Sporting Kansas City played its first preseason game Friday in Tucson, Ariz., where coach Peter Vermes cycled through two teams of 11 during a 0-0 draw against the New England Revolution.
Like most preseason openers, it wasn’t particularly eventful.
“It gave us a chance to see the guys we’ve drafted and see what they’ve learned this first week,” Vermes said. “We’re trying to get these guys indoctrinated to our system, so it was good to see them play somebody else and see where they are really at.”
It also was a chance to begin building minutes for the returning veterans — or at least the ones who played.
Starting right back Chance Myers and midfielder Paulo Nagamura exited the match early as a precaution, while forward Kei Kamara and midfielder Josh Gardner, who are both nursing groin injuries, sat out the contest.
Newcomer Claudio Bieler, who is expected to help Sporting KC finish chances better, didn’t play either. Vermes said he’ll make his debut after a little more work on his fitness.
Forwards Teal Bunbury, who tore ligaments in his knee last August, and Jacob Peterson, who had offseason shoulder surgery, aren’t expected to be ready for the March 2 season opener at Philadelphia.
Obviously, neither played against the Revolution.
Homegrown Player Kevin Ellis, who is clinging to a roster spot as a reserve right back, remains in Kansas City.
“He’s getting a health issue he’s getting resolved, but we hope to get him down here over the weekend,” Vermes said.