The list of Sporting Kansas City absences is growing by the day.
A club that played without a handful of key players in Saturday’s shutout win against Minnesota will be even more shorthanded this weekend with Montreal coming to town.
The latest affected is Soony Saad, who was called Monday to join the Lebanon national team for its AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Malaysia on June 13.
That’s four international call-ups who will miss Saturday’s tilt with Montreal and another who bypassed a call-up due to an injury.
Captain Matt Besler and defender Graham Zusi are with the United States men’s national team, which has World Cup qualifying matches against Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday and Mexico on Sunday. U.S. coach Bruce Arena allowed Besler to return for Sporting KC’s 3-0 win against Minnesota before Besler rejoined the national team Sunday.
Midfielder Roger Espinoza was asked to join the Honduras national team, which has two World Cup qualifiers in the next eight days, but back spasms will prevent his inclusion. Espinoza was suspended for last week’s match against Minnesota. Reserve Tyler Pasher will also miss Saturday after he was called to Canada men’s national team for its friendly against Curacao on June 13.
“We knew it was coming. The same thing will happen with the Gold Cup (next month),” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “This always winds up being a situation where you’re gauging where guys are and getting them up to speed. It’s just the way it is.”
It’s a hardship numerous MLS teams are dealing with this week, with the league deciding not to break for the international matches. That includes Sporting KC’s opponent Saturday. Montreal is slated to arrive in Kansas City without seven players who are with their respective national teams.
Sporting KC defender Erik Palmer-Brown was traveling back to Kansas City on Monday after spending the past month with the U.S. under-20 national team for the U-20 World Cup.