Only one news truck and a handful of bloggers were in attendance at Swope Park today to see Sporting Kansas City begin its prep for the trip to Chicago this weekend. Well, we were joined by defender Aurelien Collin, whom Robb Heineman tweeted was coming earlier this morning.
Officially, he's trying out with the team right now, and that's as much as the team will say. He was limited this morning to fitness work, jogging around the field. He's a big guy (I'm 6'4" and he was eye level; he also made CJ Sapong look small). It will be interesting to see how he develops and trains. It's my understanding that his contract expires with his team in Portugal in June.
As for training, Shavar Thomas and Kei Kamara were the only notable absences, as both are away on national team duty with Jamaica and Sierra Leone, respectively.
Collin was joined in his fitness work by defender Michael Harrington and Ryan Smith. Harrington, noticeably limping with a groin injury, ran laps while Smith did most of his work indoors.
Harrington and Smith are unlikely to make the team's 18 this weekend.
Craig Rocastle, who had to be subbed in the 20th minute on Saturday, participated in full training today.
• An interesting formation idea fellow blogger Andy Edwards and I discussed: With Kamara out this weekend, could we see Omar Bravo wide left, Teal Bunbury up the middle and CJ Sapong out right? Wouldn't that be a handful for a team who employs a 3-5-2 (as Chicago does)?
• Milos Stojcev, Julio Cesar and Omar Bravo are all really, really good on the ball. Bravo repeatedly controlled strong crosses with a deft touch while Cesar and Stojcev both put in great passing work in a half-field drill.
• Today was fairly quiet, I'm sure it will get much more exciting tomorrow.
More Power Rankings
So... everyone but me has their own power rankings, huh? I've already linked to FIVE Power Rankings (ESPN, SI.com, The Allocation Order, WV Hooligan and Goal.com). Well, here are THREE more:Match Fit USA has the Sportings 6th; Soccer America has KC 4th (and brings up a controversy I was unaware of: was a Bravo goal tainted by a handball?); and Soccer by Ives
has the Sportos in 8th (behind DC and Philadelphia).
If you're keeping track at home, the average position of Sporting KC so far: 5.875
Surprised? Agree? Disagree? Take umbrage with anything? I love the word "umbrage." It seems like a soccer term, doesn't it?