Well, Sporting Kansas City escaped the first stage of training in Phoenix without a preseason victory (two draws, two losses), light two draft picks and with a burgeoning star striker nursing just a dislocated elbow.
But they were lucky, it could've been much worse. Much worse. You can excuse the preseason games (after all, the team is trying a bunch of new guys out), the two draft picks weren't going to be much more than depth andTeal Bunbury could've fractured his elbow and missed half the season.
The team are now back in Kansas City, Peter Vermes will be re-joining the team tomorrow (he's been in Hungary dealing with a family matter), Ryan Smith will re-join the team after rehabbing a knee injury, decisions about trialists are expected to come soon and the squad will have a chance to reset before diving into the true test of the preseason.
It could've been much worse.
• Speaking of Bunbury: An injury to a one-time Canadian youth player who spurned them for the USA inflicted by a Canadian international is bound to draw somekind of reaction from Canadian soccer fans.
•A little more on Peppe Carotenuto,
a Columbia grad (college, not country) who will join the team on trial when they return to Arizona next week.
• Sporting Kansas City will, theoretically (and despite the long road trip),travel the fewest air miles of any MLS team.
One of the benefits of being geographically central, I suppose. Kansas City will theoretically travel over 34,000 miles (up from just under 29,000 in 2010) but that's miles (literally) behind Vancouver and New England (both more than 52,000).
• One-time U.S. up-and-coming striker Charlie Davieshas joined D.C. United on season-long loan.
Good for Charlie.
•The Columbus Crew won a weighted lottery for 19-year-old defender Korey Veeder.
Only Columbus, Toronto, Seattle and Colorado were in the running.
•New York blew a 2-goal lead last night against Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico, falling 3-2.
Kansas City will travel to Guadalajara during the preseason as part of the deal that brought Omar Bravo to Kansas City. A date hasn't been set.
• As part of the remaking of the team,Chivas USA traded for Dallas defender Heath Pearce in exchange for allocation money.
Pearce joins former Kansas City captain Jimmy Conrad and first-round draft pick Zarek Valentin. I wonder if Pearce and Conrad can exist in the same "handsome" space?
• Today is the centerpiece of the Champions League quarterfinals, with two of the most exciting and interesting teams on the planet going at it.
Arsenal vs. Barcelona, 1:45 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel
AS Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk, 1:45 p.m., Fox Soccer+
•Milan's captain Gennaro Gattuso lost control of his emotions in the wake of Tottenham's 1-0 victory in the Champions League yesterday and head-butted Spurs assistant Joe Jordan. In the category of a picture paints a thousand words, I give you this .