The first day of practice for Sporting Kansas City means the dreaded beep test, which provides a baseline for each player’s fitness level entering the season.
Once again, Sporting KC kicked off its preseason with an ultra-fit bunch, which many viewed a key reason to the team’s record-breaking 7-0-0 start last season.
Beep-test star (superstar!) Matt Besler wasn’t there.
He’s still training with the U.S. men’s national team along with midfielders Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber in preparation for a friendly Jan. 29 against Canada in Houston.
But a trio of Besler’s offseason training partners carried the mantle for him.
Besler, a Blue Valley West graduate, spent the offseason training with Sporting KC’s other local players – St. Thomas Aquinas products Michael Thomas and Kyle Miller along with Rockhurst grad Seth Sinovic.
Thomas and Miller actually topped Besler’s VO2 score from last year, while Sinovic matched the 65.5 score Besler achieved last season.
Thomas and Miller each scored 65.8, but Thomas was declared king of the beep test because he’s got the higher body weight.
All three finished together, while veteran Bobby Convey, whose first season with Sporting KC was plagued by injury, finished fourth.
For those not in the know (like me), the beep test is a multi-stage fitness test that estimates an athlete’s maximum oxygen intake.
Basically, it’s a series of 20-meter shuttle runs at increasingly shorter intervals.