Showing posts with label MLS Draft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MLS Draft. Show all posts

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Podcast: Byline 2 Backpost 2013 Episode 3

Leo Gibson #14 of the Comets about to score another goal on his way to a record breaking night

In this episode: 

In this first segment we discuss:

  • MLS partnership with USL
  • GOLD Cup qualifier locations
  • Ivy Funds jersey sponsorship
  • Kei Kamara receiving interest from Norwich
  • The MLS draft and Sporting KC drafting Mikey Lopez
  • The MLS supplemental draft and SKC drafting Chris Duke and 3 more
  • The fields in KCK that have not been started yet
  • Swope Park and Brookside Soccer

In the second segment we discuss:

  • The NWSL draft and FC Kansas City's picks
  • FC Kansas City Free Agent rumors
  • Run down of what we know about FC Kansas City's timelines
  • The Missouri Comets and Leo Gibson's record setting performance
  • And more....

Hope you enjoy and if you have any feedback please let us know.

Get it from iTunes



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Podcast: Byline 2 Backpost 2013 Episode 2

FC Kansas City's Lauren Cheney (#12) being tackled by FC Kansas City's Lauren Sesselmann (#16)

In this episode we discuss: 

The SKC - LIVESTRONG divorce
The MLS All Star Game announcement
The MLS draft
SKC Jersey sponsor
Espinonoza, Cesar and Kempin news
FC Kansas City's allocated players
The NWSL draft
The Missouri Comets
and more....

Hope you enjoy and if you have any feedback please let us know.

Get it from iTunes



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Q&A with C.J. Sapong

Q&A with C. J. Sapong from James Madison University. C.J. was selected in the first round (10th overall) by Sporting Kansas City.

Were you expecting to go to Kansas City?

I wasn't expecting Kansas City, I did have a very good feeling after I met with them the second day at the combine, they were the first team to contact me. The interview we had went really well, I felt really good vibes from them. Sitting down I was just trying to enjoy the experience as much as possible and take it all in. I'm not going to lie, I was taken by surprise when I was taken with the tenth pick. As soon as my name was called I was elated. I was very excited, talked with the coaches briefly and all the staff. Its sounds like we are heading in a nice new direction and it is great that I get to start my career while their starting this direction.
Some mock drafts had you being selected in the 2nd but not in the first, did that surprise you?

I didn't try to dwell on those mock drafts too much, simply because being at JMU for 4 years I did not get a lot of recognition and I tried to never dwell on it. If anything I tried to use it as motivational tool. It was exciting to see that somebody thought I was going to get picked. Coming into the combine, that was my goal, just to get picked. Getting the first round pick is just beyond my dreams right now.

Know anything about the team?

I know the rebranding, I know the stadium is opening June 9th. The playing style, I will be able to fit into that, going at defenders, attacking, attacking, having pride in your one on one capabilities. I'm going to do a lot more research, all the history on Sporting Kansa City. I'm going to eat, sleep, breathe Kansas City.

Like BBQ?

I LOVE Barbeque. Oh my God. I am going to have to check it out real quick.
How would you describe your playing style?

Explosive, strong on the ball, around the box is where I thrive. I have a nose for the goal and I play with a chip on my shoulder. I'm going to work hard and even harder in the box. Look for as lot of little tap ins and once in awhile that spectacular goal. I have that in me some times. I'm just looking forward to being on that pitch and playing for Kansas City.

You are listed as a forward at JMU, do you play any mid?

At JMU, I played out wide, I played attacking midfielder. I think that was good, I added a couple things to my game, looking for other players, getting other players involved. Also at those positions, probably the biggest thing I had to get used to was the defensive part of the game. Getting back and getting behind the ball. I think playing those positions helped set me up well, even when I'm up top I work hard playing defense. I pride myself getting a couple steals off of defenders each game.
When out wide, left or right or does it matter?

It doesn't really matter. I'm pretty good with my left foot and I like both cutting in so any side I'm on is fine for me. I like cutting in or going down the line.

Anything to say to fans?

