Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sporting Kc's / Kansas City Wizard's Leading Goal Scorers For Every Season

Preki celebrating one of his many goals for KC

Players that can score goals in the world of soccer are invaluable. It takes goals to win games. Just look at the biggest transfer fee ever for a forward and a defender:
Forward: Fernando Torres $82,000,000. Liverpool to Chelsea. 2011
Defender: Rio Ferdinand 47,800,000. Leeds United to Manchester United. 2002
That should show you that the world of soccer rates forwards well over defenders. And that transfers these days are way too inflated.

Josh Wolff, Eddie Johnson, Kei Kamara. Those are the names of some of the most recent goal scoring greats for this club. But can you remember back further? To the likes of Preki and Mo Johnston? Many of you can. So, let's take a look back at the top goal scorer for every season. Starting back in MLS' first season in 1996.

Year - Name - Goals Scored

1996 - Preki - 18
1997 - Preki - 12
1998 - Mo Johnston - 11
1999 - Preki - 7
2000 - Miklos Molnar - 12
2001 - Roy Lassiter - 7
2002 - Preki - 7
2003 - Preki - 12
2004 - Josh Wolff - 10
2005 - Josh Wolff - 10
2006 - Scott Sealy - 10
2007 - Eddie Johnson - 15
2008 - Davy Arnaud - 7
2009 - Josh Wolff - 11
2010 - Kei Kamara - 10

Sporting Kc Come Back to Tie Against the Colorado Rapids

Most managers would be happy with a point against the defending MLS Cup Champions. A valuable road point at that. However, Peter Vermes is not your everyday manager and he wanted to walk out of Dick's Sporting Goods Park with the valuable 3 points. "They knew that we could do it and get back into game." He recently stated in an interview with, "We did and even more so. We should have walked away with three points with the number of chances that we created."

Yes, it is true, Sporting Kc received their first point since April 2nd when they tied the Colorado Rapids 1-1 on Saturday night, ending their miserable 5 game losing streak. Things are looking up for Sporting Kc, as they head into their last road game of their 10 game road trip at Toronto FC (yes, that's the same Toronto FC that lost at home 6-2 to the Philadelphia Union). Sporting Kc will for sure be looking for all 3 points at BMO Field next week before they open LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Thursday, June 9th.

The First Half
In the first 10 minutes of the game it was very messy from both sides, but Sporting somehow had more possession. Then, in the 13' minute a poor attempted pass-back from Collin to GK Jimmy Nielsen was picked off by Conor Casey who dribbled around Nielsen and finished it nicely into the back of Sporting Kc's net. To be honest, Colorado did not deserve that goal at all, just a poor mistake on Collin's part. 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids. 

The rest of the half proved to be very similar to the first 10' minutes, messy and unorganized from both sides.

The Second Half 
Peter Vermes made just one sub at halftime, Smith for Sinovic (Sinovic reportedly tweaked his hamstring, and the staff moved RW Chance Myers back to RB). Teal Bunbury came on in place of ST Sapong in the 54' minute. After these two players were introduced into the game Sporting looked way more threatening. Hence, Sporting had a lot of possession and looked the more likely to score. But, Jeff Larentowicz almost doubled  Colorado's lead after he picked off yet another bad pass from Collin, Larentowicz's ensuing shot was well off target. Then, in the 76' minute the two subs combined to score Sporting's goal, as Ryan Smith was played a perfect through-ball from Bunbury that Smith finessed into the upper right corner, Perkin's was well beat. Sporting Kc kept pressing, trying to find a game winning goal. That game winning goal almost came in the dying moments of the game, as Harrington served in a ball from the middle of the park, which found the head of 6'3 Birahim Diop, who headed it perfectly into the path of Bunbury who, 3 yards away from the goal, shot agonizingly high. That goal would have certainly given SKC all three points.

