With Sporting Kansas City doing so well in the league, and especially in the Eastern Conference, there hasn't been much room for squad rotation. Coupled with a stellar defense, one of the keys to Sporting KC's relatively great early success has actually come down to their extreme consistency in who they field on match day.
In fact, only 14 players have ever started a game for Sporting Kansas City in 2012 and only 17 have ever appeared in an MLS fixture. Sporting KC has a 28 man squad, meaning 11 players have never recorded a minute in league play while only one player, Eric Kronberg, hasn't recorded a minute in a either a reserve or league game.
While some of the younger players may be content with their roles in the team as they attempt to get their feet on the ground, others who have been with the club for a while will be itching to get playing time on the field, whether it's at Sporting Kansas City, or somewhere else.
Loaning out MLS players to lower leagues has been kinda rare in Kansas City.
Take a look at this chart:
|# of loans out
*Omar Bravo was technically loaned to Guadalajara from Sporting KC in 2010. We also technically loaned Chettri to the Indian national team...how in the hell did we manage to do that again?
You can see there's a big fat zero right under 2012. Albeit 8 games into the season Sporting KC has yet to loan a player. But if history is anything to look at, the summer months is when Sporting KC should be sending out at least one loanee. They've done it for the past 2 years, Aaron Hohlbein in 2010, and Scott Lorenz in 2011. So why not do it again this go around?
I asked Peter Vermes on his thoughts about loaning out players and where he stands on that topic:
"Each case in loaning out a player is different, based on the player, and where he's going. Everything has to do with the situation." Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said, "Is he going to get playing time? Is he going to be in a good training environment? And what's the level you're going to loan him out to? when you're evaluating all that stuff it's really on a case by case basis."
"But obviously there can be real positives to it for a player to get week in and week out game time where maybe he's not getting it with the first team."
So with that in mind who are the most likely candidates to be loaned out this season?
Ruling out all 17 players that have appeared in the league so far this year we are left with just 11. Crop out the rest of players that would be considered "second string" and would be needed should the starter in front of them be unavailable for a match like Soony Saad or Michael Thomas and you have 7. Then, take out first year rookies either with MLS or Sporting KC and you are left with 4 names: Korede Aiyegbusi, Kevin Ellis, Konrad Warzycha, and Peterson Joseph.
I doubt Joseph or Aiyegbusi gets loaned because they are very versatile but Warzycha and Ellis especially are very deep down in their respective positions in terms of depth and appear the most likely to be loaned out.
With the USL Pro running from April to August this would be the ideal time for Konrad and Ellis to play with players of the same or slightly lower level as them.
So who do you think Sporting KC will loan out? Will they even loan someone? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.