The injury list is mounting for Sporting Kansas City.
The club transported a patchwork crew to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game against the Union, which starts at 6 p.m.
The most significant absences will be on the defensive half of the field. Goalkeeper Tim Melia (back) and defenders Lawrence Olum (abdominal strain), Chance Myers (hamstring), Nuno Coelho (hamstring) and Seth Sinovic (ankle) did not travel with the team for the MLS match. Defender Kevin Ellis will also miss the match after the league handed him a one-game suspension Wednesday.
Reserve winger Justin Mapp remains sidelined with a lingering calf injury.
On the other hand, center back Ike Opara made the trip to Philadelphia, though coach Peter Vermes said in a phone interview Friday that he did not know if Opara would be able to play.
While the majority of the injuries are considered minor, Melia has not played since experiencing back spasms in the last week of July. He will sit out his fifth straight match Saturday.
Melia returned to training activity this week in Kansas City apart from the full team. Sporting KC traveled to Philadelphia after Tuesday’s match against Vancouver.
“He’s getting better, but it’s a slow process,” Vermes said. “I think he’s starting to get a little more real with this training this week.”
After Saturday’s match in Philadelphia, Sporting KC will have nearly two weeks off before returning to Children’s Mercy Park on Sept. 9 against the Houston Dynamo.