I hope the BBQ is good and I hope you're ready to cheer, cheer your heads off when the stadium opens on June 9th.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MLS Draft 2011 - What should be Sporting Kansas City's strategy?

On the eve of the 2011 MLS draft, I was wondering what fans think Sporting Kansas City should do tomorrow?

Lots of mock draft have had Kansas City taking Jalil Anibaba from UNC but with his strong combine the latest predictions have him going higher than Kansas City's pick in the tenth spot. The latest mock draft from Ives has Sporting taking US U-20 forward Omar Salgado. Will Technical Director/Head Coach Peter Vermes draft to fill an immediate need? Take the best player available? Or go for a longer term prospect that will contribute in a couple years? Will he find another player with Teal Bunbury's potential?

I do not put a lot of faith in mock drafts (even from Ives) but I am interested in what Kansas City fans think the team should do.

Should Sporting Kansas City draft:

  • the best available central defender?
  • a midfielder?
  • a forward?
  • best player available regardless of position?
  • John Rooney for the name buzz?

I put a poll up on the right, let me know what you think...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sporting Kansas City Coach Vermes headed to the Draft

Sporting Kansas City Technical Director and Head Coach Peter Vermes leaves town today. First stop is the US U-20 camp and then on to the MLS Combine to watch and make final evaluations on players that will be eligible in next week's MLS draft. Draft eligible players Perry Kitchen, Zarek Valentin, Zak MacMath and Omar Salgado are in the U.S. Under-20 camp and won't take part in the Combine.

This year’s Player Combine includes a few non-collegiate foreign players including midfielder Paolo Cardozo (Uruguay), forward Victor Estupinan (Ecuador), midfielder Marlon Ganchozo (Ecuador), midfielder Martin Rivas (Argentina), and midfielder John Rooney (England). Rooney is the little brother of Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.

Vermes says that he and his staff "have probably seen 95% of the players in the combine already. The exception being the foreign guys. The foreign players are more of an experiment, the previous time it did not go so well. This time they tried to put more of a quality control around it."

While they have seen the majority of the players already Vermes explained, the combine is a chance to see them in a higher level of competition with so many good players. Confirming what they know in some cases and seeing some guys challenged a little more.

Age old draft question: Do you draft to fill a specific need or do you take the best players available?

Easy question to ask but not an easy question to answer for Coach Vermes. "With the reserve league returning, they need to add more players in different spots. It's hard to find forwards, real attacking players out of the college game. It was almost a no-brainer for us last year when Teal was still available, that we had to take Teal. Certain situations where when players are available that it is not how they fit into the team, but also who is the best talent at that time. Another piece is the Generation Adidas tag, it is huge when that guy does not hit your salary cap. You have to take into account who is available when it is your pick." Coach explained that a lot of team have targets in the draft but those targets are not always there; "that is why teams have timeouts so they can have a chance to reevaluate."

Two mock drafts have Kansas City taking UNC defender Jalil Anibaba based upon KC being thin on defense with Jimmy Conrad leaving. I have not seen mock draft be very close, have you?


Okay the answer was a lot longer than that and just about impossible to get a short enough quote to use. Suffice it to say that with all of the complexities involved, it is difficult for a mock draft to be very accurate. The people doing the mock draft do not know what free agents are preparing to sign, what trades are in negotiations and they would have to know that for all the teams. Coach Vermes also pointed out that Kansas City may not be as shorthanded as people think, "we still have Jamaican National Team Captain Shavar Thomas and Matt Besler ."

With the need to continue to develop players, does Sporting Kansas City plan on opening a Residential Academy?

They started talking about residential academies 4 years ago, "but not until the new fields near the stadium get built, but there is a lot to go into it, school and a ton of other things" Vermes explained.

With the limited number of foreign player slots, are there any more players that may be changing nationality status?

"Ryan Smith is still working on his US citizenship and is only one piece of his case away. KC would not need to use a foreign player slot on him and he would be eligible for US National team. "

Player status: I have heard that Jimmy Nielsen was re-signed but I've never seen an official statement.

