Saturday, December 31, 2011

Former Junior's Update

So I am going to try and get a new segment started here on the blog called the Former Junior's Update. Now I realize the Junior's Blog does the same thing but they update every month and don't follow proffesional graduates like Ellis or Kempin. I'm going to try and follow both collegiate players and juniors that are now pro's and get an update out weekly. Basically it'll just be a look at all the former junior players of Sporting Kc's youth academy that have gone on to college and beyond. It is similar to downthebyline's recurring segment of Former SKC Wizards Update and that's where I got the idea from.

I will try to get out one each week. There will be a set day where I will be releasing them further down the road when I get a good grip on these posts.

So, here's the first one:


Collegiate 

Name - College - Update

Tom Adams - Oral Roberts - Played 14 games and scored 3 goals in first season with Oral Roberts in 2011
Christian Duke - San Diego - Played and started in all 18 games for Toreros in 2011
Patrick Foglio - William Jewell - Can't find info
Brandon Fricke - Butler - Played 16 games for the Bulldogs in 2011
Laeth Hamil - Baker - Played in 21 games in 2011
Asher Herbert - Long Island - Played in 16 games in 2011
Eric Hymer - Fort Hayes St. - Can't find info
Konnor Knoll - UMKC - Played in 16 games and scored 1 goal for the Kangaroos in 2011
Raymond Lee - St. Louis - Played in 17 goals and scored 4 goals in 2011
Marques Mayoras - Ohio State - Played in 4 games for the Buckeyes in 2011
Kyle Miller - Rockhurst - Started and played in 20 games and scored 1 goal in 2011
Eric Moore - Rockhurst - Can't find information/didn't play in 2011 season?
Michael Oakley - UMKC - Played in 15 games for the Kangaroos in 2011
Paul Oliver - Oral Roberts - Played in 16 games and scored 2 goals in 2011
Peter O'Neill - Northwestern - Played in 21 games and scored 2 goals in 2011
Jordan Rideout - UMKC - Played in 16 games and scored 7 goals for the Kangaroos in 2011
Jimmy Simon - UMKC - Played in 16 games and scored 1 goal for the Kangaroos in 2011
Alex Sweetin - St. Louis - Couldn't find info
Taylor Vinnage - Rockhurst - Didn't play in the 2011 season
Will Witherspoon - Virginia Tech - Played in 18 games but only started 3 of those in 2011

Professional or Semi-Pro


Name - Club - Update

Kevin Ellis - Sporting KC - Recorded zero minutes in MLS, played in all 10 of Sporting Kc's reserve matches, starting 9
Jon Kempin - Sporting KC - Recorded zero minutes in MLS, started 1 game for the reserves.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Omar Bravo Signed With Cruz Azul For Three Years

I know it's a little bit of a touchy subject for a lot of you guys out there but I just wanted to let you know that Omar Bravo has signed a three year deal with Mexican side Cruz Azul.

Well the fact that he had signed with them was old old news. But none of us really knew how long his stint with Cruz Azul would be. But multiple reports from across Mexico have said his contract is worth 3 years. Some of the reports have been out for a week or so so it's not breaking news, still thought I should share it with you guys though. Here's a list of all the sources I could find saying his deal with Cruz is worth three years:



*Translating from Spanish to English sometimes gives you weird phrases



As is team policy, Sporting did not release information on the deal with Cruz, so all we could do was guess. Many of us thought his contract would only be a year or two. In-fact I had reported to you guys on twitter that a source close to Sporting had told me that it was Omar Bravo's choice after the Mexican season to either come back to KC or stay on with Cruz Azul. Which could still be the case, but at least now we know how long his contract is.

Also, if you look at the reports, Omar Bravo seems quite happy with Cruz and is very excited for their upcoming season. So I'm going to go ahead and assume he won't ever be back to KC in Sporting blue.

Other Omar Bravo News
Omar missed a penalty in his first match with Azul, but still managed to beat "The Whales" 2-1.
Omar scored 2 times in his club's 3rd friendly ahead of the 2012 season against Lobos BUAP

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Daneil Cyrus Back For 2012

21 year old defender Daneil Cyrus will be back for the 2012 season. Sporting Kansas City has told me that as of right now, the Trinidad and Tobago international will be reporting to KC along with the rest of the team for the 2012 pre-season.



This was a very fuzzy area for many of the Sporting Kansas City fans seeing as Sporting's press release from July did not state whether or not Daneil would go back to FC Santa Rosa or stay on with Sporting. A source close to Sporting Kansas City has told me that he will stay.

This does however also contradict FC Santa Rosa's press release that says that the Trinidadian would be back to FCSR at "the end of 2011". But obviously the two clubs have hammered out something.

Keeping Cyrus is a huge boost for SKC due to their lack of depth at the center back position, which as of right now, consists of 2 players. I have not heard if Daneil has been bought from FCSR or if his loan deal has been extended, but I would think it's the latter.

Also, just to humor the FO of Sporting Kansas City, they had originally said Cyrus was 6'3 but apparently he has shrunk 2 inches.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Where Sporting Kc Stacked Up Against MLS Clubs In 2011


I haven't really seen anyone do this so I decided I'd give it a try. I've gathered a series of data points for Sporting Kc  from the MLS website and will be posting them below. I know it's pretty basic and almost anyone could do it but I just haven't seen it done in KC yet. Plus, I want to do it so fans can easily look down here and break down some of Sporting Kc's season themselves.

So here are the stats:

Category: Ranking in MLS out of 18 teams - Number of "points" in that category

Goals: 2nd - 50
Assists*: 14th - 35
Shots: 1st - 488
Shots on Goal: 2nd - 159
Fouls Conceded: 5th - 425
Fouls Suffered: 8th - 416
Offsides: 16th - 71
Corners: 8th - 161
Penalty Kick Goals: 9th - 4

*assists may seem inflated for some teams but MLS counts "secondary assists"
If you want to FULLY break down the rest of the MLS then you can go here



So as you can see Sporting Kc were quite easily one of the best attacking teams in the MLS all season. Recording 488 shots on goal throughout the 2011 campaign, a league best. One of their lowest indicators however was their offside's calls. Sporting Kc were only called offside 71 times, one of the leagues lowest at 16th. But it's actually a good thing seeing as it indicates that our front line is calm and composed. Besides, I'm fairly certain Bravo had about half of those.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sporting Kansas City To Spend 2 Weeks of Pre-Season In Tuscon

Earlier today it was confirmed by Tuscon Sentinel that Sporting Kansas City would indeed spend part of their pre-season in one of the most premier soccer facilities in the country - Kino Sports Complex.


Sporting will spend a total of 2 weeks in Arizona starting on February 1st but will miss out on the not-so-important chance to reclaim their Desert Cup title - of which is displayed proudly in the trophy case at Sporting's head offices - to go to the Disney Pro Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando Florida.

The Cup last year saw them pitted against the New York Red Bulls and drew record attendance numbers for the final as two of the most prominent figures of Mexican football  - Rafa Marquez and Omar Bravo -  battled it out for the Desert Cup.

As part of the pre-season experience Sporting Kansas City will face the San Jose Earthquakes on February the  2nd and the Vancouver Whitecaps on the 4th in a closed scrimmage session. This will most likely be where we will finally get wind of some of the new trialists and draft picks.




Sporting Kansas City After Local Midfielder?



As I'm sure many of you have already heard from different sources including SportingTimes.net and downthebyline.com Sporting Kansas City are reportedly after a local kid called Michael Thomas who has had a few stints in Europe since leaving the US after he was drafted by San Jose in 2010.

