Next time, it counts.
Sporting Kansas City completed its month-long preseason training camp with a 1-0 loss Saturday against New York City FC in Tucson, Ariz., the final tuneup for the 2017 season.
Sporting KC will begin the regular season with a trip to face D.C. United next Saturday before returning to Children’s Mercy Park for its home opener the following weekend against FC Dallas.
“I think we’ll be a competitive team, but it’s going to take some time,” coach Peter Vermes said in a phone interview after Saturday’s game. “Especially with the new guys — they’re getting a feel for MLS and what the games are like.”
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In Saturday’s preseason finale, the starting lineup featured a front line with three players who did not finish the 2016 season with the club — Soony Saad, Gerso Fernandes and Daniel Salloi. Defensive midfielder Ilie Sanchez and winger Latif Blessing are also in the mix for significant opening-day minutes.
Sanchez and striker Dom Dwyer sat out Saturday’s match with minor injuries, which Vermes classified as precautionary. Dwyer is dealing with a foot injury after getting kicked in practice, but Vermes expects him to be ready next weekend.
On the new players’ adjustments to Sporting KC, Vermes said, “They got a decent foundation, but there are certain things they (need to) get more inclined to doing. Some of that is concentration. Some of it is repetition.
“But all in all, I think all the guys have adjusted well.”