On January 24, Sporting Kansas City will open what (you could argue) is the most important season in history. New stadium, new designated player, new name, new hopes. Today's kickoff will focus heavily on some SKC itesm.
• One of the most important pieces for the 2011 season will be second-year striker Teal Bunbury. The New York Times' Jack Bell had a great article about Teal yesterday. They talk about his father, Stoke City and choosing the USA over Canada. Good stuff. [Source:The New York Times
• Peter Vermes is a fairly tight-lipped guy when it comes to player movement, especially when it comes to specific details. Having said that,Vermes told MLSsoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe a few things
about the team's roster last week.
Three players are likely not going to be with the team next year: Sunil Chhetri, Zoltan Hercegfalvi and Nikos Kounenakis. Chhetri, if you recall, is being scouted by an Australian team; Zoltan tore his ACL last year and his loan spell is over (though Vermes said Zoltan could be back if they can work out a new contract); Kounenakis never cracked the team's 18 last year after coming over on summer transfer.
Michael Harrington still has not signed the offer presented by Kansas City; the signing of Luke Sassano, acquired via trade after the re-entry draft, is apparently just a "formality."In a follow-up story posted today
, Wiebe reports that Gambian defender Omar Colley will join Trinidad Tobago duo Daneil Cyrus and Sheldon Bateau on trial with the team when camp opens on Jan. 24.
We hope to have more on these developments this week. In the meantime,The Daily Wiz is keeping tabs on SKC's winter targets.
• There will be a going-away party for former SKC captain Jimmy Conrad this Thursday at the 810 Zone on the Plaza. Festivities start at 5 p.m. with a special raffle benefitting the Child Protection Center. (Raffle gifts include: Conrad's game-worn, long-sleeve white Wizards jersey; Conrad's Chivas USA jersey (when available); and 2 tickets to the Chivas USA-Sporting KC game in the new stadium.) [Source:Child Protection Center
• Hopefully, you saw my update on the stadium progress this morning. If not, take a second toscope the details and view the photo gallery.
• Today is the last day of the MLS SuperDraft Combine and the SuperDraft itself is this Thursday. Here's a look at the team-by-team needs according to Sports Illustrated. What they think KC needs:
Kansas City lost a major locker-room and on-field presence in Conrad, and finding a replacement for him in central defense won't be easy. No rookie is going to step in and fill that void completely, but there are two top central defenders available in Soares and Anibaba who would be good fits and could be available when the team selects 10th. If neither is available, SKC could reach for UCSB bruiser Michael Boxall or try to find another catalyst in central midfield to add to the 30-year-old Davy Arnaud. Scoring goals was bit of a problem for Kansas City in 2010, and ensuring a strong link between the midfield and star strikers Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury and the club's new designated player, Bravo, is a must.
• U.S. defenderOguchi Onyewu has moved to Dutch side FC Twente
on loan from AC Milan. This is good news for Gooch. Maybe he'll get some playing time now.
• UEFA bossMichel Platini warns clubs about over spending rules.
• Ronaldinho seems set to return to Brazil andsign with Flamengo.
•More on Edson Buddle going from LA to Ingolstadt.
• Former Kansas City striker Adam Cristman is on the move again (I think this would be his fourth team in four years),having been traded from D.C. United to the Los Angeles Galaxy for a supplemental draft pick.