Monday, February 17, 2014

A Look at Heineman's Q/A on Twitter Tonight

Tonight while on his way to Orlando, Robb Heineman did another one of his impromptu Twitter Q/A's. As always, there were a number of lighthearted questions and some trolling, but there were some good questions in there as well that he answered.

One of the early questions that Heineman was asked had to do with the team adding players to the current squad. A number of fans have questioned whether KC would add to their roster and if they could possibly fall behind other teams. Heineman's response to the question doesn't sound to optimistic at least at this moment.

In regards to the recent rumors about Juniors signing, Erik Palmer-Brown and Juventus, Heineman responded "Noooooo" when asked if the team had agreed to sell him abroad. And take it for what you will, but Heineman also had some high praise for the 16 year old later:

He also fielded questions about the state of the league as it is now. Specifically he was asked if he felt he was concerned that KC hadn't done enough to improve while other teams like Toronto and DC had. Heineman said he wasn't concerned about that. But when questioned further about whether he was concerned about smaller market teams being "out-priced," Heineman responded with an affirmative. And it's certainly a concern that I think many KC fans feel, especially having seen similar things happen with the Royals over the years as the team has been "out-priced" (plenty of that of their own doing). Another question in that same vein asked if a 4th designated player spot was inevitable, to which Heineman responded no. That topic had come up for discussion recently with the fact that the Seattle Sounders had been linked with Didier Drogba. With them already having three DP's on their roster, assumption immediately turned to the league adding another DP spot for teams to use for Seattle to bring in the Ivory Coast international.

A topic that Heineman has used to troll numerous times in the past is the playing surface, starting the infamous "blue turf" a few years ago. When asked about the surface tonight, he said that the field would be changed to Bermuda grass this summer. When jokingly asked about the blue turf though, Heineman gave a response that I'm sure will cause worry for a number of fans around the league:

The bane of many MLS fans' existence, turf. It'd be extremely disappointing if KC were forced to install turf at Sporting Park, especially since only a few years ago Sporting's grounds crew were given awards for the work that they'd done at Community America Ballpark. Hopefully the fungus, or disease, or whatever was causing the problem is resolved with the switch to Bermuda grass and we don't have to see a game played on turf at Sporting Park.

Heineman also reiterated a comment he made in an earlier Q/A in regards to a USL-Pro team for Kansas City. The team recently signed an agreement with the Oklahoma City Energy to be their affiliate, but Heineman said that OnGoal is still working on creating their own USL-Pro team, similar to the LA Galaxy II that was announced recently. Whether this team would be KC based or potentially in another market is certainly something that will likely be discussed.

Another thing in the Q/A tonight that I liked were his comments regarding a TV deal. Heineman was asked about an expanded TV deal that would see KC expand outside the KC area. In the past the team has made references to wanting to be a regional team that could have fans throughout the Midwest. Heineman in response to the question said that they are apparently looking to broadcast games in 5 states. Later in the Q/A when asked by the American Outlaws chapter of Sioux Falls, if they'd be able to watch games on local TV he said yes. So that would mean Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota would seem to be three of the five states. I could also see the likes of Nebraska, Iowa, and Oklahoma being included in that list of five when things are all said and done. I love the idea of KC becoming a more regional team in regards to pulling in fans. They're solidifying themselves in the KC metro area, and with them doing that, they can now look to pull in people from around the region.

The topic that probably brought up the most questions tonight though was the possibility of a summer friendly for Sporting KC this year. Heineman shot down the idea of a friendly against a Bundesliga team and a rematch against Manchester United. But did say Sporting Park when asked about a venue, and that he'd "given plenty of hints"  in regards to the team.

So the question becomes was this Tweet from the 14th a hint:

If so could it be a reference to the rumored Manchester City friendly that Oriol Rosell let slip in an interview? That would make some sense, but then again, City is playing in the Guinness International Champions Cup in the US from July 26th through August 4th. So who knows, it might not have been a hint at all, maybe he just likes Charles Dickens.

On one final question that is a personal crusade of mine, Heineman was asked about the soccer hall of fame and bringing it to KC. This is something I would truly love, specifically the archives (which I would love to work at). In the past it's something that's been brought up, specifically in conjunction with the training complex that OnGoal wants to build with US Soccer. This time Heineman again left the door open for it, but said that the format needs to be considered.

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