This comes off the back of my story about a month and a half ago where I linked the midfielder with Sporting Kansas City after he played in a reserve league encounter with FC Dallas and photos were released onto the internet.

However at that point I did not know the trialists name and was merely guessing at his bio. Judging on the pictures I guessed that he was 5'10 and a midfielder, both remain true. When he played in the reserve league game he wore #44 and scored for the Rangers on the stroke of halftime.

Michael Thomas, 23, has played for the Kansas City Brass and Notre Dame from 2006-2009. He has connections with Matt Besler (Notre Dame) and Seth Sinovic (youth club).

I think Michael would be a decent signing for Sporting but since he is still contractually tied to Ljungskile SK we would have to pay a transfer fee for him which would mean we would lose some of the allocation money we have received from the various trades of Jack Jewsbury, Davy Arnaud, and Omar Bravo.

Is this really the best way to spend our money? I don't know but we will soon learn whether or not as the January transfer window inches closer and closer.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Omar Bravo Leaves Sporting Kansas City

Omar Bravo with the captain's armband


Well, the Omar Bravo experience is over. Earlier this afternoon Sporting Kansas City announced that the team's joint top scorer Omar Bravo has left Sporting in favor of a move south of the border to Mexican side Cruz Azul. Omar, 31, released a statement following the announcement saying that he was quote, "very grateful to have received the opportunity to play in MLS, a league to which I respect and admire, as well as Sporting KC as it gave me the opportunity to experience challenges and fulfill dreams in this city both personal and professional, which All I take from Kansas City are good things to my teammates, fans who always supported me in my time" 


Omar is believed to have left due to being offered a better contract, more money, and more playing time in his home country of Mexico. Cruz Azul had been linked with Sporting Kc's Designated Player since the season ended in mid-November and it was no surprise when he left amid a whole host of transfer rumors and speculation.

Following the departure of Omar Bravo Sporting Kc's average age is now just 23. And Sporting Kc will most likely look to keep the trend of buying young and selling old in this January transfer window following speculation that the club has already secured a deal for a Spanish DP.

But one of the weirdest things about this deal is that there has been no official confirmation that Bravo has either been loaned or transferred to Cruz Azul due to the club's policy of not disclosing the deal information. So because of that policy we have no idea how much money we have to buy other players or how much money we have in the wage budget.

But we do know Omar's departure opens up a international roster spot - of which we have just 7 - and opens up a Designated Player spot - of which we have just 3. Now, the question becomes does Sporting Kc stick with an experienced MLSer in Bobby Convey or do they go for a younger in-experienced winger?

Omar earned many awards and honors in his short time at LSP. Including Latino of the Year, MLS All-Star, and was one of the faces of LIVESTRONG's fight against cancer in Mexico and the US.






Sunday, December 11, 2011

Daneil Cyrus Could Participate In CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

The youngest center back on Sporting Kc's roster Daneil Cyrus could participate in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament this spring with Trinidad and Tobago's U-23 side. The Soca Warriors have been drawn in Group B with the likes of Honduras, Mexico and Panama. T&T's U-23 coach Angus Eve said recently that he is keeping tabs on Daneil and that he is, "fit again from injury but is not match ready".

Cyrus had previously made 13 senior appearances for T&T but quite literally lost his foot-hold on the international scene after his season ending injury in the summer when he fractured his foot. But now it seems as if Daneil has his big opportunity to show Trinidad and Tobago's technical staff that he is back to his best again.

Should Cyrus participate in the tournament he could go up against fellow Sporting Kc teammate Teal Bunbury as Teal tries to lead the United States to the London 2012 Olympics. And it seems as if for both players this is a tournament that could kick-start their international careers again.

Omar Bravo to Veracruz?

Sporting Kc's only designated player Omar Bravo could be on his way out of KC, word out of Mexico is that a 2nd division side in the Liga de Ascenso is interested in securing the poacher's signature for a 3 year deal. Should Veracruz sign the 31 year old it would be quite an amazing deal seeing as they are a second division side and you would think Omar has way more talent than that. But if there's a lot of money involved then maybe Bravo could be persuaded. Should he join the Sharks Bravo would join former Philadelphia Union striker Carlos Ruiz and would make a very impressive front line.

Whether or not Omar joins the Sharks is yet to be seen. But as the January transfer window inches closer and closer, and the rift between Bravo and Sporting Kc gets bigger and bigger, one thing is becoming certain - Omar's days in KC are numbered.

Full article translated from Spanish to English:

Guzman confirms interest of Veracruz by Omar Bravo

Veracruz, Veracruz, on December 7, 2011 .- From somewhere in Europe (It is said that in Switzerland) Sharks coach Daniel Guzman Rojos de Veracruz Castañeda, confirmed the interest of the club for striker Omar Bravo Sinaloa , with whom I spoke to invite to your project.

Speaking to ESPN announced Guadalajara strategist who is on vacation in Europe and already thinking about the next tournament in Veracruz, a team he said, is in transition and seeking to consolidate a project led by young people.

The coach said he has talked shark with Omar Bravo to add it to Red Sharks of Veracruz, explaining that he has offered a three-year contract and the acquisition of rights by the club.

Guzman said the former striker Chivas, Tigres, La Coruna and Sporting recently the MLS Kansas City, asked for time to resolve outstanding, since no American team is detached, but added that the World Cup in 2006 will said he had other projects.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Soony Saad to Train With Lebanon?

Sporting Kc's youngest ever goal scorer Soony Saad has reportedly considered the chance to train with the Lebanese national team. Soony is of Lebanese decent and could join "The Cedars" in a push for World Cup qualification. While the reports haven't been confirmed Soony is the only player to have responded to the invitation. According to The Daily Star Soony tweeted that he would "consider coming to play". 

All 4 players that were asked to join Lebanon were of Lebanese decent. 2 playing in Scandinavia and the other in Australia. I don't think Soony is very likely to train with them though seeing as I believe that he has never been to Lebanon. But there is always a first and the exposure could gain Sporting Kc some international fans much like Chhetri did for the Wizards in 2010.

The best case scenario is that Soony trains for Lebanon, gets some good playing time, and comes back to the US ready for a new season a leg up on everyone else. The worst case scenario is that this situation could end up being like the Teal Bunbury situation we saw in 2010 when Teal controversially chose to play for the US over Canada after previously playing for Canada's U-20 and U-17 teams. 

Soony has played for the United States U-20 team once, scoring one goal. 

Teal Bunbury to Train With US U-23 Side and LSP News

Today Sporting Kc announced that striker Teal Bunbury will train with the US under 23 side at a camp in Lakewood Ranch Florida. Bunbury, 21, was chosen by his former coach of 2 years Caleb Porter. Maybe Teal's former coach at Akron wanted to give back to the striker that gave him so much. The striker scored 23 goals in 48 games for "The Zips" in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. 

Teal Bunbury had previously played with the United States National team almost a year ago when he was invited to the annual January camp that is generally used for young players that have potential of playing against the world's elite. But this time around Teal will be training with the under 23 side, which is basically a sub-team of the US Men's National Team, the only difference is that you have to be under the age of 23 to play.

Other notable players for the U-23 side include: Bill Hamid, Freddy Adu, Sean Johnson, and Zarek Valentin.

For a full list of all the participants of the U-23 December camp go here.

