Lots of soccer, let’s get caught up!
Sporting KC II Roster Moves
Easily lost in the shuffle of Tuesday’s roster moves for Sporting Kansas City and the Kansas City Current were the moves for KC’s MLS Next Pro team, SKC II. However, they made a bunch of moves, turning over most of the roster, as is common in lower division soccer. Despite all the turnover, SKC II are bringing back at least seven players (up from two in 2021-22) and attempting to re-sign two more. Plus there are an additional nine players on academy deals that are age-eligible to return in 2023.
First there are three players who were already signed through at least 2023: Aljaz Dzankic, Coby Jones and Jahon Rad. They are joined by Bakary Bagayoko, Ethan Bandre, Josh Coan and Mikey Lenis, who had their options picked up for next season. Lots of young, promising talent that could one day work their way to the first team.
The two other possible signings from last year’s squad are Sporting KC SuperDraft pick Esai Easley and SKC II pickup Curtez Kellman. They are “currently in discussions” with SKC II.
Spencer Glass was out of contract after the season and he will be joined by Paul Atta Agyei, Kian Alberto, T.J. Fatah, Collin Fernandez, Josip Hmura, Cole McLagan, Rauf Salifu, Joseph Addo Tetteh, Cade Thomson and Julian Vazquez, who all had their options declined.
Fernandez, the team captain, was no surprise as he re-joined FC Tulsa last week. Declining the options of Salifu and Vazquez is a bit surprising because they were two of the more prominent players on the team. It’s possible they just asked to have their contracts declined so they could move on to other situations, possibly in a league higher than the third division MLSNP.
SKC Academy players who were on amateur deals, Draven Barnett and Jayvin Van Deventer, have headed off to college this fall. Barnett joined Temple University and Van Deventer joined Northwestern. Sporting will retain their Homegrown rights.
The last group of players in a bit of limbo are the nine academy age-eligible guys: Braxton Arpachinda, Edgar Bazan, Nati Clarke, Matthew Fisher, Matthew Hudson, Guy Michaeli, Nico Pendleton, Ryan Reid and Carlito Saylon.
MLS Next Pro was hard to watch in 2022, let’s hope the production quality improves going forward as they move some of the games to Apple TV so we can actually tune in easier.
[Update 4:18 PM: The team confirmed that CB Osuman Kassim never was able to obtain a visa and will not join the team. Also forward Dembakwi Yomba was on a six-month contract that had expired earlier in the season.]
[Update 11/19/22: Nico Pendleton will not be back with the team as he is starting at Marquette University in the winter. Braxton Arpachinda has also left the SKC Academy.]
KC Current Unveil Eight Draft Picks
As we mentioned earlier in the offseason, the Kansas City Current have eight (!) draft picks coming up in January’s NWSL Draft. That is a lot of draft capital and the team and the league released the official draft order this week. Here are the picks and how the Current acquired all of them.
- 10th* - This was acquired in the trade for Victoria Pickett. This pick came through NJ/NY Gotham via the OL Reign. KC can actually get a higher pick than 10th if the Gotham were to acquire another pick between their natural pick (#1) and this selection, but they have no reason to do that, so expect KC to pick 10th (unless the Current bundle a bunch of these and make a trade or two).
- 15th - Acquired as a part of the Darian Jenkins trade.
- 18th - Acquired as a part of the Lynn Williams trade.
- 23rd - Natural Pick
- 35th - Natural Pick
- 38th - Acquired as a part of the Gabby Vincent trade.
- 42nd - Acquired as a part of the Lynn Williams trade.
- 47th - Natural Pick
- St. Louis City SC unveiled their new kit. I hate kit explainers, but here you go anyways. What do you think of it?
- Tom Bogert’s best available MLS free agents. Do you want to see any of them in Sporting Blue?
- Bogert: “The Portland Timbers club record deal to sign Evander from FC Midtjylland is all but done. Agreements in place, just needs final details/medical. Fee around $10m.”
Sources: The Portland Timbers club record deal to sign Evander from FC Midtjylland is all but done. Agreements in place, just needs final details/medical. Fee around $10m.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) November 10, 2022
Evander, 24, is currently leading the Europa League in assists this season with 5. Would join in January. pic.twitter.com/OyXcTXErdQ
- Doha, Qatar at night, courtesy of former Kansas City Wizard Jimmy Conrad.
Just landed in Doha a little while ago and coming in at night makes it look like Vegas on steroids! pic.twitter.com/gSQyJlv8bo— Jimmy Conrad (@JimmyConrad) November 16, 2022
- But just a reminder that Qatar is a disaster of a country built on the back of slave labor and they are out there acting like basic thugs.
Qatari officials threaten to smash Danish TV Reporter's camera while he is Live on Television. He calmly replies "You invited the world here, why can't we film?" Fyre Festival World Cup looks set to be off to great start— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) November 16, 2022
- That’s not the only behavior going on. No pictures?? Come on!
NEW: I took a picture of the Qatar World Cup slogan on the wall of the media center today—and a security guard came over and demanded that I delete it from my phone. Is that how this World Cup is going to work? Story: https://t.co/RXyfq1PANk pic.twitter.com/SPmG5CnrjQ— Subscribe to GrantWahl.com (@GrantWahl) November 15, 2022
- Nothing to do with KC soccer, but as a former Phoenix metro resident, Phoenix Rising FC are moving their ‘pop-up’ stadium again. It’ll be at it’s third location in recent years. It’s more centralized, but it would have been very inconvenient for me based on my old address. They’ll look to bounce back in the USL Championship after an awful season in 2022.
- USMNT injury update:
Weston McKennie was training with the starters earlier alongside Yunus Musah and Tyler Adams in the midfield. Tim Ream was also training with the starters alongside Walker Zimmerman in the defense.— USMNT Otaku (@USMNTOtaku) November 16, 2022
[@MicheleG3 on @TUDNUSA]
- Whoops! Fail from Streatham Rovers Football Club’s Twitter account.
I fucking love twitter pic.twitter.com/KlM28HoQ7P— Liam Thompson Fan Account (@JKdcfc) November 9, 2022
- And we’ll end on the ultimate soccer flop.