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Blue Links: Behind the Scenes, Gianluca Busio, Dempsey, Guardado, USL Pay

There is so much Sporting KC news and stories to catch up on you are really doing yourself a disservice to not click on this.

MLS: Columbus Crew at Sporting KC Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

All the best, most important stories from Kansas City and beyond.

Kansas City

  • Sporting KC has two more fantastic “Behind the Shield” pieces for us this week. First, Sporting Salutes from the Minnesota United game and then Rubio Runs Rampant from the Portland Timbers game. The joy on Rubio’s face after that Minnesota goal is priceless. Seeing the team in front of the Jimmy Medranda mini-tifo was nice too.
  • Mike covered it in his Across State Lines, but former SKC Academy and Swope Park Rangers player Max Rugova is off to the Bundesliga. We can confirm Sporting still hold his MLS rights.
  • ICYMI: Thad (with some help from Aly) has a great story about Yohan Croizet and how his goal Saturday versus Minnesota meant so much more than usual to him. (The Blue Testament)
  • In case, you hate reading (which is really bad for our site, but at least you clicked) we have more video. Some pilots joined training at Pinnacle and got some pretty cool behind the scenes access. (SKC YouTube)
  • The Victory Project: Jordan Rodriguez
  • After watching the above video I was sitting at my keyboard being a mess as anyone with children (or a heart) probably are after watching those and then this came up on YouTube. Soony Saad or Dom Dwyer: Who’s the Better Bro? It’s nonsense, but it was nice after sitting here all sad.
  • Brad Evans and Tony Meola stop by The Sporting KC Show to talk about Ron Newman, the first ever coach for the Kansas City Wiz(ards) who recently passed away. (810 WHB)
  • Amer Didic and Eric Dick made the USL Team of the Week.

Around the World

Thank you it’s been real. ✌️

A post shared by Clint Dempsey (@clint_dempsey) on

  • The weekly MLS Disciplinary Report is out. It’s got a couple hands to the face fines but interestingly not for the Minnesota player who went hands to the face on Diego Rubio. Also, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is on the list, but not for his diving. I want suspensions for diving! Get it it out the game. Instead... nothing comes of it (besides the yellow card). (MLS)
  • 21-year-old Eric Ayuk has been transferred from the Philadelphia Union to Osmanlispor FK in the second tier of Turkish soccer. He’s been out on loan for the prior two season. In 2016 he was with USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC and in 2017 in Sweden for Jönköpings Södra. (MLS)
  • Jesus Medina from New York City FC has been linked to Patrick Vieira, his former coach, and his new club Nice in France. (MLS)
  • Josef Martinez is being linked to all the big leagues around the world: the English Premier League, Ligue 1 in France and La Liga in Spain. A move is unlikely until the MLS offseason. (MLS)
  • Andres Guardado of the Mexican National Team is once again looking to make a move to MLS. (MLS)
  • FC Dallas added 33-year-old Abel Aguilar to their club. He’s an all-important holding midfielder. (MLS)

It’s at the Bottom but this is Must Read Stuff

The Athletic has a fantastic piece on pay and benefits (or a lack thereof) in the United Soccer League. There is lots of good information in there. Like the New York Red Bulls II paying their players by the hour and at least typically getting them a 40-hour work week, but just during the season. One agent says players get up to $6,000 per month but another player gets an account of third-string goalkeepers getting signed by St. Louis FC and living at home making just $250 per month.

Even worse. Some players are just playing for free, though they are provided with a place to live. Those same players do get paid bonuses based on playing time, so there is an opportunity to make money, but that could also mean there is incentive to not play them if it’s not necessary.

There is a lot more information in the story about compensation and insurance and it’s truly worth a read.