Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sporting KC 2 - 2 Columbus Crew - Notes and Quotes

Sporting Kansas City tied their first preseason game 2-2 with Columbus. The teams played three thirty minute sessions with different lineups for each session. In the first session, Kansas City veteran Jack Jewsbury put home a ball from Sheldon Bateau for the first goal of the game. Brazilian trialist Alex Fraga tied it up for Columbus.

In the second session, Kei Kamara got on the end of a quick one-two with Teal Bunbury and easily beat the Columbus keeper. In the third session Robbie Rogers scored on a penalty kick to tie the final score at two.

Scoring summary
KC -- Jack Jewsbury (Bateau) -- 1st session
CLB -- Alex Fraga -- 1st session
KC -- Kei Kamara (Teal Bunbury) -- 2nd session
CLB -- Robbie Rogers (penalty kick) -- 3rd session


First Session:
Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers, Trialist 1 (Santos), Trialist 2, Roger Espinoza, Sheldon Bateau, Jack Jewsbury, Craig Rocastle, Trialist 3, Adda Djeziri, Birhahim Diop

Second Session:
Eric Kronberg, Michael Harrington, Daneil Cyrus, Matt Besler, Trialist 4, Konrad Warzycha, Graham Zusi, Korede Aiyegbusi, Kei Kamara, Omar Bravo, Teal Bunbury

Third Session:
Jon Kempin, Kevin Ellis, Trialist 5, Mike Jones, J.T. Murray, Stephane Auvray, Davy Arnaud, Trialist 6, Sam Scales, Franklin Salas, C.J. Sapong

Players in Arizona that did not play:

Michal Mravec and Calum Butcher sat out with hip flexors. Left out the last two days and kept out of the game so they have all weekend to rest and can start training again on Monday with another game on Wednesday.
Omar Colley was there and did not play
Shavar Thomas did not play, he was doing some fitness stuff

Postgame press conference notes and quotes with Manager Peter Vermes

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes opening comment

We played three different teams, the lineups were different players but had a lot of similar lines, definitely not a starting team or second team or third team or anything like that. Just trying to get an opportunity for guys to play in the positions where they can show themselves and against another opponent because we had already played against each other for 10 days total soccer time. This will give us another look. Thought we started off well, and I think all in all there were some really good things in all three 30 minutes games especially on the attacking side. The combination play was very good.

How far has team come in understanding the system and executing offensively?

What's really taken hold is exactly what we were hoping for. That is it's one thing with the guys finishing off the season having a good understanding and coming back and getting right into it right away but quite a few new guys that are new to the team, adapting and adjusting as quick as they have been really has been a credit to the rest of the players that are coming back. From day one they started playing that way and it's an easy learning environment for the new guys to see what our rhythm of play and our style is. Just because those guys do it well and know what their roles and responsibilities are on the field. It has been a great achievement that the team is able to start really close to where we left off last season.

Which new guys that have stepped up to the new system?

Mravec was out with a hip flexor but CJ (Sapong) and (Konrad) Warzycha have played well and has held their own for sure. Both of them have a good understanding of their position inside our team and because of some of their qualities they have, it even accentuates their position even more because of the quality each brings to his position. Mravec has been solid as well. Jones, today was his best day so far, he has been a little nervous.

Adda Djezeri has been playing well, Julio Cesar also and some of the other guys.

Franklin Salas, how has he been acquitting himself and what type of player is he?

He is definitely more of an attacking player, he likes to come inside. I think it's a little bit difficult to play in our system because of what the requirements of the position he plays in the teams he came from, he his having a little bit of a tough time maybe with the physicality and the speed of the game. That tends to be the situation with a lot of foreign players when they first come here, the real evaluation and decision goes into whether those guys are able to adapt and adjust quickly and when they do will they have a strong impact.

Kei, Teal, and Omar played on one team, how did they look?

Worked together really well. Kei had a great goal, great one-two between him and Teal. they had a couple of really good combinations. Teal was very active. Omar twice was in two great positions for two great opportunities, the timing is maybe not there perfect right now but it's early in the season, the positions he gets into are excellent.

