Saturday, December 18, 2010

Comets hope to build off solid effort against the Blast

The Missouri Comets will be facing the Chicago Riot Sunday for the first time. It was not supposed to be the two teams first meeting but last weekends match was postponed.The Comets were not going to be able get from Baltimore to Chicago in time for the game because of the winter weather across the mid-west.

The Comets were anxious to play after their tough 13-12 loss against the Blast. While the Comets came up short, their was a lot of positives. The Comets led at the end of the first three quarters. A pair of three pointers helped stake the Comets to an 8-4 lead in the first.

The Blast were held to a rare scoreless quarter in the 2nd at home by the Comets improved defensive play in the back. Veterans Nate Houser and Jeff Davis helped keep the team calm and organized throughout the third quarter as well. Both teams scored in the third but the Blast took control in the 4th quarter. Baltimore scored 3 times to take the lead for good. Tiguinho added a late goal (his second) to pull Missouri back within 1 but it was too late to complete the comeback.

Chicago was probably a little relieved to postpone the game last Sunday, it would have been their third game in three days. They were returning home after losses in Omaha and Milwaukee.

Coming off their tremendous effort in Baltimore, the 1-4 Comets hope to get their first home win against the 0-4 Chicago Riot. The game is a good test for Coach Roentved's team. They have been steadily improving and are putting forth better efforts each game and in practice but still need to put a complete game together.

While Chicago is winless, they have put good defensive efforts forward (with the excpetion o fthe Omaha game). They have had trouble scoring though. Not making it over 8 points yet and with only one 3 point goal.

Coach Roentved talks about the loss in Baltimore and the upcoming Chicago game...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gold Cup Doubleheader June 14th in Kansas City

From the press release:

Kansas City was one of 11 U.S. cities chosen to host games during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ and is scheduled to feature a first round doubleheader on June 14th, 2011. The international matches will take place at Sporting Kansas City’s $180 million new stadium, currently under construction in Kansas City, Kansas. The venue will seat 18,500 soccer supporters and was designed to be the first authentic American soccer stadium, including a dramatic canopy roof that covers every seating section of the stadium.


The Gold Cup doubleheader in Kansas City will be included as part of 2011 Sporting Kansas City season ticket packages, which can be purchased at www.SportingKC.com/VirtualVenue or by calling 888-4KC-GOAL. Season tickets begin at $14-per-seat.


The tournament brings 12 of the region’s best National Teams to compete for the continental crown and the right to be the region’s representative in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. Seven countries have already been determined for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™: United States, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Cuba and Grenada. The final five entrants will qualify in January’s Copa Centroamericana in Panama.


The 2011 Gold Cup will mark the 20th anniversary of the tournament, the region’s highest level of competition, and is scheduled to take place across the United States from June 5th to June 25th.


“We are very excited about our cities and venues,” CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer said. “Each will add a distinct flavor to the event and will help make this the best Gold Cup to date."


Thursday’s announcement continues the presence of marquee international soccer matches in Kansas City, which hosted English powerhouse Manchester United in July and the Clasico between Club America and Chivas Guadalajara in 2009.


The last time a Men’s National Team played in Kansas City was April 25, 2001 when the United States defeated Costa Rica in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Arrowhead Stadium.


CONCACAF will announce the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup™ groups, schedule and ticket information in early February.


SCHEDULE

First Round
June 5 – Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
June 6 – The Home Depot Center (Carson, CA)
June 7 – Ford Field (Detroit, MI)
June 9 – Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
June 10 – FIU Stadium (Miami, FL)
June 11 – Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, FL)
June 12 – Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)
June 13 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, NJ)
June 14 – KC Soccer Stadium (Kansas City, KS)

Quarterfinals
June 18 – New Meadowlands Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
June 19 – Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (Washington DC)

Semifinals
June 22 – Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)

Final
June 25 – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)


It will be great to see international games in Kansas City again. Hopefully the US National Team will be in one of the two games and a few of my friends from the World Cup Watch Party will be there...

Roster update - 12/16

These are players currently on the roster and the latest status (as far as I know)

Korede Aiyegbusi - D
Davy Arnaud - M
Stephane Auvray - M
Matt Besler - D
Omar Bravo - F
Teal Bunbury - F
Sunil Chhetri - F - did not exercise option (back with Indian federation) they are currently talking
Birahim Diop - D
Roger Espinoza - M - GA grad, exercised option
Jack Jewsbury - M
Kei Kamara - F
Jon Kempin - G
Nick Kounenakis - D - still evaluating
Eric Kronberg - G
Chance Myers - D/M- GA grad, renegotiated contract
Jimmy Nielsen - G - Re-signed for 2011
Craig Rocastle - M
Ryan Smith - M/F
Shavar Thomas - D
Graham Zusi - M
Michael Harrington- M - still in negotiations
Zoltan - F- his loan agreement was up and he is owned by FC Honved so he was not in the re-entry draft, SKC is talking with FC Honved to bring him back and see if he is fit.

