Sporting Kansas City will send three players to the U.S. Men’s National Team training camp Jan. 3-20 in preparation for international friendlies against Venezuela on Jan. 21 and Panama on Jan. 25. Sporting Kansas City forwards Teal Bunbury and C.J. Sapong, along with midfielder Graham Zusi, were each named to the 20-player roster announced by U.S. Soccer on Thursday. "January camps are a good introduction for players to work their way into the National Team, so it's a prime opportunity for guys like C.J. Sapong and Graham Zusi, while Teal Bunbury continues to establish himself in the player pool," said Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes.
Grab your smartphone, open up your iCal or write it down on your Labradoodle puppy calendar in the kitchen -- Sporting Kansas City's pre-season schedule is here. The 2012 season will start on January 19 with the players entrance physicals -- no, they won't be televised -- at the Sporting Club Training Center in Swope Park. Training will officially begin the next day.
Earlier today it was confirmed by Tuscon Sentinel that Sporting Kansas City would indeed spend part of their pre-season in one of the most premier soccer facilities in the country - Kino Sports Complex. Sporting will spend a total of 2 weeks in Arizona starting on February 1st but will miss out on the not-so-important chance to reclaim their Desert Cup title - of which is displayed proudly in the trophy case at Sporting's head offices - to go to the Disney Pro Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando Florida.
While 3 were called up, there was disappointment among many Sporting KC fans that the number was not 5. Many were hoping, myself included, that Matt Besler and Chance Myers would also receives calls into the national team camp. For Besler it unfortunately became a numbers game. All 7 of the defenders that Klinsmann called up can play the center back. Specifically though, with Omar Gonzalez, George John, and Geoff Cameron all called up, it's disappointment for Besler in this instance, but having seen what Besler has done to get to the point of being in the argument, there's no doubt in my mind that he'll push himself to get over that last hump.
Jurgen Klinsmann is on the verge of his first January camp as head coach of the US national team, and he’s sticking to the script. The annual camp has become a proving ground for up-and-coming international hopefuls, and Klinsmann has included several new names in his roster of 20 players, including LA Galaxy centerbacks Omar Gonzalez (pictured above) and A.J. DeLaGarza, and uncapped Sporting KC players Graham Zusi and CJ Sapong.
You know what would make an appropriate soundtrack for the clip of Dwayne De Rosario’s lethal through ball to Andy Najar in the 14th minute of DC United’s 4-1 romp over the Real Salt Lake on Sept 24? That samurai-sword slashing sound from “Fruit Ninja.” Watch as De Ro skillfully collects a hard pass near midfield, turns, sees Najar take off down the right flank, and—sssthchick!—splits the RSL defense wide open with one perfectly measured pass. The Canadian international’s ball beats five defenders at a stroke and springs Najar in the box for the inevitable finish.
As you think about David Beckham – Will he? Won’t he? Where did his love for us go? – and whether he’ll keep the Good Ship Becks docked in Don Garber Harbor, let’s talk quickly about shifting values and diminishing returns. In a way, Beckham and the attached regiments of Brand Beckham are no different than any other goods, like a camera, a coffee maker or those awful and gaudy Christmas sweaters. There are different versions with disparate values. And those values inevitably shift.