Rumor: Sporting Kansas City, Manchester City friendly?

Jamie Squire

Sporting Kansas City's Oriol Rossell has hinted at the possibility of the club facing English Premier League side Manchester City in 2014.

UPDATE #2: MLSsoccer.com reached out to Sporting Kansas City and were told that the club is in the "early stages" of bringing in a big-named opponent for a future friendly.

"After a busy 2013, we're certainly eager to bring a big-named opponent to Sporting Park next year, but we are in the early stages of that process," Sporting Kansas City told MLSSoccer.com. "We've gotten interest from a few teams that want to come play us at Sporting Park, but we are far from the point of signing any contracts."

UPDATE: Sporting Kansas City sent us over the following regarding the speculation of a Sporting Kansas City, Manchester City friendly.

"In regards to international friendlies for the 2014 season, there is nothing to comment on at this point. There is always considerable interest around potential exhibition matches and as such, speculation around possible opponents. If and when an agreement is reached and all details are finalized, we will move forward with an announcement."

Original Story:

In an interview with a Spanish media outlet, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Oriol Rossell has hinted at the possibility of a friendly against English Premier League side Manchester City in 2014.

Rosell, who was called up Tuesday by the Catalonian national team for a friendly against the Cape Verde Islands on Dec. 30, responded to a question from Catalonian daily Sport about Sporting Kansas City's ability to compete in Spain's La Liga:

"We're at the level, we have good players," Rosell said. "For example, two are in the US national team that will play in the World Cup. We are a tough team. Two years ago Kansas beat Manchester United in a friendly and this year we will play [Manchester] City. In the CONCACAF Champions League, we won the group and got to the next round with terrible trips to Nicaragua and Honduras."

This isn't the first time that Sporting Kansas City has talked about the possibility of a friendly against an overseas "super club." Last November, Sporting Club chief executive officer Robb Heineman was asked on Twitter if there was a chance the club would face English Premier League side Aresenal. His response:

Heineman admitted later on his handle that the club planned for no friendlies in 2013 due to their busy schedule, primarily with the CONCACAF Champions League, but also the U.S. Open Cup, World Cup Qualifying, and MLS regular season as well.

In June of this year, though, Heineman asked his followers on Twitter whether they would rather have a future friendly at Sporting Park or Arrowhead Stadium, noting that it wouldn't be in 2013 and that it would be against a "top 3 super club."

The possibility of a friendly with Manchester City, while still a rumor, wouldn't be improbable. New York City FC, who is partially owned by City, is set to officially kick off MLS play in 2015, so it would make sense for the English club to do a U.S. tour, of some kind, for promotion.

Sources within Sporting Kansas City have also previously mentioned that they've been in talks with Manchester City before about a possible friendly, but were unable to close a deal due to prices going up after City won the English Premier League in 2011-12.

We have reached out to Sporting Kansas City for comment and will update this story when information is made available to us.

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