LSP News
The main reason of this particular U-23 camp is in preparation of next year's CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament that will be held at various stadiums across America. LIVSESTRONG Sporting Park will be one of those stadiums and will host the semifinals and the finals of the tournament on March 31st and April 2nd. Which means Teal Bunbury could have the chance to score for both club and country at LSP, and would become the first player to do so. Nevertheless, the 2 finalists will win the right to go to London and be a part of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Which could see European nations put out weaker sides due to the UEFA Euro 2012 being held in Ukraine and Poland only 4 weeks before the opening games. Which in turn could make for an easier tournament for the US.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A New Era for Sporting Kc

When the Wizards sold veteran keeper Kevin Hartman in 2010 to FC Dallas for a 2012 superdraft pick some fans started to take notice. They had already began to realize that some of the more veteran players had been leaving the club in recent years(Jose Burciaga(07), Nick Garcia(07), Zavagnin(08)). Despite the loss of those long time Wizards - and even more in the 08-09 period - there was still hope that the new former Wizard turned manager Peter Vermes could turn the club's recent fortunes around.

Vermes had brought with him only 5 years worth of MLS playing experience when he joined the Wizards in the summer of 2009, when he replaced the exiting Curt Onalfo. During the last half of that 2009 season Vermes had tried to instill in KC the now infamous 4-3-3 attacking system but it failed to take immediate effect. In 2010 however, Vermes was able to have a full pre-season with the team and set the ball rolling from the first game of the season in March against DC United onward.

Multiple veteran MLS players were in the Starting 11 that day Jimmy Conrad, Davy Arnaud, Jack Jewsbury and Josh Wolff to name a few. Fast forward just 2 seasons and not a single one of those players can be found on Sporting Kc's roster. Jimmy Conrad left for Chivas USA in late 2010 via the Re-Entry draft. Josh Wolff followed suite and also left in 2010 to DC United via the Re-entry draft. Jack Jewsbury was sent to Portland in exchange for allocation money in 2010 and Davy Arnaud was traded to Montreal a few weeks ago, also in exchange for allocation money(and Seth Sinovic).

So now, heading into the 2012 season we find ourselves in a bitter sweet situation. Our longest tenured player Eric Kronberg has only been around since 2006 and has been used just 5 times in the league since. But while the Wizards were losing key players like Conrad, Jewsbury, and Zavagnin in past seasons there was something that began to shine through.......the youth.

The amount of young players that have received a decent amount of playing time over the past 3-4 years is incredible. The best part is knowing that Sporting Kc have molded them and made them into the players they are today. The next best part is knowing that this young team can only build off of the success it had last year. And maybe it was the fact that they were missing so many veteran MLS players that their playoff run did end at the Eastern Conference final.

If you look at the roster for Sporting Kc you can start to put players into individual groups. And one of the most important groups next season and even for the next 3-5 seasons will be what I like to call the "Next Generation of Wizards". This list would include Myers, Espinoza, Harrington, Sinovic, Besler, Collin, and Zusi. And then there's the even more important group for down the road that I like to call, "The Next Wizards". Players in this group would include Bunbury, Sapong, Saad, Kempin, Ellis, Warzycha, Joseph and Cyrus. I look at these players as the future of the club.

If Peter Vermes can keep the large bulk of these players around for the next couple of seasons everything and anything could be ours. There is no doubt that this group can go far, and there is certainly no doubt that with the departure of club talisman Davy Arnaud this is the start of a new era. An era that could easily see Peter Vermes and company win league titles, Open Cups, and maybe even CCL titles. An era that will put the likes of Besler, Zusi, and their generation down into legendary status...The Sporting Era.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Some Stats On Bobby Convey

Following the signing of Bobby Convey I thought i'd dig a little deeper into his career and give you guys some interesting stats.

But first, here's what Vermes had to say on Convey:



Stats:

Minutes played in MLS - 13,691 = 228.2 hours = 9.5 days = 1.3 weeks
Goals in MLS - 11
Assists in MLS - 30
Games played in MLS - 164
Games started in MLS - 152
Games played as a sub in MLS - 12
Percent of games started in MLS career- 94%
Number of ejections in the past 3 years - 0
Number of ejections in MLS - 2
Number of yellows in MLS - 34
Average number of yellows per game in MLS - .2
Average number of goals per game in MLS - .07
Average number of assists per game in MLS - .2
Games played from 9/10/11 to 10/22/11 - 0
Games started in 2011 without being subbed off  - 19 out of 19 games 
Games subbed off for San Jose in past 2 seasons - Twice

Sporting Kc Trade International Roster Spot For Bobby Convey

Sporting Kansas City has announced that winger Bobby Convey has joined the club for at least the 2012 season. Bobby Convey is a left winger and can play at either the left back or left wing position, which fits right in with Sporting Kc's 4-3-3 formation. The most confusing part to me however is that Omar Bravo - the clubs only Designated Player - solidified his spot on the LW last season. Now, Omar Bravo can play at Attacking Mid but that doesn't make much sense seeing how Graham Zusi was tremendous there last season and Robb Heinemann has hinted at a Spanish midfielder coming to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park so it wouldn't make much sense to put Bravo there. And knowing Convey's pedigree it seems as if Bravo could potentially leave in the January transfer window. But that doesn't seem to make much sense either because a couple days ago Omar Bravo's agent Ruben Perez said that he was quote" happy, and has a contract with them(Sporting Kansas City) and has been well received."

As I stated earlier Bobby can also play at LB. But again, it doesn't make much sense for him to play there either because Sporting Kansas City gave up a nine year veteran in Davy Arnaud  to get back hometown hero and stalwart left back Seth Sinovic. And it would appear that Seth had placed his mark on the LB position last season with some stellar performances.

But maybe I'm over-thinking this, maybe Vermes really did bring Bobby Convey in just to have the extra depth. But maybe, just maybe there really was some substance in the rumor that there indeed was a 'rift' between Peter Vermes and Bravo. And so, atleast for now, the Bravo saga continues.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jimmy Nielsen's New Contract Worth $276,00 Dollars

Danish paper Nordyske is reporting that Jimmy Nielsen's new contract with Sporting Kansas City is worth an estimated 1.53 million Krone, which ends up being roughly $276,000 dollars. His new contract is $76,000 dollars more than his base contract with Sporting was in 2011.

Jimmy had this to say on the matter,"I earn a good salary that is higher than the one I could get in the premiership. It means that I can support my family while I can put a little aside, so I should not complain at all. But I must be honest, the money is not the most important. It is that we are well, I am excited to come to training every day and that I play on a team with a promising future."


The pay jump should come as no surprise since he was voted as the team MVP for Sporting Kc and kept the Wizards in many games throughout the 2011 season. Nielsen's new contract will now go until 2013 but can also be extended for another year, which, according the article, will most likely be utilized.

Entire article translated from Danish to English


"1.53 million dollars. So much will the former AaB goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen to serve a year after his Tuesday signed a new two-year football contract with the U.S. Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City. goalkeeper will not know that it The many zeros on the payslip, which has brought Americans his signature. - I earn a good salary that is higher than the one I could get in the premiership. It means that I can support my family while I can put a little aside, so I should not complain at all. But I must be honest, the money is not the most important. It is that we are well, I am excited to come to training every day and that I play on a team with a promising future, says Jimmy Nielsen. Sporting Kansas City came into this season all the way to the semifinals in the Major Soccer League and "the white mountain lion," which Jimmy Nielsen is called, has seen a chance to reach another title in his career. - We have a very young team that is first fed through now, so I think we have the right squad to succeed in the championship match, and it would surely be a dream to reach a championship more before that his career ends. With the Jimmy Nielsen's new contract is an option on one-year extension, and immediately sees the blonde goalkeeper fine possibility that it may be utilized. - Of course I know that I do not play 10-15 more years, but on the other hand, I'm not thinking that his career is coming to an end, says Jimmy Nielsen as in the just ended season was named his team's most valuable player."

