On Wednesday, Major League Soccer announced the 2013 MLS reserve league schedule and, because of KC's deal with USL-Pro side Orlando City, Sporting will not participate in the league.
But the reserves still need games to play. We likely got a sneak peak of Kansas City's plans -- friendlies against relatively nearby competition -- as they hosted the newly re-branded Minnesota United FC at the Sporting Club Training Center. KC won the match 2-1 off second-half goals by Soony Saad and Yann Songo'o.
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Kansas City's lineup: Eric Kronberg; Mechack Jerome, Ike Opara, Yann Songo'o, Josh Gardner; Michael Thomas, Kyle Miller, Peterson Joseph; Soony Saad, Dom Dwyer, Christian Duke. Homegrown defender Kevin Ellis came on in the 80th minute for Opara.
It's likely that some of those players are headed to Orlando City on loan sometime in the next month. As part of the Kansas City-Orlando agreement, KC will make at least four players available for Orlando in lieu of a reserve team. The USL-Pro season starts later this month with Orlando's first game coming April 7.
In other news:
MLS announced on Wednesday that Univision Deportes Network will air 23 MLS regular-season matches, including Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas (June 22) and Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver (July 3). Kansas City now will feature on national broadcasts in 17 of its 34 regular-season matches.
The United States women's team picked up a 3-0 win over Iceland in the first match of the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The U.S. got goals from Rachel Buehler, Shannon Boxx and Abby Wambach. For Wambach, it was her 154th international goal, moving her just four behind Mia Hamm's all-time record.
FC Kansas City's Lauren Cheney picked up an assist and played all 90 minutes. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, defender Becky Sauerbrunn and midfielder Kristie Mewis were unused subs.
The United States continues group play on Friday against China PR.
Peter Vermes hailed young midfielder Oriol Rosell for his
"great soccer brain."
The 20-year-old picked up his second career goal on Saturday and put in a solid opening-day outing as the team's No. 1 defensive midfielder.
Sporting KC's CEO and co-owner Robb Heineman spoke at the Dole Institute of Politics recently and, in true Heineman fashion, he was very candid. Of course, some of it is slightly vague owner-speak. But he doesn't shy away from controversial topics either.
He talks about how OnGoal came to own the franchise. The Livestrong partnership (which Robb calls an "epic" failure). The team's growth. Pretty standard, and candid, stuff from a very savvy owner.
Then he drops some pretty interesting quotes and a big Brazilian name.
On Kei Kamara: "I hope he never comes back. It's his dream to play in the English Premier League. I want him to get what he wants."
The team's style, identity and ability to transform players into MLS Best XI players and EPL targets: "Players right now are dying to come play for Peter and are dying to play in front of our fans."
Which led to the biggie: "Kaka's agent reached out to us two or three weeks ago" with interest on coming to play for Kansas City. "How awesome is that?"*
*Kaka, I think, would be a really good player in MLS. Probably amongst the best attacking midfielders in the league. He might not move the needle like David Beckham -- as Robb even admits -- but he could help win games. He'd be a regular starter on anyone but Real Madrid at this point. However, I think Kaka's salary demands might be too high for KC. Or for MLS for that matter.
You really should watch it all. Very insightful to just about any Sporting KC (or soccer) fan. Some of it is owner-speak, but some of it is quite frank.
Watch it all: