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" .


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

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?

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.


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)



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.