Omar Bravo Will NOT Play In Mexico During the MLS Break

Earlier today Omar Bravo's agent told ESPN Deportes that Omar Bravo will NOT play in Mexico over the MLS break. Following the MLS expansion draft there was a buzz that Omar Bravo could go to a variety of different clubs in Mexico. But mainly Tecos and Atlas. According to the article Tecos came the closest to signing Bravo and that, "more than one approach was an informal chat to see the possibilities and options." But in the end Tecos would have only been able to acquire the services of the Mexican poacher for just 7 games and the deal inevitably fell through.

Omar Bravo's agent Ruben Perez also says that Omar is enjoying his vacation off from a very successful season and went on to state that , "he is in Kansas and is happy, period". 

This comes after major speculation that Omar Bravo would indeed join a Mexican side for the 2-3 month off-season break for the MLS. But this article is pointing to the fact that Omar will not go out on loan to a Mexican side this winter. 

Entire article translated from Spanish to English:
MEXICO CITY - The Kansas City Sporting striker Omar Bravo, could run out to fulfill his desire to participate in Mexican soccer in the stage of the MLS break, but it certainly is something that does not care much, as their representative Ruben Perez left the player will see a long life with the Americans.

Input, Ruben Perez said: "became a buzz that the expansion draft list and all that, but he is in Kansas City and asked the directive in which case there was a team that would like to use two or three months, which lasted a recess in the U.S. league and if they knew something, then give him the facilities, was that, nothing more. "

He said that at no time has been approached with Atlas and "Tecos looked for some time, before this tournament, is notice to the policy that was for a few games while the league began in the United States, more than one approach was an informal chat to see the possibilities and options ", but ultimately there was no agreement because students did not want to hire only seven games.
He said: "I only tell you of Omar Bravo is that he is in Kansas and is happy, period."

For if you currently have an offer for next season in Mexican soccer, responded that "there has been nothing official," and finally emerged on whether a proposal for any team, said "they would have to come to the board of Kansas" .

YEAR OF SUCCESS

After mentioning that Bravo is on vacation and the only thing to do is just "relax, enjoy your vacation and training," Perez pointed to the player's experience in his first season with Kansas City, which led to was recently named Player of the Year at the Latin league.

"For him it was a great season, full of challenges and achievements, very happy with the MLS, happy for the support of the fans, for the appointment to the Latino of the Year, happy to be leading the city: that is, a success On the professional side to him. "

He said that "Omar has been a challenging year and he is happy."

Whether in the future could return to Mexican soccer, said: "For now have a contract in the league of the United States and that will last a while yet. Any other situation that is said, is mere speculation and that creates misunderstandings. So I repeat: he has a contract there has been very well received by all Americans and Latinos, then, he is a very happy person in the United States. "

Confidential subject

Finally, Ruben Perez refused to tell exactly how long Omar Bravo has a contract with Sporting Kansas City, by stating that "agreements are confidential."
Mochiteco home striker signed with Kansas City in mid-2010 and was released in November of that year, but continued to play with Chivas de Guadalajara, to join his new team until the start of 2011.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sporting Kc Sign Paulo Nagamura From Chivas USA

To put a name to a face, Paulo Nagamura pictured above. - via mlssoccer.com


Sporting Kc have signed Brazilian midfielder Paulo Nagamura from Chivas USA in exchange for a first round supplemental draft pick that Sporting Kc originally received when they traded Ryan Smith to Chivas earlier last week. Sporting Kc will however, keep their 3rd round pick that they received upon selling Smith. This transfer brings much needed depth to a midfield that had lost 3 of it's members just 6 days ago.

Paulo joins former teammate Shavar Thomas (Chivas USA 2007-2009) in the Sporting Kc camp. The former Arsenal youth player will also join fellow Brazilian Julio Cesar. So there are a few connections between Paulo and the rest of the players, but not many.Finding chemistry with the rest of the players should be no problem though since Nagamura fits perfectly into Sporting Kc's 3 man midfield.

While I know he's a MLS cup winner and has been a solid veteran for Chivas USA I don't think he'll get too much first team action at the start of the season seeing that Sporting Kc's main midfield trio was Zusi, Espinoza, and Cesar in 2011. But a lot can change in pre-season, players get injured, fall out of favor with technical staff, lose form. But still, with Sporting Kc's "mystery" Spanish DP still yet to be announced I just don't see it happening.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Davy Arnaud Traded to Montreal For Seth Sinovic

Earlier today Sporting Kc posted on their website that veteran midfielder, talisman of the club, and long-time Kansas Citian Davy Arnaud had been traded to the Montreal Impact in return for former player Seth Sinovic along with allocation money. In an odd twist of fate Sporting Kc sold the very player they protected in the expansion draft for the very player they didn't protect in the expansion draft. It's a very puzzling trade but in the end I think both clubs were happy with it. Not sure that Davy was very happy with the trade seeing that he had been playing for the Wizards since 2001 and had won every title an MLS side could win(exluding the CCL).

On a personal level I really find it heartbreaking that Davy had to go, he was one of my favorite players at the club and I had a dream that would he would end his career as a "one club player" and go down as a Wizard hero. While he will probably still be a fan favorite forever in KC I think he personally really wanted to stay here. But, maybe on a professional standpoint he felt he needed to move so he could kick-start his career again.

Jimmy Nielsen to Stay At LSP Till 2013

Sporting Kc has announced that Jimmy Nielsen has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Livestrong Sporting Park until 2013. Nielsen has been nothing short of a revelation for Sporting Kc since arriving from Denmark in the 2010 pre-season as a replacement for the exiting Kevin Hartman. Now, he finds himself here until 2013 with the option to stay on till 2014 if he chooses. However, by then he will be 38 and I don't know if he could stay around for another season with the Wizards. Still, the Dane has made 60 appearances for KC in the league and if everything goes as plan could add another 120 games onto that.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Teal Bunbury to Bolton Wanderers?

According to this article from England, Sporting Kc's joint leading goal scorer is headed to English Premier League side, Bolton Wanderers. The article states that Bolton boss Owen Coyle wants to check on Bunbury's fitness and that a fee and contract will be discussed upon arrival in England.

The article also goes on to say that Teal had previously rejected an offer from a Bundesliga 1 side, (Hoffenheim) in hopes of being able to play for Bolton. According to the article Bunbury should be there within a fort-night.

While I think it's intriguing that Teal is getting this type of exposure over in England I don't think there's a lot behind this story. First of all, Mirror Football is known pretty much world-wide for stirring up transfer rumors that have little to nothing in them and this looks to be another one of those times. Second of all, there are no statements from either Teal or Owen Coyle in the article, which generally points that it's speculation.

All in all I think this rumor is just bogus. What I think has happened is that Teal was supposed to go over there just to train during the off-season and when the England media got whiff of it, they pounced. So it looks as if Teal won't be joining fellow American Stuart Holden at the Reebok anytime soon.

*Note: TealBunburyFans is where I got this link from, she found it first*

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sporting Kc Waive Jeferson, Rocastle, Lorenz, and Stojcev

Following the loss of Seth Sinovic to Montreal in the 2012 Expansion draft Sporting Kc have announced that 4 other players will not be with them at the start of next season. SKC have released Jeferson, Craig Rocastle, Scott Lorenz, and Milos Stojcev from their roster and are now free agents.

All 4 players except for Lorenz spent some decent time on the pitch early in the season for KC but then faded away and didn't get much if any playing time at the end of the season. However, I do see Jeferson and Stojcev returning to their respective countries to seek first team action while Lorenz and Rocastle could be picked up by another MLS team.

Regardless, this is most likely just another stepping stone to a big move by Sporting Kc, I can smell it...