Player Ratings Out of 10
Nielsen 6, Sinovic 8, Collin 5, Besler 6, Harrington 7, Rocastle 8, Zusi 7, Arnuad 7, Myers 5, Sapong 5, Bravo 7.
Subs:  Smith 9 +, Bunbury 6, Diop N/A 

+ denotes Man Of The Match

Who Should Mark Who? (Colorado Version 2.0)

Last night Sporting Kc tied Colorado Rapids 1-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Although there were no goals scored off set pieces from either team, Tyrone Marshall was a few yards away from scoring from a Colorado free kick in the early stages of the game. Which could have lead to yet another loss for the struggling Sporting Kc side.

This raises the simple question, Who Should Mark Who?

I will be listing the players height, followed by their name and then their position, followed by the player on Colorado who I think they should be marking, based on height and aerial ability.

The List
6'2, Aurelien Collin, CB - 6'2, Conor Casey, ST
6'2/6'2, CJ Sapong/Teal Bunbury, ST/ST - 6'2, Tyrone Marshall, CB
6'2, Craig Rocastle, CDM - 6'1, Jeff Larentowicz, CDM
6'0, Drew Moore, LB - 6'0, Matt Besler, CB

These are the players that I believe posed the biggest threat in the air for either team, along with who I think should have marker who in the Colorado game. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sporting Kc To Face Defending MLS Cup Champions Colorado Rapids

On Saturday night Sporting Kc will take the pitch at Dick's Sporting Goods Park to try and get 3 points as they face the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids have been "injury-plagued" almost all season and may be without the likes of front-men Omar Cummings and Conner Casey this weekend. This could be a good sign for a struggling SKC side who have yet to win a league game since their first week of Major League Soccer. But, after a 5-0 win on Wednesday against New England, Sporting will have some momentum going into the game.

When and Where

When: 8:00 PM CT on KSMO
Where: Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Commerce City, Colorado

Suspensions/International Duty
Suspensions: Mullan(COL)
International Duty: Espinoza(SKC), Auvray(SKC), Kamara(SKC), Thomas(SKC), Kempin(SKC)

With many players for SKC on international duty, Sporting will put out a different lineup than we saw last week against Seattle. Also, I would not be surprised if Myers started out on the right wing and Bravo took Zusi's midfield spot.

 Subs: Kronberg, Lorenz, Cesar, Sassano, Stojcev, Myers, Sapong

Key Match-ups:

Teal Bunbury vs. the Colorado defense. Colorado's defense is one of the best in the league and lone striker
Bunbury may find it tough to penetrate the Rapids defense.

Pablo Mastroeni vs. Omar Bravo/Graham Zusi. Who ever starts in the attacking midfield role for SKC will be heavily marked by defensive midfielder, Pablo Mastroeni.

Ryan Smith vs. Kosuke Kimura. Colorado defender Kosuke Kimura will have trouble containing speedy winger Ryan Smith who will look to spark SKC's attack throughout the match.

Final Prediction
SKC 1- COL 0 (Bravo)
A dismantled Colorado side is coming off of a midweek league match and may be fatigued. SKC will be brimming with confidence after their victory and will present a squad that is near 100% healthy. Colorado won't let in many goal's so you'd think it would take a player with caliber, like Omar Bravo, to break the defensive stronghold at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.   

UEFA Champions League Final, Manchester United vs. FC Barcelona

Wembley Stadium 

Wembley Stadium will be filled to the brim, as 90,000 soccer fanatics from across the globe pack into the North-West London arena. Why are they there you may ask? To watch two of the most recognizable European clubs in world football - Manchester United and FC Barcelona.    

First off, it is important to remember that these two sides faced off against each other 2 years ago in Rome. Where Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0. It was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination as Barcelona controlled much of the possession, but, Manchester United will certainly be looking for revenge.

As for the game itself (which will be played at 1:45 PM CT), I expect a full strength side from both United and Barcelona. I think Barcelona will use their passing game that have made them world superstars, and United will look for the quick counter and try to exploit Barca's back line with the likes of Hernandez, Nani, and Rooney. Whether Barcelona center backs Puyol and Pique can stop United's powerful strike force remains to be seen.  But, Barca's center backs aren't the only ones that have to be worried, Manchester United defenders Vidic and Ferdinand will somehow have to find a way to stop world footballer of the year Lionel Messi, striker David Villa and Spanish midfielder Xavi Hernandez from penetrating United's back line.

