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:


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 and 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:


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.