Montreal Impact Acquire Seth Sinovic From Sporting KC In 2012 Expansion Draft

The Montreal Impact has chosen Seth Sinovic as their 10th and final pick in the 2012 Expansion Draft. Seth was left off of Sporting Kc's protected list that consisted of 11 players. Some other notable players left un-protected were: Omar Bravo, Michael Harrington, and Soony Saad.

Seth joins other decent MLSers like Justin Mapp, Zarek Valentin, and Sanna Nyassi in Montreal. But there is certainly more trading to be done and I wouldn't be surprised if Seth doesn't start the 2012 season in a Montreal shirt. I encourage you to stay tuned into Montreal very closely over the next few days, to monitor the deals that will occur up there.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 11 Players Left Unprotected In the MLS Expansion Draft 2012

One of the more surprising names left unprotected, Freddy Adu


Yesterday, every club in the MLS including Sporting Kansas City had to give the league their protected list ahead of the 2012 expansion draft which will be held tomorrow at 2 pm. The Montreal Impact have the luxury/burden of raking in 10 of MLS' "under-par" players. But which players should Nick De Santis bring to Canada's third and possibly final team?

Well, essentially De Santis will be drafting a lot of players that won't end up in Montreal at the start of the 2012 season (i.e. Dax McCarty), and there are under the table deals going on between MLS clubs and their managers right now as you are reading this. Throw in the fact that Montreal can only pay 'X' amount of players 'X' amount of money before they reach their league wide salary limit and Nick and the rest of his staff will be hard-pressed to do the best they can to get Montreal's season started off right.

Well, lets say De Santis was allowed 11 players to choose from (instead of 10) and he didn't have to worry about the salary cap. Who would he bring in? I would love to look inside his head and see his thought process behind this draft.

But, if I was choosing 11 unprotected-players to fill a blank starting XI from the whole league and there was no salary cap, this would be my starting 11:




Unfortunately there is a salary cap and Nick is limited to only 10 players. Who he will choose and what trades he will make is between him, his staff, and God. Luckily all will be revealed shortly. Like tomorrow shortly and the following days will cause unprecedented havoc and chaos for every club's manager and staff in the MLS. You thought the season was over didn't you? Wrong, it's just starting.

Additional Links:

2012 Expansion Draft Rules

List of all protected and unprotected lists in MLS

Sporting Kc Sell Ryan Smith

Sporting Kc have sold Ryan Smith to Chivas USA for a 1st and 3rd round pick in the 2012 supplemental draft.  Some fans have complained but essentially we sold a player that was not playing any games for us for 2 supplemental draft picks. While I would have rather had the allocation money from a European team it's a fair trade for everyone involved.

The weird thing about this trade is that reportedly the main reason for Smith's abrupt departure in mid-summer was because of "family reasons". And moving to LA would make the travel distance to England longer, but I can see why LA might of been more elusive. Plus, Chivas USA has a very scarce amount of high-impact players, maybe Smith wanted to be the star of a under-par Chivas side?

Either way Smith did some great things for KC in his time here, he brought a high-level of football to KC that people around these parts hadn't seen in awhile and it'll be quite interesting when/if Chivas comes to LSP to see what type of reaction he will get from the Sporting KC crowd.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Carlos Lobaton to Sporting KC?

Imagen
El Comercio


According to rumors from Peru,  Carlos Lobaton could join Sporting Kansas City next season. Apparently he had ran out of favor with his old club and was looking for a club where he could earn a higher salary. However I feel this rumor is just simply non-sense. The description does not fit what Sporting Kc are reportedly looking for. First of all, he's a midfielder, and Sporting Kc's 3-man midfield is one of the best in the league and have plenty of back-up. Second of all, he's 31, which, based off comments by Robb would take him out of the equation. Third of all, he's Peruvian, and according to Robb Sporting Kc has already submitted an offer for a Spanish DP.

The other MLS club linked with Carlos is Chivas USA. They seem much more likely to sign this center mid than Sporting. But hey, this player looks like he might have some quality so prove me wrong Robb Heineman. By my count Carlos Lobaton, the 'mystery' Spanish DP, and Guti Hernandez have been the only players linked to the club thus far in the silly season.

Friday, November 18, 2011

TFM's Best XI Award


In Sporting Kc's whirl-wind of a season so many players were shuffled through Peter Vermes' squad during the course of the season. But just which team was the best XI? Which players helped us earn the most points?

Well, statistically speaking the best 11 players in terms of points earned would be:
Name - Points Earned(regular season)

Besler - 51
Sapong - 51
Zusi - 49
Kamara - 48
Nielsen - 48
Cesar - 47
Myers - 47
Bravo - 44
Bunbury - 40
Sinovic - 39
Espinoza - 37

So if we based the starting 11 off that it would be this:

Unfortunately Sporting never used a 3-3-4.

They did however use a 4-3-3 and here is the best Starting XI for Sporting Kc in my opinion




You can check out my other season awards here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TFM's Game Of the Season


My game of the season would had to have been the game against FC Dallas in early June. Sporting were just coming off a terrible run of form while FC Dallas were running rampant in the MLS. Break Shea was almost unstoppable and looked set to dismantle a Sporting side that was desperate for points to turn their season around.

Break Shea didn't disappoint.



It was simply one of the goals of the season for FC Dallas. But little did anyone know, Graham Zusi was just about to do something that arguably would change the course of Sporting's season.

Graham Zusi had already scored the opening goal of the game but what happened next caught everyone off-guard.


It was a fantastic strike from 45+ yards out to say the least. And after Zusi's strike the game was locked up for KC.

Many people including myself point to this game as the turning point of the season and after the win in Dallas Sporting went on to record a 10 game unbeaten streak that helped them secure post-season football. And because of that fact, and the goals that were scored it was my game of the season.

You can check out my other season awards here

TFM's Newcomer Of the Year Award: Aurelien Collin

Aurelien Collin Aurelien Collin #78 of the Sporting Kansas City leaves the field after he was issued a red card during a game against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on April 23, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Lekic would score the game-winning goal late in the second half.
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images


Heading into  the regular season I had qualms about Sporting Kc's two first choice center backs, one was an aging Brazilian who, at that point in time, was a free agent, and the other was a young American who spent most of last season as Jimmy Conrad's understudy. Sporting's defensive woes became very apparent early on, Vermes' high pressure system was allowing Sporting Kc to score goals in bundles. But that same high pressure system that was allowing us to score goals was also leaving us vulnerable at the back. 

In those first few weeks Cesar and Besler were to remain as center back pairings until the Frenchman from Portugal slid into Sporting Kc's backline like a hand in a glove. This 'mystery defender' soon earned his place in the Starting XI and his name became known to all.... Aurelien - 'I will kill for you' - Collin.

Standing at 6'2 Aurelien Collin is a no-nonsense center back. Combining aggression and speed with brute strength Collin is easily one of the best center halfs in the league, throw in his threat on set pieces and you can see why I think so highly of him.

When Aurelien jumped into the Starting 11 many changes were made, Vermes switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 with Cesar and Espinoza holding down the midfield. And Besler and Collin formed one of the best CB partnerships in the league.

With Collin in our side we became one of the most defensively-sound teams in the league. Under him our defensive woes from the beginning of the season simply disappeared, and with out him we may not have been able to have the season we did. 

You can check out my other season awards here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Season Wrap Up

On this page you will find a list of links to my annual awards that I will post as part of my Post-Season Wrap Up series which will go from Mon.(11/14/11) - Fri. (11/18/11). Come back every day to check out the new posts or head over to the Facebook page to check them out. As ever you can get Sporting Kc and world soccer updates on my twitter profile, you can find that here.