The most important thing for the players to do now is to prepare themselves mentally for what is to come. Make sure that after the match you leave everything you had out on the field and know that you played to the best of your ability.

Will Manchester United seek revenge? Or will Barcelona cut United up into little red shreds. In 48 hours we will know.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Aurelien Collin

On a wet and dark summer night under the floodlights Aurelien Collin lurks in the penalty box. Simply waiting, waiting to pounce, as he always has, and as he always will. He suddenly notices a ball curling in from a cross somewhere on the left hand side, he doesn't care.  He jumps, no, leaps, into the air and then everything  goes silent. He removes himself, the ball, and the keeper from this world and takes it into his own. Completely focused on the ball his predatory instincts kick in, he glances the ball down into the back of the net and he is satisfied, but knows that this is only the first kill........

Okay, so maybe the header that Aurelien Collin scored against New England on Saturday wasn't quite the goal depicted above. However, it was his first goal in a Sporting Kc shirt. Though it was not in league play, the first goal at a new club is a huge milestone for any player, but for a defender it's just that much more special.

My love for Aurelien Collin as a player did not form over night. No, it happened over weeks and weeks of sensational play and devout leadership out of the back. Watching him play on Wednesday night was really exciting. The way he shouts up to the midfield and front-men is absolutely fantastic. At some points in the game he was the only player that you could hear. He commands that back-line so well, and at only 25 he has some great potential.

Another reason I love him is for the fact that he's not afraid to challenge anyone in air, even the players that are bigger than him. In fact, he's not really afraid of anyone, on the ground or in the air. At 6'2 he's one of those orthodox center backs that you just love to see flying at every ball with their head. Much like the rugged center backs seen in the lower levels of English football ("When in doubt kick it out" - motto that should be lived by every center back on the planet") . His work ethic is also a beautiful thing to see and he's allegedly a friendly guy off the field.
Aurelien Collin tackling the ball away from New England Midfleider Shalrie Joseph.

He's sort of comparable to old Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad, who was once a fan favorite here in KC. With the hard work and physical presence he possesses, Collin may be able to become the next star center back that this club needs and deserves. Maybe he can be the next Jimmy.

Sporting Kc Thrash New England Revolution 5-0

There was a downpour last night at Blue Valley Athletic Complex, both of goals and rain, as Sporting Kc demolished New England Revolution 5-0 on a surprisingly wet and cold summer night. The win is just what Sporting Kc needed. A big win in front of their own home crowd has surely lifted spirits both for the players and for the supporters. Maybe this win will carry on into league play as well, SKC will definitely need it as they travel to defending MLS Cup Champions, Colorado Rapids this Saturday.

The First Half
Sporting put out a decent lineup in the first half that saw captain Omar Bravo, reserve league star Chance Myers, and hometown hero Matt Besler start. From the early goings you could tell SKC were the more dominant side. And before you knew it KC was ahead 1-0. The goal came on a cross from Bravo on the left hand side who picked out Chance Myers perfectly and Myers was able to slide it home. After the goal it was all Sporting Kc and Omar Bravo was again causing trouble for New England on the left wing. In the 19' minute that "trouble" from Omar Bravo saw KC take a 2-0 lead as Bravo played in a ball which was deflected and fell perfectly in front of Myers who finished it off from 3 yards away. Then in the 24' minute the left hand side was again pressing and creating opportunities. This time it was left back Seth Sinovic who played in the ball on the left side that found striker Sapong, who slid it into the back of the net beautifully. 3-0 and it wasn't even the 30' minute. After the goal the light rain had turned into a more pounding storm and it was difficult for either team to get some healthy possession, however, SKC were clearly the more dominant side at halftime.

