Sporting Kansas City’s Lawrence Olum will join Kenyan national team

05/19/2014 10:48 AM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Sporting Kansas City is losing yet another option in its central defense.

Lawrence Olum was called to join the Kenya men’s national team for its 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches Sunday and May 30. He will miss a minimum of two Sporting KC matches, including Sunday’s tilt in Chicago.

Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes expressed his displeasure with the last-minute call-up of Olum.

“I think the way the whole thing went down with the lateness of their ask was extremely unprofessional,” Vermes said. “That’s the part I have a frustration with. We could have easily prepared differently if we had known he was going away. We didn’t know.”

Add to that, it certainly comes at an inopportune time for Sporting KC, who is already without Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin and Ike Opara as options for the middle of the defense. Besler joined the United States national team Thursday; Collin is out with a hamstring injury he suffered Wednesday night; and Opara suffered a season-ending ankle injury last month.

That leaves the club with 17-year-old Erik Palmer-Brown as the only true center back on the roster, though outside back Chance Myers and defensive midfielder Uri Rosell are capable of sliding into the position. Palmer-Brown has never appeared in an MLS match.

Sporting KC will be host to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup in June, U.S. Soccer announced Friday. The club will play the winner of a third-round match between the Des Moines Menace of the United States Adult Soccer Association and Minnesota United FC of the North American Soccer League. The date of the fourth-round match will be announced next week.

Tickets for the match will go sale at 10 a.m. Thursday.

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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