Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sporting Roster to be Tested again with Call Ups and More Injuries

Sporting KC is going to have more selection issues as the team goes into the final four games of the regular season. Today the team made two announcements about player availability in the final month.

First the team announced that midfielder Jorge Claros had been called up by Honduras for the country's two national team games next week against Mexico (October 9th) and the United States (October 14th). Claros will now miss Sporting's game against the Chicago Fire on October 10th at Sporting Park.

KC also announced today that defender, Erik Palmer-Brown's season is over. The 17 year old home grown player suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot and is done for the year. Palmer-Brown suffered the injury in training today at the team's Swope Park training complex.

While Palmer-Brown hadn't gotten a ton of game time this year, it leaves KC with just six defenders on the roster, one of whom is also the team's current starting defensive midfielder. Another injury or suspension and KC gets into emergency defensive position again. The team currently has just three outside backs with Seth Sinovic, Igor Juliao, and Kevin Ellis. With Jacob Peterson still out injured, the fourth outside back would probably be Sal Zizzo who has played there with Portland. In the center of defense KC just has four available defenders, starters Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin, starting defensive midfielder, Lawrence Olum, and then Ellis.

What this means is that some of the team's most tired legs are going to be getting basically all the minutes the rest of the season. Besler and Sinovic have both looked tired in games having played so much already this season. Collin is battling another injury, and Juliao has had some adjusting to do defensively with this team. With Olum getting the majority of his minutes in midfield, the Ellis is going to be the jack of all trades defensively for KC down the stretch. It does lead to the question that many fans have asked since both Ike Opara and Chance Myers went down with season ending injuries, why didn't KC look to bring in another defender to help provide some depth on the back line. Hopefully the team can hold up down the stretch, but the lack of ability to rotate some of the starters a little bit is going to hurt KC in the end.

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