The Second Half
After some hot cocoa and coffee the supporters were back on their feet and ready for the second half as the rain pounded down on the athletic complex, however, the weather could not dampen spirits*. Sporting again seemed the more dominant side in the early goings, but because of the pitch's soggy condition SKC were forced to play the long ball more than they would have liked to. Omar Bravo made way for Ryan Smith in the 57' minute (I'm assuming these are the conditions that Englishman Ryan Smith is used to, but Mexican Omar Bravo is not). Ryan had some powerful bursts of speed and tricky dribbling after his arrival and a goal scoring opportunity that he unfortunately could not finish. But, in the 81' minute Smith provided the assist from the left wing that found center back Collin lurking in the box who finished it off with a stunning header a couple of yards out. The goal just confirmed the suspicion that Sporting were going to finally get a win. And in the 88' minute Sapong wrapped up the win as he took advantage of a defensive error outside the box and finessed his shot into the upper corner. 5-0 Sporting Kc.

*Comedic Gold

Player Ratings Out of 10
Kronberg 7, Harrington 9, Sinovic 6, Besler 6, Collin 9 +, Rocastle 8, Zusi 7, Sassano 7, Bravo 8, Sapong 8, Myers 9.
Subs: Smith 6, Diop N/A, Kamara N/A.

+ denotes man of match

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sporting Kc Look For a Win Against New England Revolution In Open Cup

Tonight Sporting Kc will take to a somewhat familiar pitch as Sporting will try to beat the New England Revolution at Blue Valley Soccer Complex in Blue Valley at 7:30 CT. If you can't make it out to support the Mighty Blues you can watch online at  with Callum Williams. 

This game may just be the game Sporting needs to help them turn their dismal season back around, with a home crowd cheering them on, and a home opener a couple weeks away, it could definitely help boost the team's confidence. 

SKC should play a decent mix of starters and reserves against New England, the Revs on the other hand will allegedly play a reserve-heavy side. I hope Sporting can pull off a win and progress further in the tournament, because at this point in time it seems that will be our only chance at legitimate silverware this season, especially if other MLS teams play weaker sides, as SKC did last season.   

The Lineup
Subs: Nielsen, Aiyegbusi, Collin, Lorenz, Diop, Myers, Bunbury 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Who Should Mark Who? (Seattle Version 1.0)

This weekend Seattle beat Kansas City 1-0 off of a set piece in the 93' minute. The goal came from 6'1 Jeff Parke, he was being marked by 5'11 Roger Espinoza. This raises a simple question, who should be marking who?
Besler, Nielsen, and Jaqua fight for the ball in mid-air 

Playing at both center back and center forward in my short career I've learned something, marking is important. These two positions are vital on set pieces because generally these are the two positions where most of the height from a team comes from. Example: The center forward is generally supposed to be tall to win crosses in the air played from the wingers, the center backs also must be tall enough to counter these crosses and clear them out of the air safely, furthermore, in a position like fullback you usually don't need to be tall as there is usually not many aerial challenges with other players to be dealt with (see Aiyegbusi 5'5). In SKC's case we had a 6'2 center forward (Teal Bunbury) and two tall center backs (Aurelien Collin 6'2) (Matt Besler 6'0) playing against Seattle.

On set pieces you want players to mark other players that are the same height as them if not smaller. Playing against Seattle that obviously didn't happen. So, back to the original question, who should mark who? Well, I have made a list on who I think should have marked who in the Seattle game. I will list height, then name, then position.


6'3, Kamara, RW - 6'1/6'3, Levesque/Jaqua, CF/CF
6'2, Rocastle, CDM - 6'1, Fernandez, CAM
6'2, Collin, CB - 6'1, Parke, CB
6'2, Bunbury, CF - 6'2, Wahl, LB
6'0, Harrington, RB - 6'0,  Hurtado, CB 
6'0, Besler, CB - 5'11 Alonso, CDM
5'11, Espinoza, LB - 5'9, Montero, CF 

Those are the biggest guys that would pose a threat for either side. I realize I left out some players, but you wouldn't see Omar Bravo (5'7) marking up on Mauro Rosales (5'8) their frames just aren't big enough to be in the box on set pieces. 

Sporting Kc Lose Against Seattle, But Not Really

One year ago Sporting Kc (then the Wizards) lost against Seattle at Qwest Field in the dying moments of the game. This year it happened again. This year (May 21st to be precise) the exact same thing happened, again. Jeff Parke scored in the 93' minute. His goal was only the second shot on goal from Seattle the entire game. This loss keeps SKC in dead last place with only 4 points.