How would you describe Graham Zusi's play and how has he done so far?

He has done well, I made a point to say to him in pre-season, he's got to stop being the guy that's just along for the ride. He's got to become a protagonist on the field , he needs to start taking things upon himself, because he has all the qualities to be a very solid attacking midfield player in this league but he's got to have more production, he's got to push it a little bit more himself. Take more responsibility and I think he's building into that. Drafted him a couple years ago because I loved the way he played , now he has the ability to come into his own, especially on the attacking side. He is very crafty, low center of gravity, can hit the ball with his left or right, good quick feet and has good acceleration in tight spaces. Now the opportunity is right in front of him.

How have the Trinidadians looked?

Daneil Cyrus - played well today. We put him in central defense where it really the place we brought him in to look at. He was very solid, him and Matt Besler wound up being a pretty good combination between the two of them. They played well. He's uncanny because when you watch him run you think he is not very fast but he never gets beat.

Sheldon Battue -He had a assist on Jack's goal. His situation is that he is going to a take a little time trying to get used to our system a little bit and also tactically, but he is definitely a physical presence. Very good athlete, he has a good passing idea around the field but just positionaly he needs to be a little bit better.

How about Kevin Ellis?

Every day he is a little bit better, the year at school helped him or whatever happened to Kevin has really helped him mature a lot. He has excellent attitude, very determined. Every day we play he is learning more. Very focused kid at the moment. It's great to see that especially you know he is a kid that came out of our academy.

Upcoming roster moves?

We will probably see three right away and then another shortly trying timing wise to get it down and at least another one a by after Wednesday.

Releasing, signing or combination?

Maybe a combination but definitely letting some people go.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Teal Bunbury Files FIFA Switch to USA

It has been reported that Sporting Kansas City forward Teal Bunbury has formally filed his one-time switch with FIFA that will now permanently switch him to the United States national team. Bunbury had previously represented Canada at the youth team levels.

Bunbury has played in two friendlies for the US but needed to make the switch before playing in any official games. This would make him eligible to play in the Gold Cup, the Olympics and World Cup Qualifiers.

Despite having limited playing time early in his rookie year, Bunbury increasingly found time through the season, eventually winning a consistent starting spot. In the off season Teal joined the US side that defeated South Africa at home and played the second half.

Bunbury was with the MLS Generation Adidas team that defeated 3 La Liga reserve teams in December. Teal had 3 goals and an assist in those games and his performance was consistently praised.

On his way home, he had a short training stint with Stoke City where he scored another goal for their reserves.

Upon returning to the states, Bunbury joined the US National Team camp in preparation for their friendly with Chile. Teal came off the bench in the 60th minute and ended up scoring the equalizing goal on a penalty kick. The goal call has become a bit of a sensation now and has helped boost Bunbury's popularity with Sporting Kansas City and US National Team fans alike.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kevin Ellis interview

Kevin Ellis played in the Wizards Juniors and with Barton Community College. He was invited to camp with Sporting Kansas City and has traveled with the team to Arizona.

It is possible that Ellis will end up being the second Home Grown player to sign with Sporting KC.

Coach Vermes talking with Ellis during the first week of camp...

Mike Jones Interview

Sporting Kansas City took Mike Jones in the second round of the MLS Supplemental Draft. Jones is a defender from SIUE. In the first week of camp, Jones was mentioned multiple time by SKC Manager Peter Vermes so he had definitely gotten the attention of the coaches in a short time frame.

Mike Jones

Sporting Kansas City players going through fitness testing the first week of camp...

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Dalton Burner Foundation

Dalton Burner and Brian Harris...

Dalton Burner is a young man that has had to fight cancer at far too young of an age. Missouri Comets rookie Brian Harris has become a big fan of Dalton. Any time you ask Brian about Dalton he chokes up and talks about how brave Dalton is, how much he means to Brian and how he inspires Brian. It is obvious the connection that Brian and Dalton have for each other.

