A blog devoted to covering all aspects of the KC Wizards.
Ten years ago I started Down the Byline as a catch all source for everything Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) related. At the time the coverage of my favorite sports team was minimal, there was the game preview articles, post-game articles, and the occasional feature in the Kansas City Star, plus the occasional feature on local television stations.
Sporting Kansas City announced two roster moves today ahead of the March 1st roster compliance deadline, announcing that the club has waived midfielder Benji Joya and forward Christian Volesky. While both moves are a little surprising, neither move is that surprising.
Joya had been a roster freeze deadline signing back in the 2016 season, he didn't appear in a single league game for Sporting, but did appear in the club's 3-1 win over Central FC in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Kansas City closed out the regular season clinching their third straight Central Division Title in the MASL as the Comets topped the Cedar Rapids Rampage 10-3 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The Comets jumped out to an early lead just under four minutes in as Ignacio Flores turned his defender at the top of the box before firing a ball into the corner of the net to put the comets up 1-0.
Sporting Kansas City ended their preseason on a sour note, falling in their final game in Tucson, Arizona to New York City FC 1-0. Peter Vermes put out a lineup that would likely be considered extremely close to the 11 that will take the field next weekend in DC. The big absence from the team was forward Dom Dwyer who had a minor knock.
Sporting Kansas City added to their roster today, signing first round draft pick Colton Storm to a one year deal with three option years. Storm, the 14th overall pick in January's Superdraft becomes the 28th player on the roster for Sporting KC as they head into the final weekend of preseason. The 28 players gives Kansas City a full roster, although Diego Rubio is likely to start the season on IR recovering still from his ACL tear, and there have been reports that rosters will be expanded to 30 as long as spots 29 and 30 are occupied by homegrown players, which KC could do with Erik Palmer-Brown and Daniel Salloi.
The penultimate preseason game for Sporting KC didn't go exactly as the club probably would have liked it in Tucson against the New England Revolution. A number of defensive errors helped to allow the Revolution to score six goals against Sporting KC. Five of those six goals were scored against what could be described as the club's second team, as Peter Vermes rested his "starters" until the final 14 minutes.
Here is this week's former SKC player update. No real big news this week among former players, as MLS teams head towards the end of preseason. A number of players who were with MLS clubs last season though are currently still without teams. Last heard, Emmanuel Appiah was with the New England Revolution still, although he did not appear in their preseason game today against Sporting KC.
One night after winning their ninth straight game, the Comets saw their winning streak snapped on the road in Milwaukee 7-5 against the Milwaukee Wave. The win for the Wave saw them secure a playoff berth, meaning for the seventh straight year the Comets and Wave will meant in the playoffs with the Comets going 4-2 in the prior six playoff match ups.
Sporting KC got their first win of their preseason yesterday against the New York Red Bulls 3-0. With the Red Bulls facing off against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday all of New York's starters have returned to New York to prepare for that game. That left the Red Bulls lineup with end of the roster players, trialists, and unsigned draft picks to take on Sporting KC.
The Missouri Comets clinched their seventh straight playoff berth in a 12-4 win over the Harrisburg Heat on Friday night. The Comets came out and pushed the Heat from the opening whistle, pressuring the Heat in their own end which lead to a number of chances for the Comets. It took until the final five minutes of the quarter before either team found a goal.
Sporting KC kicked off the Desert Diamond Cup today in Tucson, Arizona with a 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids. Sporting came out in their tradition 4-3-3 with a lineup that very likely could be the one that starts in DC in less than a month, with Tim Melia in goal, Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Ike Opara, and Graham Zusi along the back line, a midfield of Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza, and Benny Feilhaber, and a forward line of Gerso Fernandes, Dom Dwyer, and Latif Blessing.
Jordi Quintilla's search for a new club is over, this past week the former Kansas City midfielder signed a deal with NASL side Puerto Rico FC. The NASL side will compete in their first full season in the NASL after competing in just the Fall Season in 2016. Quintilla's first taste of club soccer since being waived by Sporting KC though will come in international competition as Puerto Rico FC will host their group in the CFU Club Championships.
Sporting Kansas City announced their broadcast team for the 2017 season. Late in 2016 when Sporting announced their new affiliation with Fox Sports Kansas City they said that there would be changes to the broadcast team, out was color commentator, Andy Gruenebaum and sideline reporter/color commentator Jake Yadrich.
The Kansas City Comets extended their winning streak to nine games and have now won 10 of their last 11 games as they came from behind to defeat the Dallas Sidekicks 7-5 in Independence tonight. The Sidekicks came out and immediately put the Comets on the back foot as they almost took the lead inside the first minute but a cross to the back post was skied over the goal from two yards out to keep the game scoreless.
Former Kansas City players continue to find their ways onto rosters in the US ahead of the 2017 season in MLS, USL, and NASL, one of those looks like it could be former designated player, Omar Bravo. Bravo is currently linked with a move to USL side Phoenix Rising, the former Mexican international spent last fall with the Carolina Railhawks of the NASL on loan from Chivas.