To be honest, we deserved at least a point. To be honest, we were the better team on Qwest Field. Last night there was nothing SKC players and/or staff did wrong. We had nearly a full strength squad and it became clear very  quickly that Sporting were there to walk away with something. However they received nothing for their efforts.

The First Half 
Sporting Kc looked quite good in the opening stages of the game. They had good some great possession and  it was a patient build up the first 10 minutes. The midfield kept together quite well. Rocastle's sweet passes that switched the attack on a dime, Omar Bravo's fancy flicks and tricks, and  Davy Arnaud's work rate all helped contribute to the early possession that SKC enjoyed. But, the game started to go back and forth a little bit more after that. SKC forced Seattle's goalkeeper Kasey Keller to make some early saves. All in all Sporting Kc were definitely the better team this half.

The Second Half
In the first half Seattle hadn't recorded a shot on goal all half. In the second they were eager to get at least one. Sporting's game plan was clearly to keep it at 0-0 until the final whistle, the defense was organized and the midfield controlled the tempo well. The attack, mostly lone striker Teal Bunbury, seemed to be lost. But, the game was a back and forth affair, hence, Sporting only had a handful of chances. Around the 75th minute I started to get a little worried. Seattle played well and enjoyed decent possession, mainly because Smith and Bravo were no longer on the pitch. (those two guys are essentially the most creative guys on our team) Anyway, the game seemed destined to end in a tie. But then lightening struck, again. In the 93' minute a simple set piece (corner) was not properly dealt with by Sporting Kc. The ball was curled in from former Kansas City man Tyson Wahl and in the confusion Espinoza lost Jeff Parke, the man he was marking (Quick Thought: why did the coaching staff want a 5'11 left back covering a 6'1 center back?) anyway, Espinoza lost Jeff Parke in the box and the rest was history. Parke jumped the highest out of everyone and headed the ball with precision into Nielsen's un-guarded post

The loss leaves SKC dismantled and heartbroken. They deserved to win. And frankly I am proud of every last one of those players on SKC, they showed that they have talent and real class. But, it doesn't matter if we get scored on a set piece in the last minute or the first, we've got to defend it.

Match Ratings out of 10
Nielsen - 7
Harrington - 8
Collin - 7
Besler - 8
Espinoza - 9
Rocastle - 9 *
Arnaud  - 7
Bravo - 7
Smith - 7
Bunbury - 6
Kamara 7

* Denotes man of the match

Saturday, May 21, 2011

International Call Ups for Sporting Kc, Teal Bunbury to Play for the US?

Guadeloupe's captain Stephane Auvray after losing a
Caribbean cup final to Shavar Thomas' Jamaica.  
Five Sporting players have been called up for international duty this summer to compete in the Gold Cup. These call ups could leave Sporting a little thin this summer because three of them are potential starters. These international call ups are great for the team's reputation, not many other teams besides RSL, NYRB, and LAG get that many. Also, think about this, when Sporting are trying to attract a potential player they can simply say, "Look at all the international players that we have here, this would be a great place for you because the level of play is very high, and can help you improve your game." Or something along those lines. Anyway, here's the list.

  • Roger Espinoza  - Honduras
  • Craig Rocastle - Grenada
  • Stephane Auvray +  - Guadeloupe *
  • Shavar Thomas + - Jamaica 
  • Teal Bunbury ** - United States 
+ Denotes a country's captain. 
** Note: Teal Bunbury has not yet been announced officially to the US roster, the official decision will be on May, 23. 
* Note: This is the team that the US Men's National Team will face off against here in KC
The Competition
Just wanted to give you guys some insight into the Gold Cup itself. This is an exert from the Wikipedia article.

