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What’s Sporting KC’s Best XI right now?

Charles Gooch
The Kansas City Star

Sporting Kansas City likely aren’t done making transactions this summer (after all, something has to happen with the Stephane Auvray and, likely, Shavar Thomas*), but they are likely done adding players who will impact the starting lineup.

*Auvray is no longer training with the team and no longer appears on the team’s roster online. Thomas wasn’t a part of either the reserve game or the Newcastle game this week nor was he on the injury report. That’s a huge sign to me.

Since the season started in March, KC have added Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic and Jeferson. All three will likely be starters (or at least in the picutre) from here on out. Also, the team added Soony Saad via a weighted draft and signed defender Daneil Cyrus. Neither will likely start this year.

(There are a few trialists looking for a spot on the roster, but those likely aren’t going to impact the Starting XI soon.)

Saturday night against Toronto, Kansas City should have everyone (except captain Davy Arnaud) healthy. Given that Peter Vermes will line up in the 4-3-3/4-5-1, what is his Best XI right now?

There are some positions that aren’t up for debate: Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler, Chance Myers, Omar Bravo, CJ Sapong, Jimmy Neilsen. But there are some issues with the team in the attacking third -- specifically in the middle.

Which is why the new designated player Jeferson is such an interesting question mark right now. If he’s fit, he’s going to start. But in what role?

Does Jeferson immediately take over Graham Zusi’s role as the attacking midfielder?

What does that do to Zusi, the MLS player of the month in June? Does he move out wide and send Kei Kamara back to the bench? Surely he won't go to the bench straight away. He’s earned the right to be on the field.

Of, does Jeferson replace Roger Espinoza? I wouldn’t bench Espinoza, I’d move the Honduran back to defensive midfield and push Julio Cesar to the bench. Could the team work with Espinoza in that role? (I think actually, yes.)

There are other minor battles, for sure:

Seth Sinovic vs. Michael Harrington? CJ Sapong vs. Teal Bunbury? What about Milos Stojcev?

I love these questions, because everyone can/should/does have an opinion. So, what’s your take? If you were given the reins of the team with these players, who would you start on Saturday?

As an added bonus: What the heck happens when Arnaud is healthy?

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