The 2015 MLS SuperDraft is upon us. Unlike last year when Sporting KC had a fairly uneventful day, not making a single selection until the very last pick of the day, Sporting will be quite busy tomorrow. Of the 42 picks scheduled to be made tomorrow, Kansas City has four of them. Three are in the first round.
Since taking over the KC Wizards Technical Director role in 2006, Peter Vermes has developed a reputation for his player scouting and his ability to find quality players to bring in. Part of that has been his ability to find talent in the draft, with players like Dom Dwyer, CJ Sapong, Matt Besler, and Graham Zusi on his resume; it's certainly hard to argue with much of that.
With his loan to Sporting KC expired, Igor Juliao has returned to his parent club, Sporting KC partner, Fluminense. And while Sporting KC is trying to bring the Brazilian back, Peter Vermes is also moving on as if Juliao will not be back.
Fluminense is moving forward as well as they are beginning their preseason for their upcoming season.
Sporting Kansas City announced today that forward, Jacob Peterson had re-signed with the club. Peterson had been out of contract after the 2014 season and had been in negotiations with the club about returning. With those negotiations finalized, that leaves just one player, Kevin Ellis, out of contract that still has an offer on the table from the club.
Sporting Kansas City has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow to announce a "major player signing." The assumption, fueled by Robb Heineman's tweets from December 29th and last night is that the signing will be announcing the return of former Sporting midfielder, Roger Espinoza to KC.
One of the "worst" kept secrets (if it's really even considered a secret) is that Espinoza is returning to Kansas City.
Word out of the United Kingdom today is that Wigan Athletic midfielder, Roger Espinoza will be leaving the club and returning to the United States. Espinoza's return to the US would give all the indications that he will be re-signing with Sporting KC since Sporting still hold his MLS rights.
There had been rumors of Espinoza's return to KC since October, but at the time, Sporting head coach, Peter Vermes said that he would not be willing to pay a transfer fee for the Honduran.
With all the changes that Sporting KC has made near the end of the season there wasn't a lot of flexibility with who the team would choose to protect in this year's expansion draft. After the automatic protection of Kevin Ellis, Jon Kempin, Mikey Lopez, and Erik Palmer-Brown, there aren't a lot of players left on KC's roster to choose from.
Sporting Kansas City's defensive issues just got worse ahead of Sunday's game against the New York Red Bulls. Today the MLS Disciplinary Committee announced that starting right back, Igor Juliao was suspended for one game and fined for his actions in KC's 2-1 loss to Philadelphia.
In the 55th minute, Juliao cleared a ball up field just in front of Philadelphia forward, Andrew Wenger.
A little under two weeks ago, Taylor Twellman tweeted that he bet Roger Espinoza would be on Sporting KC's roster come January 1st. At the time the rumor made sense because Sporting still held the Hondurans MLS rights after he left on a free transfer to sign with Wigan after the 2012 MLS season and Espinoza had been relegated to the U21 team at Wigan.
Sporting Kansas City announced today that they have entered into a "strategic partnership" with Brazilian club, Fluminense FC. The Brazilian club is the home club of current on loan defender, Igor Juliao. Based on the announcement, this is something that Sporting has been looking to do for at least a little while.
Sporting KC fans have been waiting for reinforcements to be announced this summer to assist Sporting down the stretch this season. Today Sporting KC announced their first addition, Michael Kafari. Kafari is a 22 year old midfielder originally from Ghana. He graduated from the University of New Mexico and was taken by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the third round of the Superdraft.
With the sale of Oriol Rosell, Sporting KC have made some moves today to help to fill their midfield a bit ahead of Friday's MLS game against the Houston Dynamo. KC recalled midfielder, Christian Duke from his loan to Oklahoma City today. The move makes sense for KC, of KC's remaining midfielders, Lawrence Olum, Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber, Alex Martinez, Victor Munoz, and even Toni Dovale, only Olum, Nagamura and Feilhaber can really play the "defensive" midfield role the way Peter Vermes wants.