"The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the main association football competition of the men's national football teams governed by CONCACAF, determining the regional champion of North America,Central America, and the Caribbean.
When the Gold Cup does not fall the same year as an edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the winner, or highest place team that is a member of both CONCACAF and FIFA, qualifies for the next staging of that tournament."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Omar Bravo Looking For a Start Against Sounders FC

What has happened? After a relatively good start to their season Sporting Kc have seen their form drop, severely. Four losses in a row just isn't good enough. If Sporting have any hope at making the playoffs then they must get at least 4 points in the next 3 games. But, this could prove to be a difficult task as Sporting have Seattle and defending Colorado Rapids to face, both in the span of two weeks.

This weekend Sporting Kc will take on Seattle Sounders FC, who currently have 14 points, as apposed to SKC's measly 4. The game will obviously be a tough test for a disheartened KC, but Seattle haven't had the best form either, having just one win in their last 3 games.

The Atmosphere At Qwest Field
Before I continue I would just like to inform you guys that I've been to Qwest Field, and let me tell you, the atmosphere there is simply fantastic. I went this summer to watch a Champion's League game against El Salvadorian side Metapan, I think Sounders won 2-1, I remember Montero scoring though. Anyway, the build up to the game is sensational, all you see going in to the stadium is a sea of bright green. And this was in downtown Seattle! On a Tuesday no less! So we got tickets in the cheapest section, the members section, worst decision ever. First off the Seattle fans never sit down, the all drink beer, sing chants right into my ear, and are second only to the KC Cauldron. Furthermore, they all smell like piss and BO. (shhh, don't tell them I said that).
The Game
  • Not much too this one, Sporting need a win and Seattle are tough to beat at home. 
  • Hopefully if we start Smith and Kamara we can exploit Seattle's back line. 
  • Alonso is their main-man in the midfield, shut him down and we essentially shut down Seattle. 
The Lineup
I wouldn't expect Bravo to start, he should travel though. Also, Arnaud is up for question as he is recovering from some sort of neck strain from training. Auvray may not start either and Smith should start over Sapong. Nielsen will start over Kronberg at goalkeeper. 

Subs: Kronberg, Besler, Myers, Auvray, Arnaud, Bravo, Sapong 

SKC 2 - SFC 1 (Kamara, Bunbury) (Friberg)
I think this game we'll actually see a win. I truly believe it. The atmosphere in the locker room seems to be very optimistic. If Sporting can exploit Riley, close down Alonso, and keep Montero at bay then I honestly believe we can win.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sporting Kc Lose Against LA Galaxy

It's frustrating to see your team get massacred 4-1 by the snobby and stuck-up LA Galaxy, what's even more frustrating is seeing your team go four games without a win or tie. I feel like LA should have taken their foot off the accelerator a little bit after their third goal. Obviously they didn't and shouldn't have either, we played terrible,  and frankly we deserved it. I try to weave in a little bit of optimism in to my posts, but after LA's thrashing, and the fact that we only have 4 points, compared to second to last Chicago that has 8 points, being optimistic is almost impossible.

The First Half:
In the early goings neither team could get a lot of possession. Until about the 20th when LA showed what a big market and heavy investors can do. A lot of chances for LA after that, but none were converted. Despite being outplayed much of the half, SKC took a shock lead in the 44th minute off of an own goal from Omar Gonzalez. However, after some terrible defending from left back Roger Espinoza and a high two-footed challenge on MLS superstar and over-protected midfielder David Beckham, LA found a way back into the game. The ensuing penalty kick was converted by Landon Donovan, and when he steps up to take a penalty kick, he always converts them. At the half everything was level at 1-1. If I were SKC I would have wanted to take the point and get out of Carson.

The Second Half:
It didn't take long for LA Galaxy to score in the second half, 30 seconds to be exact. After a throw-in on the right side which found Donovan, who played it back to Chad Barret, who then played it back to the speedy Donovan, who then entered the box and finished it off with a goal. One center back is to blame on this one, Cesar was pulled out to the right hand side on the throw-in, following Lopez to the sideline instead of having Espinoza cover him, and then ball watched until LA scored. The next LA Galaxy goal came in the 63' minute. A simple long ball from LA's defense was not properly dealt with by Cesar, who was out-muscled by Angel who headed it back to Donovan who then headed the ball in front of Angel and Angel was left one-on-one with Kronberg, and a player with the skill of Angel, does not miss. After LA's goal it was game over for Sporting, Zusi had a beautiful chance to decrease the goal deficit, but the shot went agonizingly wide. A lot of Galaxy after Angel's goal. The last goal came in the 86th minute after captain Davy Arnaud lightly touched the "over-protected by referees" Beckham, who, looking up at Arnaud while lying on the ground after the foul, gave a smirky and stuck-up smile that made me want to snap both of Beckham's legs in half and never see him touch a ball again.(Sorry about that, after four consecutive losses, people tend to get a little wound up). Anyway, Beckham stepped up to take the free-kick, and doing what he does best, curled it into the upper left corner just out of the outstretched arm of 6'5 Eric Kronberg.

