Sporting Kansas City is in Florida for a midweek clash with Orlando City so I got with our sister blog, The Mane Land, for some intel. Old friends Dwyer and Rosell are now in Orlando but are not they key players they were for SKC. The Lions are in almost the same situation as KC, sitting below the playoff line with 30 points (to Sporting’s 28) so this may be a good opportunity to get back some of this swag they’ve lost.
James O’Connor has been at the helm for a year now after taking over for Kreis. Thumbs up or down?
Ben Miller: Thumbs up for me. JOC has only had one offseason to work with and most of the guys that he and EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi have brought in have been astute buys. While it was always likely that the team wouldn’t concede 74 goals like it did last year, the 34 conceded so far is a much more palatable number. In general I think this team is definitely a tougher outing than it was last year, and is perhaps a consistent striker away from making a push for the playoffs. There’s definitely still work to be done but I am firmly on board the James O’Connor train.
I have to ask about our old friend Dom Dwyer. It has been just over two years since he moved to his “spiritual home”. Has he been the man everyone was hoping for?
Ben Miller: I’ve been mostly happy with how Dom has performed since coming back to Central Florida. Sporting fans will probably know that he’s always tended to score in bunches, go through scoring droughts, and be susceptible to bookings and injuries. However, these are all things I knew when he was coming back, and while he doesn’t have a boatload of goals this year I don’t think some of the tactics the team employs at times play to his strengths. With that being said I would 100% like to see double digit goals from him by the end of the year; it’s a little tough to justify slapping a DP tag on someone who doesn’t give you DP production. Granted, he’s had some struggles with injury this season, but goals are goals. I suppose a short answer would be that he’s kind of been the man people were hoping for, although even giving him that much credit will surely have some of our site’s readers branding me as a “Dwyer Apologist”. *shrug*
The introduction of Inter Miami into MLS is looming. There is quite a bit of hype around them and potential players to be brought in. Is there any worry or are you excited for the rivalry?
Ben Miller: There’s no worry at all for me. I’m very excited for Miami to be getting a team and quite curious to see how their roster ends up taking shape. I think its great that the game is continuing to expand and I’m sure they’ll have a passionate base of support down there. If they continually get the better of us when it comes to wins and losses then I’ll probably have a different answer the next time we talk, but for now I’m looking forward to the league adding a new team to the mix.
You can find my answers to Ben’s questions RIGHT HERE.