.
So on the surface there still are a number of spots left open on KC's roster for KC's draft picks to get. We'll see how many of those four make the roster, and probably, spend time in Oklahoma City or Orlando this season.