The loss keeps the Mighty Blues in dead last place. And they find themselves with a mountain to climb the rest of the season. However fans, I encourage you to not lose hope, this is when our team needs our unconditional support the most. Don't forget that only 3 teams have gotten more than 1 win on the road, and 7 haven't even recorded a win on the road this season. Omar Bravo should be match-fit by the Seattle game. And be prepared for June 9th to support the best team in MLS.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sporting Kc vs. LA Galaxy Game Preview

It's not quite fair. Nothing about this season so far has been "fair". Because, Sporting Kc will take on in-form LA Galaxy, which comes two weeks after taking on a red-hot New York Red Bulls team. To make matters worse LA Galaxy have played approximately 450 more minutes(5 games) than SKC have. But, Sporting may just yet have some positives to think about.

The Set Up:
LA Galaxy come into this game 13 points and a full 18 league spots ahead of Sporting Kc, basically last will play first. But, LA Galaxy have not beaten SKC for 3 years, home or away, furthermore, the only win the entire season for SKC has been at the Home Depot Center.

Lineup Predictions:
The lineup may be a little different this week, here's my best, non-educated, guess.


 Subs: Kronberg, Espinoza, Besler, Rocastle, Zusi, Sapong, Diop

Why did I pick Aiyegbusi to start over Espinoza? Because Aiyegbusi is fast, real fast. Guess who else is "real fast"? Landon Donovan. Aiyegbusi muzzled Dane Richards pace two weeks ago, now the coaching staff will most likely want the same thing this week from Aiyegbusi against Donovan.

Interesting Matchups:  
Donovan vs. Aiyegbusi. Aiyegbusi will again look to stop another speedy winger's play.
Collin vs. Angel. Two weeks ago Collin stopped one designated player from scoring (Henry) now can he do it again against Angel?
Juninho vs. Auvray. The tricky Brazilian will try and break down SKC's defense, can Auvray stop him?

Final Predictions and Thoughts:
SKC 2 - LA Galaxy 1. (Bunbury, Kamara) (Donovan)
Why do I say this? Because SKC has had two weeks off and have new found confidence.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sporting's Next Transfer

With the player salaries being released, the departure of Mike Jones, and the signing of Seth Sinovic. One can only wonder what the next move in the transfer market for Sporting is. 

According to "The Full 90" Sporting has $225,082 to spend in the transfer market. That's 225,082 dollars that SKC can use in a very powerful way. If we were to buy a new player I have a couple of questions to ask.
  • What type of player should we get?
  • Designated Player or not?
Well, first off, let's take a look at what players we have and what position they play. 
  • Goalkeepers: Nielsen, Kronberg, Kempin
  • Outside Backs: Harrington, Ellis, Aiyegbusi, Espinoza, Lorenz, Sinovic, Sassano 
  • Center Backs: Cesar, Collin, Thomas, Besler
  • Center Defensive Mids: Diop, Auvray, Rocastle
  • Center Attacking Mids: Arnaud, Stojcev, Zusi, Warzycha 
  • Right Wings: Kamara, Myers
  • Left Wings: Smith, Sapong, Bravo
  • Strikers: Bunbury *
* From that list it looks like we only have one striker, but remember, Bravo, Sapong, and Kamara have also seen time playing in the Striker position.

There's not really one position we need extra players in, however we do have an overabundance of wing backs/outside backs. Although, that doesn't mean we don't need help in different positions. For example, I think center defensive mids haven't been up to par this season, along with center backs, but don't expect a new center back to join anytime soon. 

