So. Much. Sporting. KC. News! Before we start with today, here is stuff that may have slipped through the cracks.
- Ellis and Wright cut. Salloi, Opara and Melia get extensions.
- Put your coaching hat on and predict the lineup for Sunday’s season opener.
- Don’t miss our season previews for Goalkeepers and Defenders (midfielder up in a bit).
Shelton Back at Practice
After picking up a contusion on Saturday against the Portland Timbers, center forward Khiry Shelton was practicing yesterday. The question now becomes is he the starting center forward on opening day against New York City FC? Diego Rubio scored in back-to-back preseason games (though one was a penalty kick) so he may have jumped back to the top of the depth chart.
We may be putting too much on preseason (which I tend to do) but Shelton looked to be the presumed starter. I personally would love to see Rubio start and Shelton come on at about the 60th minute. Sporting Kansas City should have thoroughly worn down NYCFC by then and Shelton’s speed, height and possible desire for revenge against an old team could really spark some passionate play.
James Musa Spotting
Despite my rustling of feathers, James Musa did turn out to be injured and back in Kansas City when he was absent from preseason in Arizona last week. Our own Thad Bell spotted him and confirmed he was rehabbing an injury (you should really follow Thad on Twitter, he sees everything).
He does still occupy an international roster spot until he inevitably gets a green card too. That, and the signing of Brad Evans, could make him a candidate to be a roster casualty (pure speculation on my part). He could very well be 3rd on the depth chart at DM, 5th or 6th at CB and with Kuzain (formerly Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal) likely to command the holding midfield spot with Swope Park, Musa could find himself as a man without a home. As one of our writers put it to me today, they could be trying to trade him to the Colorado Rapids since they might as well be known as the New Zealand National Team.
Ilie on the Mic
Sporting KC took us all behind the scenes at preseason in Tucson with Ilie Sanchez getting mic’d up and with a quick chat with Nate Bukaty.
Zusi on the Sporting KC Show
SKC right back Graham Zusi joins Nate Bukaty on the Sporting KC Show on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Definitely worth a listen as Bukaty’s show usually is.
First MLS Soccer Power Rankings
It’s preseason, so it doesn’t really matter (do Power Rankings ever matter?) but we can’t help ourselves from looking. Sporting KC landed at 9th. Here is what Alicia Rodriguez had to say about Sporting.
“Sporting have gone under the radar league-wide this offseason, but Peter Vermes has made substantial changes to the roster. If the defense remains stout, the attack may get a bit of time to find chemistry in the opening weeks.”
More Sporting KC Links
- As the MLS Analyst, Matt Doyle, continues his countdown to the start of the season, he landed on Sporting KC yesterday.
- The Star’s Sam McDowell makes 13 predictions for 2018. They aren’t exactly bold, but they feel pretty spot on.
- Reddit comes through with a 2018 SKC Schedule Wallpaper.
We’ll leave you with another look at the goal that Rubio scored that could be the reason he starts Sunday.