Enjoy.

TFM's MVP Of the Season Award: Omar Bravo

Omar Bravo 1 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

When CEO Robb Heineman announced earlier this year that he had signed a 30 year old Mexican striker from Guadalajara I was a little skeptical. I was even more skeptical when he had announced that he was to remain on loan with Guadalajara until the start of the season for KC. However, Omar Bravo shot down my judgments and quickly rose to the MLS elite.

This was all too apparent on Sunday night when there was a massive rumbling around the ground when Bravo was given orders to strip off his warm up gear and get ready to come on as a sub in the 85th minute when KC was down only 1-0. Omar's substitution was met with an astounding amount of applause for one of the greatest poachers Meixco has ever seen.

Rewind back 7 months to the opening game against Chivas USA. An intense 3-2 win for SKC. Bravo netted 2 times on opening night and seemed almost apologetic when he scored on Guadalajara's sister club. A man of the match performance from the little Mexican who couldn't even imagine what would happen next.

A few weeks later Omar receives a devastating injury that sees him sidelined for 5 weeks during arguably one of the most important parts of the season but makes a triumphant return to the lineup just before the home opener.

Following the injury Bravo went on to score 7 more times and turned provider 4 times. His work ethic on the field went unmatched all season and his leadership on the field went unscathed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Trialist For Sporting Kc

A new trialist is in Sporting Kc's camp. While there is no name linked with the player there has been a number of pictures "leaked" onto the internet of the trialist after Sporting Kc's reserves lost 5-3 against FC Dallas on Wednesday, here's the site for those pictures.

It appears as if he actually scored on the stroke of halftime for the Rangers. Judging from the pictures I know he wore #44 and I would put the player at around 5'10 to 6'0. I would also say he's a midfielder, maybe a defensive minded one.

Here are some snapshot's of the trialist, all via +++CoolValley+++'s photostream on Flickr.

To me he looks like a mix of Graham Zusi and Andreas Villas-Boas.
Now, on to the trialist.








If you know anything else feel free to comment.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sporting KC To Sign Spanish DP?

Last night club CEO Robb Heineman wasted no time in getting the off-season started when he announced to his legion of twitter followers that he had submitted a bid for a Spanish DP, Robb went on to say on his twitter account, "...and btw, making an offer on a Spanish DP today...". 


While we will most likely not see Fernando Torres or David Silva lighting up LSP I still think Robb is after some serious talent following the imminent release of Jeferson, (not confirmed by club yet). The Brazilian failed to make an impact with Sporting and should he leave it would open up north of $400,000 we could spend on a new signing.

Robb might be going after the traditional 'former-great' DP that is all too common in MLS. Or he could be going after a young DP, something that the MLS commissioner would love to see.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

One Win Away From the MLS Cup Final





Sporting Kc will be in the drivers seat this Sunday afternoon when they take on the Houston Dynamo for the right to play either RSL or the LA Galaxy. Sporting Kc welcome the Dynamo to what should be a packed, proud, and dare I say it pulsating LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Well, at least the Cauldron will be. Nevertheless tomorrow's game will be the last home game for Sporting Kc this season and It should be a good one,

The Houston Dynamo could usually come into Sunday's fixture knowing that they have one thing over Sporting Kc - their set pieces. But, Sporting Kc have become almost as good as Houston on their set pieces. In-fact 5 out of Sporting Kc's last 7 goals have been from set pieces and only 1 has come in open play. Granted this little bit trivia is good to know when playing against the Houston Dynamo but should we advance to the final we can not rely on just set pieces alone.

As for Sporting Kc, Omar Bravo may be set to make a return after missing the first two games of the playoffs for KC with a slight groin injury while Bunbury and Sapong are each hitting form at the right time. As for the back-line Jimmy Nielsen and co. haven't let a goal in for over 360 minutes, a stretch of 4 games.

MLS MVP candidate Brad Davis has been the key to Houston Dynamo's success this season and his left foot is the reason for Houston's threat on set pieces. Not to mention the fact that Houston have many aerial threats within there side.

Regardless of Houston's threat on set pieces I believe Sporting Kc can pull through in this Eastern Conference Final and advance into the MLS Cup Final to face either RSL or LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.

Predicted Score: 
Sporting Kc - 2 (Sapong, Bunbury)
Houston Dynamo - 1 (Ching)

#ibelievethatwewillwin

#cheesyhashtags




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sporting Kc Advance to the Eastern Conference Final


Sporting Kc players celebrate CJ Sapong's goal




Last night in the freezing rain Sporting Kc did what everyone expected them to do - beat a injury-plagued Colorado Rapids side at home. More than 18,000 fans came out to support their side as they easily beat the Rapids 2-0. But to be fair, Colorado were missing upwards of 6 starters, throw in a suspended Tyrone Marshall and you have one of the worst Colorado sides int he past year.

To be completely honest Colorado did not look at all like they wanted to play, they were missing so much creativity in the middle of the park, their chances were restricted to pretty much nothing. And their confidence wasn't helped either when Aurelien Collin took the lead in the 28th minute off of a Zusi free kick. It was poor marking from a Colorado side that was missing the defensive presence of Moor and Mastroeni.

Sporting Kc ended the series in the 76th minute when CJ Sapong rose highest to get on the end of yet another Zusi free-kick. It was a fantastic leap from Sapong who was left completely un-marked by the Colorado defense.

Knocking out the reigning champions in the freezing rain was amazing. The best part of the night for me was when we sang, "GOO BAAACK TO COOOLORADOOOOO!" following a tremendous effort by the boys in blue. Now Sporting Kc will get to host either Philly or Houston on Sunday depending on results in Houston tonight.

This team is gaining momentum at the perfect time, there is so much belief in the side to go out there on Sunday and beat either Philadelphia or Houston and go to the MLS Cup final.

Player Ratings
Nielsen - 6, Myers 7, Besler 6, Collin 8, Sinovic 6, Cesar 7, Espinoza 6, Zusi 9, Kamara 7, Bunbury 6, Sapong 8. Subs: Saad NA, Diop NA, Arnaud 6.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sporting Kc Easily Topple a Distraught Colorado Rapids Side


Teal Bunbury and Jeff Larentowicz - Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting KC
The man of the hour, Teal Bunbury. - via Getty Images

Last night Sporting Kc might of had the best start to a 2-legged playoff match-up ever when they beat Colorado away 2-0 in Denver on a freezing Halloween-eve. Beating Colorado was great for Sporting's confidence heading into the second leg at LSP, not to mention the fact that Colorado now have to play on Wednesday without SIX starters and a suspended Tyrone Marshall.

It was a quiet 1st half to say the least and it seemed as if both teams were OK with the 0-0 draw but then after the break Teal Bunbury drew first blood. The goal came after some decent possession for KC, Julio Cesar picked his head up in the middle of the park and played a fantastic through-ball right into the path of Bunbury who easily finessed it into the bottom right corner. Sending the traveling supporters into a craze

It was again Bunbury who was causing the Colorado Rapids back line trouble in the 59th minute when he made a darting run in to the box with the ball at his feet as Tyrone Marshall came through the back of Bunbury, prompting the referee to give a PK and a red card to the offender (not to say Bunbury didn't go down easily).

KC talisman Davy Arnaud could of made it three when he was played an excellent through ball by Jeferson who found the racing Arnaud, but the 31 year old couldn't really get a solid foot on it and Perkins made the save.

All-in-all it was a great win for Sporting Kc. We put a huge dent in the defending MLS champions' playoff chances with that win, and now Sporting Kc know that they are only 2 wins away from being in the MLS Cup final. However, I applaud the Rapids players, they didn't get upset and nasty after the loss like the NYRB's did, poor showing from the "best of MLS".

