During the Gold Cup next month, Sporting Kansas City will be without the services of forward Teal Bunbury, midfielders Craig Rocastle and Stephane Auvray and defenders Roger Espinoza and Shavar Thomas. According to manager Peter Vermes, all five have been called up to their respective national teams for the month-long tournament.
The news on Rocastle (Grenada) and Espinoza (Honduras) had already leaked out. Speculation on Auvray (Guadeloupe) and Thomas (Jamaica) has been around since January when both captained their respective nation to qualification. Bunbury (United States) is the surprise. His inclusion has been speculated, but U.S. coach Bob Bradley wasn't expected to announce his squad until early next week.
Vermes revealed the call-ups during his regular press conference on Thursday following training.
Club adds rugby to the network
One day after establishing an affiliation with several youth athletic organizations, Sporting Club announced Thursday they have added the Kansas City Blues rugby club as a founding member of the Sporting Club Network.
"Sporting Club is very pleased to be affiliated with the Kansas City Blues Rugby Club," Sporting Club vice president and Blues board member Rory O'Connor said in a press release. "The Blues are a tremendous organization and together we feel that there is a great opportunity to help grow the sport of rugby in this region."
The Blues were founded in 1966 and have participated in both national and international competitions. Several members (both past and current) have represented the U.S. national team. The Blues field an Under-19 team, the Junior Blues, and have many affiliations with high school clubs in the metro.
The Club were keen to point out in the release that they did not acquire or purchase the Blues. It's a "commercial sponsorship," and the Blues will wear a Sporting Club patch and train at the Swope Park Training Center.
If you followed the news on this blog last week, you'd already know that Sporting Kansas City and the Blues will hold a double-header on Oct. 15th, with the soccer club hosting the New York Red Bulls at Livestrong Sporting Park at 3 p.m.
Smith, Bravo near full returns
During a rain-soaked training session on Thursday, Sporting Kansas City got a double-dose of positive as winger Ryan Smith and Omar Bravo competed at near full speed. It's unknown whether either will earn a starting spot against Seattle this weekend, but both are key returns for the team.
The only Sporting player listed as out this weekend is Konrad Warzycha who is on injured reserve. The probables for Saturday: Bravo (recovering from a sports hernia), Birahim Diop (hamstring strain) and Davy Arnaud (neck strain).
Diop participated in training on Thursday; Arnaud did not.