Today, Sporting Kansas City announced the trialists that are still in camp with the team as they begin the second leg of their preseason in Arizona. The team has cut the number of trialists still in camp at this time to just five players.
Gone from camp is goalkeeper, Kevin Corby, the St. Louis Ambush keeper who did not play in either of KC's preseason games. Also gone are defenders Brent Griffiths and Daniel Rodriguez. Both got time in the team's 2-0 loss to the Portland Timbers in the preseason opener, with Griffiths, the 24 year old English center back who has played his professional career in Australia, playing an hour before being replaced by Rodriguez, a Chilean back, for the final 30 minutes. Also gone are midfielders Santiago Otero, from Argentina, Felipe Hernandez, from Sporting's academy, and fourth round draft pick, Tony Rocha, who has landed on his feet, playing with the Austin Aztex in the ATX Pro Classic this past weekend. Finally, former Houston Dynamo home grown player, Alex Dixon is also gone from the club. Like the center backs, the other four released players all played against the Timbers in KC's first preseason game. All playing 30 minutes except Dixon who played an hour.
The four trialists left over from the first leg of preseason: former RSL academy goalkeeper, Matt Bersano, defender Amadou Dia, the club's third first round pick this year, the club's third round draft pick, James Rogers, and former player, Chrisitan Duke.
Joining those four is Canadian international, Marcel De Jong. De Jong is a 28 year old left sided player who predominately plays left back. De Jong was last with FC Augsburg of the Bundesliga, but left the club this past January when Augsburg terminated his contract. De Jong had been frustrated with his lack of playing time recently with the club, which likely played a role in his departure. De Jong would be an interesting addition if Sporting were to keep him, but the main question may be whether he'd get the playing time he apparently wants here. KC's two starters on the left side are two of the team's better and more consistent players in Seth Sinovic and Graham Zusi. De Jong may be the better left back than Sinovic, but would Peter Vermes look to replace him that quickly? Would De Jong be that much of an upgrade for Vermes, especially at a potential higher price tag? As for the left wing, Vermes could push Zusi into the midfield, where he's had some success, but with the number of midfielders KC has already brought in this offseason, that doesn't seem extremely likely.