Sporting Kansas City is hitting a bit of congestion before the World Cup break and Manager Peter Vermes and his staff will be challenged as they prepare to play the second of a three-games-in-seven-days streak.
Having just beat the hapless Loons, Sporting KC travel to face Real Salt Lake for their first defense as 2017 U.S. Open Cup Champions. From Salt Lake, Sporting KC will travel to Portland to face the Timbers on Saturday.
These three games close to each other would not be too big of a problem normally, Sporting KC does have a deep bench even if Vermes does not always dip as far into the squad as fans may like. With the break right after the three games it would also not be surprising to see Vermes roll out the same (or mostly the same) squad for each game. That may not be an option this time.
The main problem is with the list of injuries piling up. Felipe Gutierrez is still in rehab after his sports hernia-like surgery in early May. He is doing some fitness work but is not quite ready to do soccer movements. Jimmy Medranda has been out since the previous Minnesota game and has not been practicing yet either. He has a bone bruise that will probably be rested into the World Cup break.
Recently a few other injuries have cropped up as well. Veteran Brad Evans would have been great to get some time during the congestion but he has been sidelined with a thigh injury and may not be available yet. Khiry Shelton also has a thigh injury and has returned to practice but may be brought back for the Portland game to get a little more time to heal.
Yohan Croizet has been filling in for Gutierrez at attacking mid but left the last match early and has a hamstring issue. “Somewhere between a cramp and a grade one strain, so nothing major but something he was cautious about and we need to be cautious about as well,” Kerry Zavagnin told reporters Tuesday.
Defender Seth Sinovic also left the last match with a possible hamstring strain and will probably be out for the next couple games as well.
Not an injury but Diego Rubio will be unavailable for Wednesday’s Open Cup match as well. Rubio just came back from a minor issue and was a late sub in the last match, scoring the fourth goal in the 4-1 win. Rubio’s issue is he was suspended for an incident in the Open Cup final last year. The referee missed it but he kicked out at an opponent and U.S. Soccer penalized him a match a few months later.
Good news! Johnny Russell is back from his game with Scotland versus Mexico. Bad news is he played a full 90 in Mexico City and may need some rest but he is available.
Felipe Gutierrez – Sports hernia-like surgery
Jimmy Medranda – Bone bruise in knee area
Yohan Croizet – Hamstring
Seth Sinovic - Hamstring
Brad Evans – Thigh
Khiry Shelton – Thigh