Reserve League games are always an interesting prospect for me, because it gives young, promising players a chance to play some big minutes in a game environment they wouldn't normally get playing for the first team.
Wednesday's game should be particularly interesting for Sporting Kansas City, as there are a few players on the Sporting Kansas City roster with a ton of potential who just aren't able to get first team minutes due to the team's depth. After the break I'll name three players I'm most interested to hear how they do in tomorrow's match.
1. Soony Saad (forward)- Saad would probably be seeing more time if he were on another team in MLS, but withTeal Bunbury and CJ Sapong already holding down the center forward position for Sporting, it leaves Soony with very little first team action.
It's probably a slightly frustrating position for Saad to be in. At every level he's played in so far (high school, college) he's simply dominated, culminating with him winning the Gatorade College Player of the Year award in his only season playing at the University of Michigan last year. At the MLS level, he's been unable to crack the rotation, but that has much more to do with the fact that Sporting already have two of the most promising center forwards in the game.
It will be interesting to see just what exactly Peter Vermes does next season in regards to the Sapong/ Bunbury/ Saad log jam. Until then, these reserve league matches are some of the rare opportunities for us to see Saad playing starter's minutes.
2. Peterson Joseph (midfielder)- Joseph finally made his Sporting Kansas City debut against the San Jose Earthquakes this past Saturday, although it was very late in the match. I've heard nothing but good things about Joseph, and what type of impact he can have for this team, so it's an understatement when I say I'm excited to see what he brings to the table.
By most accounts, Joseph has been impressive in the earlier Reserve League matches he's played in since signing with Sporting at the beginning of September.
Joseph might be seeing a little more first team action in the near future, given the ineffectiveness of Jeferson in the Sporting Kansas City midfield, although minutes will be scare after Roger Espinoza returns from injury.
3. Lawrence Olum (centerback)- Olum, signed from Orlando City of the USL Professional Division in mid-September, made his Sporting Kansas City debut late in the game during Sporting's 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew last Wednesday.
Olum looked a little shaky at times but if Vermes was willing to take a flyer on him, than Olum can probably add value to the team.
Wednesday's game against the FC Dallas reserves should give us more of an idea of what Lawrence can offer Sporting, although it appears Olum is, at best, strictly a depth player for the team. Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, and Julio Cesar already fill out the center back rotation for Sporting Kansas City.
Sporting Kansas City's reserve team's current record is 3-2-2 in the Reserve League, with a total of 11 points, 4th place in the Central/Mountain Division.
You can find out more on the Reserve League here.