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sporting Kc To Face Colorado Away In One Of Two Games

Earlier tonight it was learned that Sporting Kc will face Colorado away on Sunday night in Denver. Following that first away game Sporting will welcome The Rapids to what should be a hostile environment at  LSP on Wednesday in the second and final game.

Colorado beat Columbus 1-0 off of a lone Omar Cummings goal right before half-time on a freezing Thursday night in Denver. Following the win Colorado earned the right to face Sporting Kc in a 2 game series. While The Rapids are a decent squad, it could be worse for Sporting Kc. The LA Galaxy will have to fly 2,450 miles across the entire US from LA to NY to face a Red Bull's side that is gaining momentum at the right time. This is what LA receives for winning the supporter's shield?

Regardless Sporting Kc just needs to go to the mile high city and get at least a draw knowing that when they come back to KC the friendly confines of LSP will be waiting to greet them.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

FIFA 12 Ultimate Team Player Values

Here are some of the values of certain players on FIFA 12 UT. If you are paying under the projected price then it's a steal, if you pay over you're getting scammed. Also, if you have any other projected values for players then please share, if it sounds right it'll most likely get added. FYI I buy most of my players from La Liga so there will likely be a lot of them listed.


Name - Position - Rating - Club - Country - Projected Value(in coins)


Nilmar - ST - 83 - Villarreal - Brazil - 4k-5k
Thiago - CAM - 79 - Barcelona - Spain - 300-400
Bruno - CDM - 82 - Villarreal - Spain - 500-600
Raul Albiol - CB - 82 - Real Madrid - Spain - 1k-1.5k
Diego - CAM - 83 - Atletico Madrid - Brazil - 1.5k-1.8k
Toulalan - CDM - 81 - Malaga - France - 400-600
Ibrahimovic - ST - 88 - AC Milan - Sweden - 90k-96k
Higuain - ST - 86 - Real Madrid - Argentina - 8k-10k
Rooney - ST - 90 - Manchester United - England - 300k-380k
Aguero - ST - 86 - Manchester City - Argentina - 100k-105k
Valencia - RW - 83 - Manchester United - Ecuador - 4.5k-4.7k
Suarez - ST - 85 - Liverpool - Uruguay - 24k-28k
Gerrard - CM - 87 - Liverpool - England - 160k-170k
Modric - CAM - 88 - Tottenham - Croatia - 45k-50k
Nesta - CB - 85 - AC Milan - Italy - 2.5k-2.9k
Thiago Silva - CB - 87 - AC Milan - Brazil - 85k-87k
Lucio - CB - 85 - Inter Milan - Brazil - 15k-20k
Pazzini - ST - 83 - Inter Milan - Italy - 500-1k
Drogba - ST - 86 - Chelsea - Ivory Coast - 75k-85k
Lampard - CAM - 87 - Chelsea - England - 86k-90k
Arshavin - LW - 83 - Arsenal - Russia -1k-1.2k
Van Persie - ST - 86 - Arsenal - Netherlands - 30k-34k
Krasic - RM - 82 - Juventus - Serbia - 1.5k-2k
Chiellini - CB - 84 - Juventus - Italy - 17k-20k

Thursday, October 20, 2011

FIFA 12 Career Mode Tips

Picture via: http://soft.elecinlife.com/fifa-12-career-preview-mode-before-the-user/

FIFA12 newbies and career mode legends alike have already enjoyed a wonderful month or so of career mode. But this years career mode is a different beast than previous years gone by. I've been a FIFA gamer since '05 and I've racked up well over 45 hours of career mode. So I guess you could say I know the game like the back of my hand and I have some useful tips on what arguably is one of the best career modes to date.

Starting Out
When starting up career mode you will have three game modes inside of career mode itself for you to choose from, "player mode", "manager mode", and "player-manager mode". If you select the traditional "manager mode" then you will be promptly whisked away to select your team. 

Selecting your team is one of the most important things in career mode. Whether you choose Manchester City for it's +150,000,000 spending budget or a League 2 side with the hopes of promotion this step is essential.

Day 1
After selecting the team I generally like to go and check out my new squad. I assess where the problem areas are and where my strong points are where I want to build my team around. So let's say you have a 73 CAM in a team where the average rating is 66. You would want to build your team around him, but be careful, don't put him in a formation where there is 1 or more of his positions, otherwise he might not be as potent. Also, play young guys. This is an extremely important part when selecting your starting XI, I've managed teams where I've had a 17 year old striker with a rating of 65 go all the way to 69 in one season.

Transfers
Be smart with transfers, they are one of 2 ways to add players to your squad, buying players through the transfer market is one. The first thing I like to do is sell all the players with the lowest ratings. Or players that I deem unworthy. Don't hold on to a young player with a rating of 45 in hopes that he will be the next Messi, clubs will buy, trust me. I then will toggle between the highest and lowest transfer costs and sell accordingly. If I can sell a 70 for $2,000,000 and then buy a player with an equal or greater overall I will. And if I have an aging player with very little stamina I will sell them. (Yes I have sold Del Piero before). But be careful not to sell too many players, if you are competing in domestic and European competitions as well as league then it is important to have good depth within ones squad.

Free agents/Loans
Another thing I do when I start any season is look at the free agents and loanees. Buying free agents and loanees is a great way to save money while still getting some quality players. The best part about buying either of these two is that it won't cost you a single cent of your transfer funds. The only thing that will be depleted is your wage funds, but generally since free agents are not on a team they will join you for a reasonably low price. 

On the other hand don't forget to sell young players via the loan option as well. But sell them to clubs you know they will get playing time at, otherwise they might not progress like you want them to. 

Simming vs. Playing
Simming games is a great tool when you use it correctly. Use it against teams that you know you could easily beat manually. Don't use it against teams that are close to you in the standings. But be extremely careful when simming away from your stadium, home teams in FIFA automatically have an advantage when simming, for the obvious reasons of course. 

Scouting
One of the best additions to the game this year is the scouting system. Not only is it better than last year's re-generation system it is also extremely fun and is a way to keep you interested. Through scouting I have literally found the next Messi. (A 16 year old from Mexico)

Be careful when selecting your scout though. Select someone that you can afford but is also not total rubbish - the higher the scout the better the players. Also, when sending your scout to the various parts of the world be aware that some regions can produce better players than other regions. For example, if you send a scout to Asia in search of a center back you probably won't find the next Barcelona star. But, if you look in Italy for a playmaker you can probably find some bright prospects.

Selecting Players For the Youth Squad
When selecting players for your youth squad don't be too antsy. But don't be too slow. If you buy them early due to the odd chance they could have an overall rating of 62 at 14 years old you're likely in for a bust. Every month your scout will give you an updated list of new or old players. But if you wait too long other clubs will sign them and they'll end up in the abyss of world football.

End Of the Season
Upon completion of the season you will be able to either stay with your club or move on. When deciding where to go choose the club that you think you can be the most successful with. It's easy right? Not really, sometimes the clubs that have $150,000,000 spending budgets are just too much to resist. One time, due to some rich investors FC Dallas, (an MLS side), had over $100,000,000 dollars to spend. I chose them and ran rampant in the MLS. Winning the championship and the domestic cup 3 years in a row. 



