Nagamura suspended for Seattle match

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Paulo Nagamura has been suspended for Wednesday's match for stepping on the hand of Edgar Mejia.

Sporting Kansas City will be without holding midfielder Paulo Nagamura Wednesday night after he was suspended by the MLS.

In the 52nd minute of the Sporting Kansas City and Chivas USA match this past Sunday, Nagamura stepped on the hand of Chivas' Edgar Mejia. After looking at the replays, the MLS decided to suspend him for the match against Seattle on Wednesday night.

The video of the incident is below if you're interested.


This leaves Sporting Kansas City without one of its starting midfielders, and forces them to use some of the depth they picked up in the offseason. Most would point to Josh Gardner as a starting replacement, but Gardner and his wife are expecting their third child this week, which would obviously throw a wrench into Vermes' lineup decisions.

Other options would be to move Graham Zusi back to the midfield and start Peterson, Bieler and either Sapong or Kamara up top. A lot of people say that this would leave the defense vulnerable since Sporting would only have one true holding midfielder, Rosell, protecting the back line. This concern is greater because Seattle's dangerous midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will be returning against Kansas City. A strong, defensive presence in the midfield is needed.

The only other real midfield option would Peterson Joseph who would not solve the problem of leaving the defense too vulnerable, so it looks like best option is to hope that Gardner's wife can wait one more day to have her baby so that he can play. However, given Seattle's stuggles this season, this may be a good match to try moving Zusi back to the midfield with the aforementioned formation up top. The threat of Alonso is certainly concerning, but a more offensive-minded midfield might just work against a make-shift Seattle back line.

Regardless, the loss of Paulo Nagamura for Wednesday's match, while deserved, will put Sporting KC in a bit of a bind for the match. The best news is that Sporting KC has some good depth that can step in if needed.

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