Some notes...

Kronberg may be going to train another team
Rocastle is training with a club team to stay fit
Smith may be also training with another team to keep/increase fitness

Additional press conference notes to come later...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hejduk out, Sassano in

Sporting Kansas City traded the rights to Frankie Hejduk to Los Angeles for the rights to Luke Sassano. The Galaxy had acquired the rights to Sassano in the re-entry draft from NY Red Bulls.

Luke Sassano on a previous visit to Kansas City...

Conrad and Wolff out, Hejduk in

Josh Wolff was taken first overall in the Re-Entry draft by DC United and Jimmy Conrad was taken second by Chivas USA. Sporting Kansas City selected Frankie Hejduk from the Columbus Crew.

Jimmy will be missed by many fans in Kansas City. He quickly became a fan favorite in Kansas City when he was traded in 2003 from San Jose. His sense of humor, quick wit and willingness to interact with the fans combined with quality play in central defense made it easy for fans to fall in love with Conrad.


Wolff also came to Kansas City in 2003 (from Chicago). Wolff left to go to Germany after the 2006 season and returned to the Wizards midway through 2008 and helped the team reach the playoffs. Josh has scored in double digits three times for Kansas City, 10 goals in 2004 and 2005 and 11 goals in 2009. With the Wizards change to the 4-3-3 formation Josh never seemed to find his comfort zone and saw his time diminish and eventually do well as a sub. DC United is looking for Wolff's veteran presence to help their younger players and add a little scoring punch.



Kansas City picked up Frankie Hejduk. This could be for some extra cover with the departure of Leathers in the expansion draft, insurance in case Harrington does not sign or just to get some more veteran leadership in the locker room with the departure of Wolff and Conrad. Or he could just be trade bait for another deal somewhere down the line.

The Re-Entry draft results:

D.C. United: Josh Wolff (Kansas City)
Chivas USA: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City)
New England Revolution: Ryan Cochrane (Houston)
L.A. Galaxy: Juan Pablo Angel (New York)
Chicago Fire: Cory Gibbs (New England)
Sporting KC: Frankie Hejduk (Columbus)
Seattle Sounders: Chris Seitz (Philadelphia)
Columbus Crew: Jeff Cunningham (Dallas)
L.A. Galaxy: Luke Sassano (New York)
Colorado Rapids: Tyrone Marshall (Seattle)
New England Revolution: Fred (Philadelphia)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peter Vermes Interview 12/13

I talked with Sporting Kansas City's Technical Director and Head Coach Peter Vermes earlier this week. I am posting most of the video here but also giving as some of the info from each segment in writing a well.


In Part 1 Coach Vermes talks about the combine Sporting Kansas City held in Trinidad. They had over 50 players attend from as far away as Europe. Foreign slots will be a concern with bringing in players and the expanded roster size. Teams are allowed 8 foreign player slots and SKC has 9. The extra foreign player slot is from a trade with DC last year. Any additional foreign players brought in will likely be impact players with the possibility of maybe 1 or 2 development level players.

At the combine they found some players they are interested in and were added to the discovery list:
Daneil Cyrus - Trinidad National Team, has played for their youth system, he is a 6' 3" defender

Sheldon Bateau - played for the Trinidad youth team and is on verge of breaking into the full team

There is a 3rd player that he did not want to disclose the name yet

On the scouting trip to Portugal, Sweden and Denmark they were able to see most of the players they were interested in and they are talking with a few of them.

Aurelien Collin has been reported as a possible target, Vermes said he is good but his contract runs till June and they need someone in January.

When asked about the young DP (by skill, not name) that Robb mentioned. Vermes replied, yes they are talking to a few of those type players. They are just not a point where they can open up about who they are. Notice the smile when he answers that question. Makes me think they have someone good lined up.

Peter Vermes Interview Part 1



In Part 2, Peter Vermes talks about why they keep quiet about players they are looking at and talking with. He also runs through all the drafts and waivers that are taking place, how busy they are and how difficult it would be to keep fans updated during this period. Worth listening to see what they are contending with.


Peter Vermes Interview Part 2



Part 3
Harrington - We have had discussions, we have every intent in the world to sign him, we have no intent to trade him. The ball is in their court.
The young DP Robb had mentioned would be an attacking type players.
Conrad and Wolff - at that time the list of players for round 2 of the re-entry draft had not been determined. Vermes said that IF the circumstance were right they would highly consider having them back.
There are a couple guys that are interesting that may be available in the 2nd round
Of all those players that went into the draft, only two were taken. The market said to everyone else that your price tag is too high.


Peter Vermes Interview Part 3

Monday, December 13, 2010

Teal Bunbury to be called into US January Camp

Teal Bunbury has been called into the January US National Team Camp. A source that wished to remain anonymous told me that Teal has already been selected and will be with the US team for the January Camp.