Back to the two questions... 

What type of player should we get?
A center defensive mid or a center attacking mid. If we put Diop as a sub for Bunbury at Striker, we would have an open space for another center defensive mid. Also, Peter Vermes said that they had tried to sign Benny Feilhaber, (A center defensive mid that is now playing for New England) when the league announced that they would sell him to an MLS team through the allocation rank. 

Designated player or not?
I think we could definitely use another designated player. At center defensive mid that would be vital, also, Omar Bravo has stated that he has been in talks with center defensive mid Pavel Pardo about coming to the MLS. Furthermore, before the season began Robb Heineman (the club president) said that one of his main objectives in the transfer market was to buy a talented young center attacking mid from South America or Europe.

Who ever we buy, if we buy anyone at all, I would expect SKC to buy someone with class, and to make some smart decisions regarding salaries. With the results we've had recently, a new signing for this weakened team is essential. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sporting Kc Player Salaries Released, Omar Bravo Earning Only $120,000

Omar Bravo celebrates scoring a goal with his teammates .

On May 1st the MLS Players Union released this. The MLS player salaries. Such a great resource for fans to look at and analyze.

Top Earners In MLS:
LA - David Beckham - $5,500,000
NY - Thierry Henry - $5,000,000
NY - Rafa Marquez - $4,600,000
LA - Landon Donovon - $2,300,000
TFC - Julian de Guzman - $1,863,996

Top Earners For SKC:
Davy Arnaud - $250,000
Julio Cesar - $210,000
Jimmy Nielsen - $200,000
Kei Kamara - $200,000
Shavar Thomas - $160,000

 If you notice on the actual list, the Players Union lists Omar Bravo as earning only $120,000. But for a player of his caliber and the fact that he is a DP, this is nearly impossible. So I assumed he earns $1,200,000. However, I was wrong, Bravo somehow only makes 120,000 , as revealed by the Full 90 .

You can actually analyze the list and see a lot behind Sporting's salaries.

  • SKC wants to keep Teal Bunbury, Michael Harrington, and Roger Espinoza (see guaranteed compensation)   
  • SKC believes in Kamara, making him the 5th highest earning player in the squad
  • SKC does not have much left in the salary cap
  • SKC pays Cesar far too much
  • Draft picks don't earn much
Does anyone earn too much? Does anyone earn too little? Tell me in the comment section below.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Release of Mike Jones and Possible Transfers

Mike Jones in Pre-Season 
Yesterday Sporting Kc announced that the club has parted ways with supplemental draft pick, Mike Jones. Jones was a center back that was picked up in the 2011 supplemental draft and spent all pre-season with Sporting and was reportedly given a one year contract to see if his potential was good enough. Obviously, for some reason the coaching staff didn't see any potential and decided it was best to release him. Or maybe Jones himself wanted to be released and seek regular playing time elsewhere, maybe in the lower leagues of the U.S. ( He hasn't had a single minute of first team action the entire year).

But, as some bloggers realized last night, the release may lead to something bigger. With Jones gone we now only have 4 center backs. Essentially this means we will only have one center back in reserve if one of the other center backs that are travelling gets hurt. But let's say two center backs get hurt, then we have no center back subs, and if something happens during the game to one of them we will have to put someone out of position in there, like Rocastle or Espinoza.

Like I mentioned earlier, SKC bloggers are getting a little giddy. Their early excitement is due to the fact that we may be getting a new player because of an opening in the SKC squad, via the release of Jones. If SKC were to sign a new player they would either have to be American, have a green card, or be a naturalized citizen. Although, if the team is planning to announce that Ryan Smith (currently from England) has now become a US citizen through naturalization that would open up a valuable international roster spot. 

We'll see in the coming days if Sporting will sign a new player. A couple months ago there was a rumor going around about this guy. But it's highly unlikely we will sign him. It remains to be seen what will come of Jones' release, (who has already been transfered to 'free agents' on FIFA 11 by yours truly). I just hope Sporting can bring in the right guy(s) to help this team end the season in the playoffs.