Finally, and formally, Sporting Kansas City announced on Monday that veteran and versatile midfielder Luke Sassano has re-signed with the team. Per the policy of the team, terms of the agreement will not be disclosed.
Sassano, who signed with the team last year coming off ankle surgery, injured his knee in August, had surgery to repair a tear in his lateral meniscus and missed the team's playoff run. He appeared in nine MLS matches and recorded his first career goal against FC Dallas.
He has been training with the team and traveled to Arizona this weekend.
• Speaking of guys who traveled to Arizona Sporting is taking three trialists (with the possibility of an unnamed Sierra Leone trialist joining them) to training camp: Goalkeepers Steve Spanlger and Scott Angevine (who is a local product, he played at Blue Valley Northwest High School) and midfielder Cyrus Saydee.
I had hoped that Mike Kuhn's (Down The Byline) brother, Matt, would have made the cut. But, alas, he didn't.
While it's interesting that KC took five goalkeepers into camp, it's not really that strange. KC will want to take it easy with Eric Kronberg (returning from sports hernia surgery) and Jimmy Nielsen (who is notoriously slow to get fit). Until I read/hear differently, I don't think either guy is a threat to KC's three main goalkeepers. Though, if KC is thinking of sending Homegrown teenager Jon Kempin out on loan, it might be safe to have a third keeper in Vermes' back pocket. (For the record, loaning out Kempin seems like a really tangible idea, doesn't it?)
During the season, Sporting KC usually keep a goalkeeper or two around (usually college kids or juniors) for training. It lets the team have more than one scrimmage going at one time -- you need four 'keepers for two scrimmages after all.
• As we've reported perviously, Supplemental pick Pablo Punyed is not training with the team in Arizona. He's the only draft pick that didn't report to camp.
• Per the team, Birahim Diop and Daneil Cyrus aren't with the team in Arizona either. Both were given a leave of absence by the team.
•MLSSoccer.com spoke to Peter Vermes and Sporting's three U.S. national team players on Monday.
Vermes hopes that Graham Zusi, Teal Bunbury and C.J. Sapong gained valuable experience playing in a hostile stadium in Panama -- because he wants his team ready for CONCACAF Champions League play next year.*
"It's one thing when you’re playing in a stadium in MLS," Vermes said. "It's another thing when you go to another country and start to see what that's like. It definitely takes it to another level in regards to how the fans treat you, the condition of the field, the stadium, the food, everything. The more guys who can get that experience, the better for some of these competitions, like CONCACAF, that we want to be in."*Note: Sporting KC hasn't yet qualified for Champions League play. He's just confident.
• The Sporting KC U-13 and U-14 Juniors got the season under way this weekend at the Michael Brown Winter Classic in Fisco, Texas.
The U-13s were undefeated in their four matches; the U-14 side finished 2-1-1. To read more, check out theJuniors Blog
• Tweet of the day:
"Stuck at Tucson Airport. Anyone know the way to @SportingKC hotel?"