On tap today: Epic Brewing Smoked and Oaked, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA, Snakebite
The Filibuster gang is back in your ears once again. We start by talking about the game against Sporting Kansas City, giving our overall game impressions and talking about Peter Vermes' bleating after the game.
The winless run has hit five games. It's not the team's longest run without a win since they went 10 without a win at the beginning of the 2011 season. This time it was a 1-0 loss to DC United on a goal by Fabian Espindola.
Things started out extremely poorly for Sporting as in just the 9th minute, Aurelien Collin pulled up lame after winning the ball off of Espindola.
Every year Sporting KC should just skip the month of May. Since Peter Vermes has taken over the team, KC has just three wins in the month of May. KC is 5-11-7 in the month of May since Vermes took charge, and two of those five wins have come this year against Columbus (2-0) and Montreal (3-0). KC's struggles this year have a lot to do with their defensive issues with losing Matt Besler and Lawrence Olum to international call ups as the same time that Aurelien Collin went down with a hamstring injury.
The Fire appear to be catching Sporting Kansas City at a good time. The defending MLS Cup champions will be missing several important players due to international call-up and various injuries. Last year's defender of the year Matt Besler and Graham Zusi (the key to SKC's attack) are both away with the USMNT in preparation for the World Cup.
We caught up with Ben Gartland from SB Nation's Sporting Kansas City blog The Blue Testament to ask them a few questions regarding Sporting Kansas City and the selection of two of their players to Jurgen Klinsmann's 30-man USMNT roster.
Justin F.: Last year, Sporting Kansas City won the MLS Cup and this year, they currently lead the Eastern Conference with 17 points.
We'd heard that the Bundesliga was one of the three locations that Sporting KC captain, Matt Besler, was looking at, along with staying in KC and a move to the Premier League. Today, German magazine, Kicker has put the name of a German club to the interest in Besler.
SC Freiburg, who finished 14th in the 2013-2014 Bundesliga season is apparently one of the teams interested in Besler's services.
Sporting Club announced today that they will be inducting three people as Sporting Legends this year. After a fan vote that included Kerry Zavagnin, Chris Klein, and Mo Johnston, two players were chosen, Peter Vermes and Jimmy Conrad. The team also announced that the team's original owner Lamar Hunt would be inducted as well.
Today Sporting KC announced five former players for the club who are up for election to become the second class of Sporting Legends, a hall of fame type program created to honor the greats that have played for KC throughout the years. Last year the club elected Preki, Tony Meola, and Bob Gansler to the first class.
OTF's Stephen Mangat urgentlywants to know what love is...
There's really nothing like getting your first winin a nine-goal bonanza at the home of last season's top side and the site of your last season's demise. It makes you want to crank up the Foreigner because, well, it feels like the first time (in part because it is and in part because who else would you blast after a nine-goal bonanza?
Connor Hallisey. The winger was a Mac Hermann trophy semifinalist. He'll come in and be able to play as a wide midfielder in Peter Vermes' 4-3-3 system. His attacking mindset for KC will be good, they need more players on the wing that are able to take players on.
Yesterday as a follow up to the announcement of Roger Espinoza's signing, Espinoza, Peter Vermes, and Robb Heineman did a Q&A at Sprint hosted by Nate Bukaty. While there was a lot of good information given out during it, there's one area that I want to focus in on specifically. Heineman and Vermes were asked about accommodating players wants to go abroad and whether that would continue.
We all think that the game between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls will be tight, but what do you think will happen?
D.C. United takes on its old foe, the New York Red Bulls, in the Eastern Conference semifinal first leg on Sunday. It had to happen this way and it is the sequel to the epic series these two teams put on in 2012.
The news surrounding KC today has been specifically focused on the quotes from Peter Vermes last night related to Jermaine Jones and the potential in him coming to MLS. And while the potential of Jones coming to MLS and possibly Kansas City is something fun to think about, the potential of him coming to KC is unlikely.
Much of the US soccer community was shocked by the omission of Landon Donovan from the US World Cup roster. Steve Holroyd takes a look at some of the surprising US World Cup roster omissions that preceded Donovan's.