"Kansas City did exercise Nielsen's option for this year."

Michael Harrington?

"We're kind of close, it is in his hands now. He and his agent need to make a decision on one last piece, so I think we are pretty close."

Luke Sassano?

"That one is really, really close. More just a formality of sending something to the league. "

This is cross posted at

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 podcast #2

Mike and I recorded our second podcast of the year a couple days ago. Of course the Wizards have been pretty busy since then. They got final approval on the stadium, started the digging and announced the signing of a couple players. A bit of this is a little out of date now but not too bad.

part 1 - We talk about the draft

part 2 - we talk about the stadium renderings, jersey's and a couple other things

part 3 - former player updates

As soon as we can figure out a good name for the podcast, I will start putting out audio only podcasts and hopefully get it added to itunes. So let us know if you have any suggestions for a name for the podcast or any other suggestions.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Teal Bunbury interview - 1/14/2010

Teal Bunbury was drafted by the Wizards in todays MLS Draft. He was Kansas City's first round pick and 4th overall.

Teal was one of the top rated players coming into the draft. He played at Akron and has played for the Canadian National teams U-17 and U-20 teams.

Teal's father Alex played in 24 games for the Wizards making them the first father/son tandem in MLS history.

MLS Draft 2010 - Live

ESPN reported that teams are looking to get Conrad from Kansas City. How many fans in KC just went in to shock?

1st round
1st pick - Philadelphia Union take Mwanga number 1 - No surprise
2nd - NYRB take Tony Tchani from Virginia (Would have liked him in KC)
3rd - San Jose - Ike Opara from Wake Forest
4th - Kansas City - Teal Bunbury Hermann Trophy winner from Akron
5th - FC Dallas - Zach Loyd - North Carolina
6th - Philadelphia Union - Amobi Okugo - UCLA
7th - Philadelphia Union - Jack McInerney
8th - Columbus Crew - Dilly Duka - Rutgers
9th - New England - Zack Schilawski - Wake Forest University
10th - Chivas - Blair Gavin - Akron
11 - Seattle - David Estrada - UCLA
12 - Columbus - Bright Dike - Notre Dame
13 - Chicago - Corben Bone - Wake Forest
14 - NY Red Bulls - Austin da Luz - Wake Forest University
RSL swapped picks with LA - Mathis to LA?
15 - Real Salt Lake - Collen Warner - Portland
16 - LA Gals - Michael Stephens UCLA

Conrad trade rumors heat up? NY trying to acquire Jimmy. Tchani and money?

Round 2
17 - Philadelphia Union - Toni Stahl - UConn
18 - NYRB - Tim Ream - SLU
19 - San Jose - Michael Thomas - Notre Dame
20 - Kansas City - Korede Aiyegbusi - NC State
21 - FC Dallas - Andrew Wiedman - Cal
22 -

I will update in a few....

PRE-MLS Draft 2010

Who will the Wizards take in the draft today? Who should they take?

Will the Wizards trade up? Down?

Will Bunbury follow in his father's footsteps and play in Kansas City or will they get talented midfielder Tchani? Or will Vermes surprise us and pick someone else?

Will there be any blockbuster trades? We have already seen DC acquire the Perkins. The new Philly team received a draft pick for that and just bought a draft pick from Dallas to give the Union the 1st, 6th and 7th.

We will soon know the answers to these questions and many more. The draft starts at 1 PM Central. You can watch the first round on ESPN 2 and the rest on MLSInsider.

I will be posting live as I can. Downthebyline of course will be commenting live as well.

It look like Hillcrest will be streaming live and teasing with maybe knowing the picks before they are turned in.

Lots of sources for info this year!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 podcast #1

Mike from downthebyline and I wanted to do this last year but never got around to actually doing the recording. This year we hope to regularly do some podcasts covering the Wizards and anything else we fell like talking about. Please let us know if you like this, want us to continue or have any questions that we should cover.

Part 1 - We discuss the upcoming draft, needs and potential picks...

