On the twenty-six player roster were Graham Zusi and Matt Besler’s names. While Sporting KC does not have a game next weekend this could possibly mean that both will be missing for Sporting’s mid-week game against NYCFC on September 6th. SKC currently are tied on points for second place in the Western Conference and one point behind first. While SKC will have two games in hand on first place Portland Timbers with only nine games remaining every point will be valuable to claim that first place spot.
I think we have to figure that Zusi will figure into one of these two games. With only four days of rest between games, and 3,000 miles of travel as well, he is almost certain to start one game. If Zusi isn’t able to go Sporting have the very capable Saad Abdul-Salaam available for their game against New York.
Besler likely finds himself on the bench for both of these games but I still don’t think he plays against NYCFC unless Arena allows him to leave early. This means SKC will look to Erik Palmer-Brown to make just his fourth start of the season on the road against a very high powered New York attack.
In a nutshell I do fear for SKC without these two players. Not because I think that Abdul-Salaam or EPB are incapable of filling in, but the idea of being forced into two changes on the back line when you’re playing against a striker like David Villa who has 19 goals and 9 assists this season definitely has to make one a bit nervous [Editor: it’s possible Villa misses this game with his call up though]. Secondly, I do hope that with all this extra wear and tear that Besler and Zusi have put on their bodies while playing for the U.S. this season does not come back to bite Sporting later this season.
Be sure to tune in to the Costa Rica game on September 1st on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. ET, and the Honduras game on September 5th on beIN Sports at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Sporting KC also have Amer Didic (Canada), Soony Saad (Lebanon) and James Musa (New Zealand) on international duty, though they are all usually backups.