After the last Missouri Comets game (Retro Night), the team auctioned off all of the retro jerseys plus 2 jerseys donated by Gordon Hill. They raised over $7000 for the Dalton Burner Foundation.

Dalton has a pretty good friend in Brian, and the Comets...

Doug McLagan interview

Doug McLagan playing in the Reunion game...

I talked with Doug McLagan after the game last Friday. He talked about both the Reunion game and the Comets game...

Comets Reunion Game

Edmond Rugova, Gino Schiraldi and Vlatko Andonovski discuss strategies at half time (or they are trying to catch their breath)...

Warren Westcoat smothering a shot, notice the current Comets players checking out the previous generations...

Kia being surprised by Rugova...

Kevin Zimmerman making a save (?)

I think the white team led by Jim Schwab ended up winning by a goal (Shane Steadman scored a bunch) but really the fans were the winners. Seeing many of the great former Comets and Attack players on the field again brought back a lot of fun memories for fans and the players alike. While some of the players did not move around quite as well as they used to, they showed they still have some of that old skill.

Goran Hunjack looks like he is only a few weeks removed from playing...
Westcoat still has those goalie moves...
Rugova hasn't forgotten how to poach...
Robi Goff still has the hair (which is more than a lot of the players can say)...

And thanks to all the players for showing up and the Comets for organizing the event. Hopefully they can make this a yearly event and bring even more old guys, (I mean fan favorites) out next year.

More photos of the old guys...

Missouri Comets Have Disappointing Weekend

The Comets celebrate a goal...

The Missouri Comets weekend was disappointing. On Friday they lost to a determined Milwaukee team when the Wave overcame a 7 point deficit to win 17-16 over Missouri. Then on Sunday the Comets traveled to Omaha again where they had not lost previously but fell to the Vipers 16-10. These two losses, especially the loss in Omaha made it extremely tough to make the playoffs.

Friday: Missouri Comets 16 - 17 Milwaukee Wave

Retro night at the Comets was a success by every measure except the score. The Comets wore the retro jerseys from the original Comets, the reunion game at half time featured some Kansas City soccer legends and over 5200 fans were in attendance to watch an entertaining and exciting game.

The Comets and the Wave traded goals through the first half. First the Wave led then Missouri before Milwaukee scored a couple quick goals to go into the half leading the home team 9-8.

Danny Waltman makes a save on the "edge" of the box...

One of Byron Alvarez's goals...

The third quarter belonged to Missouri, they outscored the Wave 6-2 and looked as good as they have all year.

The fourth quarter was another story though, Milwaukee showed why they are at the top of the league. After an injury to Stefan Stokic left the Comets defense short handed, the Wave pressured Comets into some mistakes that led to their comeback. The Comets tried valiantly with the sixth attacker on to regain the lead but could not find the net again.

While it was a loss, this maybe the best overall game the Comets played at home and show how far they have come this year.

Photos from the Comets - Wave game

A post about the reunion game will be up soon...

Sunday: Missouri Comets 10 - 16 Omaha Vipers

It was a bad day for the Comets. It started bad and did not get much better. Coach Roentved could not make the trip because of back pain so Assistant Coach Vlatko Andonovski assumed the coaching duties. Then the team's bus broke down on the way to Omaha forcing the delay of the kickoff by 25 minutes.

Missouri did get out to an early lead when Alvarez manged to get around the Vipers' keeper on a penalty kick. Nick Kelly scored his first career goal to build the lead to 4 but it did not last long. The Vipers put in two 3 point goals to lead 6-4 going into the second quarter.

Leo Gibson tied the game early in the second and it took over 9 minutes before Omaha slipped out to another lead.

The third quarter was scoreless as both teams played a tight defense.

The Vipers increased their lead at the 3:44 and 9:09 marks prompting Missouri to go to the sixth attacker with 5:51 left. Initially it looked like the Comets would make their comeback when they earned another Penalty Kick (Alvarez scored again) and Moura quickly put home a pass from Beasley. Unfortunately Omaha regained their composure and added two more goals to put the visitors away.