Part 2 - Kansas City made the 18 for the US bid to host the World Cup...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Peter Vermes interview Jan 7, 2010 - Part 1

I went down to the Wizards training center to talk with Coach/Technical Director Peter Vermes yesterday. As you can see, it was a little snowy down there.

I apologize in advance for the audio on these interviews. A new computer and different software combined to make it quieter than normal. I hop to correct that for the next interviews...

In Part 1 Peter talks about going to the combine, evaluating players, scouting the local area for players, signing new players and how that changes the draft strategy and early picks versus later picks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Richard Jata Speech

I mentioned in my post about the draft and many other people talked about Chicago Fire draft pick Richard Jata's speech at the draft. Funny, touching, inspiring and humble all at he same time. I was searching through the audio I recorded to see if I had any of it (don't think so) when I found out the MLS Extra Time showed some of it in the recent episode. Skip to the 4 minute mark so you do not have to listen Greg and Shep (unless you really want to).

Richard Jata after his speech...
Nice shoes...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Supporters at the MLS draft

I had hoped more supporters would be at the draft for all teams. As much fun as it is to watch a couple supporters group try to out chant each other, thought it would be great to watch several of them in action at the same time. Unfortunately I did not see many groups. Chicago had some but they were pretty quiet most of the time. It could be because they did not have many picks early.

The Wizards fans were the second largest group in attendance and were the most vocal and organized, at least of the fans that had teams to support.

The largest group was Eads Brigade. They are supporters of the St. Louis bid for a MLS team. They let Don Garber know their feelings at the beginning of the draft, traded some shots with KC and showed up well, especially for a city without a team.
Here the Eads Brigade is letting "the Don" know their thoughts...

Part way through the draft, they stepped outside to play the media.

They were interviewed...

and photographed...

let them have their team Don, you won't regret it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Observations from the draft...

Mo Johnston has the reputation as Trader Mo. There were plenty of trades proposed, but not much came of it. It was entertaining to watch Mo at the draft. He was constantly on the go talking to someone.

Here Mo is chatting with Steve Nicol.

I got to meet Ives at the draft. He sat in the front row of the media section and just about everyone who was anyone stopped by to chat with him…

Ives was the only person to talk to more people than Mo. He even talked to Mike…

Preki visited the Wizards table and chatted with Coach Zavagnin (take awhile to get used to that).

One of the best moments of the draft was when Richard Jata was selected by Chicago Fire. He was selected in the 4th round, 58th overall. Not a lot of players were actually in attendance, Generation Adidas players mostly. Richard Jata was there though, and he waited through until the end to hear his name called. He got up and gave a great speech. You could tell how happy he was. Jata gave everyone in the hall a great feeling and got a round of applause in return from just about everyone. Richard Jata is now officially my favorite Fire player. Here is Jata walking out to the media area.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I feel a cold draft...

Headed to St. Louis for the MLS draft early in the morning. Probably sticking around till Friday for the WPS draft as well so posting will be sparse. Will have photos and interviews up as soon as I can...

Lets hope the Wizards do well in the draft...

Monday, January 5, 2009

MLS Draft and the Wizards

The 2009 MLS draft is coming up soon. Mock drafts are starting to appear. Ives is on his 3rd iteration now. Mock draft 3.0, Mock draft 2.0 and Mock draft 1.0. So far he has the Wizards taking a midfielder in each version. Either Michael Stephens from UCLA or Baggio Husidic from Illinois-Chicago. Both of them are supposed to be creative skilled attacking mid type player.

Is that what the Wizards need? Or should they take the best player available approach and build more through trades and signings? I will put up a poll later or you can leave your thoughts in the comments. I hope to get an interview with Peter Vermes at the draft if not before so we can hear what his thoughts are on the players available.

Lists of player ratings are being compiled at 3rd Degree (a great blog) and elsewhere. Of course it is hard to handicap players until the annual player combine. The combine will be held at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Jan. 9-13, 2009.

The draft will be in St. Louis and take place during the NSCAA convention on Thursday Jan 15. The WPS draft will be held all day on Friday.