Thanks for reading, have fun!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Playoffs: Welcome Back KC

-Davy Arnaud celebrating with the Cauldron after the game, courtesy of SportingKc.com

Saturday the 15th of October 2011 will go down into the history books as Sporting Kc confirmed their spot in the playoffs with a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. Whether this club can go farther is yet to be seen but as of now fans across the area are celebrating. And rightly so, Sporting Kc hasn't made it into the playoffs for 2 years. And even in 2009 they lost in the first round to Columbus. But this year, there is new belief. To lose out in the opening round would do terrible injustice to our club that has quite literally experienced the highs and lows of soccer in slightly under 7 months.

But, even if we fail to progress in the playoffs there would still be progress within the club that may not necessarily be seen by the naked eye - this team is young. The average age of the players who started against NY was 26 while the backline's average starting age was 24, one of the lowest in MLS. And with the likes of Soony Saad(19), Jon Kempin(18), Daniel Cyrus(20), and Kevin Ellis(20) waiting for stardom, this team can go far. But this season it has been a mix of young and old who have lead Sporting to the playoffs. Jimmy Nielsen(34), Omar Bravo(31), and Julio Cesar(32) have all been key figures this season and have really stepped up as leaders after the loss of talisman Jimmy Conrad and Jack Jewsbury leaving earlier this year. 

No matter how old they are winning on Saturday afternoon in the fall sunshine was a big step for these players. Winning the cup would be an even bigger step. And quite frankly I can't really think of any other club more deserving of it than us, except for maybe Seattle. Certainly club captain Davy Arnaud couldn't. Arnaud recently broke the all-time league appearances for Sporting Kc, surpassing assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin's mark. Arnaud was probably the happiest man at LSP on Saturday (pictured above). He's been with this team for almost 10 years now and has watched it grow into something bigger than he could ever anticipate. 

Now, as October comes to an end the playoffs are just around the corner and I think I can speak for all fans when I say, WE WANT THE CUP

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Regular Season Final

Win against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday and this year's Sporting Kansas City will have accomplished something that hasn't been accomplished in 2 years - making the playoffs. It's quite interesting to look at how far this team has come in those 2 years. From the hallows of Community America Ballpark to the great rooftops of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park a lot has changed. And a win against the Red Bulls would make even more history.

"Win and we're in" has been a phrase whispered upon the lips of quite a lot of supporters in the past couple of days. Quite frankly because it's true. But how easy will it be to beat this Red Bull side. Well, first off, if we win it would almost completely shatter the Red Bulls own chances at the playoffs, something that just about every team in this league would want to do. But the Red Bulls do have quality, there's no denying that. We all know how good Henry and Marquez are but there have been some other great performers for NY this season. Luke Rodgers, Lindpere, Solli, and Agudelo to name a few. So as you can see there is a lot of class in the Red Bulls camp.

As for Sporting Kansas City well we have a number of stars too and I believe that we have a real shot against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon. Our front line was smothered in April when we last played the  Red Bulls to a 1-0 loss but Sapong, Kamara, and Bravo are all hitting fine form and will look to make some magic for the home team.

My prediction?

Sporting Kansas City - 2(Bravo, Kamara)
New York Red Bulls - 0

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Playoffs, Sporting Kansas City Style



It's that time of year again and the Sporting Kansas City faithful are getting geared up for what should be an exciting playoff race. Albeit the spot still isn't locked down, Sporting Kc have a very good chance at being with the MLS elite when the playoffs kick off in late October and early November.


The next game Sporting Kc has to clinch a playoff spot might just be the biggest of the season, as Sporting welcome the New York Red Bulls to LSP. And when the final "regular-season" game comes around on October 22 Sporting Kc will have to face DC United, a team that as of right now are 5 points out of a playoff spot. However, if we were to win against the NYRB's next Saturday we would clinch a playoff spot. In-fact if the season were to end today we would be in the playoffs no questions asked.


Basically, no matter what happens there is a 98.2% we will make the playoffs. But we don't want to just finish in a wild-card spot and hope we win the following game to actually get into the playoffs. No, we want to finish top of the East and have as many playoff games as we can here at LSP, plus the higher we finish the better chance there is of us getting a lower-quality team to face. If we choose to let fate handle our playoff destiny then we could end up facing a team of a higher caliber. I mean, which hypothetical scenario would you want to have: Away playing against a star studded LA Galaxy? Or home against an expansion side Portland Timbers? I would choose the latter one. On the other hand, just making it into the playoffs would deem this season a success, and would save Peter Vermes' job. After we seemingly shot ourselves in the foot with a horrendous 10 game road trip that saw us sink to last place in the entire league. But, due to some great home form and some stand-out performances from the youngsters (Sapong, Besler, Zusi, etc.) we now find ourselves in a situation that other clubs would die for.



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sporting Kc's Actual Playoff Chances

As the season comes to a close many fans will be wanting to know where their team is in the playoff race. Fortunately Kurt Austin (@kaustin01) shared with me a sweet site displaying stats on Sporting Kc's playoff race. I'll go ahead and post them here for some quick analysis.

98% - Chance Sporting Kc will make the playoffs.

8.6% - Percentage points it changed our chance of making the playoffs after the 2-1 win over Columbus.

0% - Chance Sporting Kc finishes with the Supporters Shield.

100% - Percentage Sporting Kc has at getting first seed in the Eastern Conference if they win their last 3 games.

64% - Percentage Sporting Kc has at being in the playoffs if they lose their last 3 games.

53, 51, 50, 49 - Points needed for Sporting Kc to finish in a playoff spot.

-2.3% - Percentage points it will change our chance of making the playoffs if we lose against San Jose.

You can check out where I got these stats and some other cool stuff here



Sunday, September 25, 2011

FIFA 12 One Day Away

North American cover features Rooney, Donovan, and Marquez.

One day. That's all there is left until the most popular video-game series in the world comes out with it's latest edition. FIFA 12. Albeit North Americans gets a little early treat in the fact that we get it 3 days ahead of Europe and everyone else. This years game promises to be the best installment yet. Most likely due to all the new stuff that's packed into the $60 game (for Xbox 360 that is).

In this years edition fans can expect 4 new game-play features.

  • Player Impact Engine
  • Precision Dribbling
  • Tactical Defending
  • Pro Player Intelligence 

All the new features will change your experience from last year in FIFA 11 to a better one. You can read about these new features here. The one thing that will most likely have the biggest impact on your game-play is Tactical Defending. But don't get me wrong, once you master it all the work will pay off.

Also, there are two really cool new features in career mode. EA Sports is finally bringing back the youth system, and on transfer deadline day there is an extended window to buy players, and clubs will be more aggressive with their offers.

In the day(s) leading up to it's release I would politely suggest 5 things to do so you can enjoy the FIFA 12 experience the best:

Get the demo. The best way to experience FIFA 12 before the release is to obviously play the demo. You can delete it later and it helps you get a grasp on the new game-play features. Plus, it's free.

Mess around on Creation Center. Another way to get your hands on some FIFA 12 early is to mess around on Creation Center. There you can make your very own team, tournament and/or player to bookmark and then install later into the game.

Don't worry about pre-ordering. There is simply no reason to waste $5 dollars on something that isn't in high demand in America. In Europe yes, pre-order. But not here, the store will have plenty. However, I do suggest getting it the day of the release. The day after they might be sold out.

Spread the word. Although playing career mode and other off-line modes is a great way to enjoy FIFA you should get your friends to play with you and it will make FIFA 12 all the more sweeter. Also, don't forget that there is a whole world of passionate FIFA 12 players all across the universe waiting to interact with you. Either through tournaments, ranked matches, virtual pro clubs, ultimate team, friendlies, etc.

Learn more about FIFA 12. Go to the official site. Read the FIFA blog. Or listen to a podcast hosted by Rom and Stevie on iTunes. In-fact yours truly was mentioned on the most recent podcast 37' minutes in.