It’s hard to keep up with everything going on in Kansas City soccer. Let’s take a quick sweep around the city and catch up on Sporting Kansas City, SKC II and the KC Current.
Friday Press Conference Quotes
Sometimes a Sporting KC press conference comes and goes and not much is learned. While nothing really shattering happened, there were some notable quotes. In the injury update for the week, we already delivered the unfortunate news that Gadi Kinda is “not close” to returning. Another update came on Uri Rosell.
“He’s still not ready,” Vermes began. “He’s working. I actually just saw him a few minutes ago and I told him he needs to pick it up. I was kidding, but he’s working.”
On happier news, Nikola Vujnovic joined the press and the media got a chance to talk to Peter Vermes about him first. While he said he’d just been there a few days, Vermes had some early observations.
Vermes: "It's all going to be dependent on games and situations in regards to playing time." #SportingKC— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) March 12, 2022
When Nikola spoke with the media, he was very excited, which echoed his Twitter personality. “It all happened so fast,” Vujnovic said on his transfer. “When [my agent] told me that it’s actually MLS and Sporting Kansas City, I was so excited!”
He finished saying, “I told him if there is a possibility [to come to KC], I’m ready to go.” I think everyone in Kansas City is ready to see him too.
When he was asked about his limited impressions of the team so far, he was very excited about how welcoming everyone is and said it’s not like that in Europe. He also added, “the training facility is pretty insane.” I’m sure when you came from a team with a stadium on the roof of a mall, world class facilities are pretty mind blowing.
One slightly alarming thing to keep an eye on is that Vujnovic indicated he had a bit of a career revival at FK Kozdovac because “before that I had problems with injuries. I basically lost two years of my career.” Hopefully that’s well behind him.
To end the presser, he had a charming little line about how he learned English. “I learned it by watching films and TV shows.” Clearly I need to watch more foreign films.
Vujnovic on how he learned English: "I learned it by watching films and TV shows."#SportingKC— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) March 12, 2022
Tyler Freeman and Brooks Thompson’s New Teams
After being release from Sporting KC, both Tyler Freeman and Brooks Thompson have landed on new teams. Freeman will be with D.C. United’s affiliate, Loudon United FC. They, unlike many of the “MLS 2” teams, will play in the USL Championship this season. He is officially there on loan, as he is under contract with MLS because his 2022 contract was guaranteed.
Thompson has found himself with MLS Next Pro club, the Philadelphia Union 2. Brooks could just never stay healthy in Kansas City and he actually joined SKC II as a 16-year-old but barely graced the field over those three seasons. We don’t know for sure, but it’s possible he was on a two and two deal where he got two years in USL and two (well one with an option for another) with the first team. I get not wanting to sign with SKC II again after being on the first team, but I’d have loved to see him get a chance to stay healthy and develop.
Both guys have plenty of time to right the ship in their young careers and we wish them nothing but the best, except against SKC or SKC II.
SKC II Signings
Sporting KC II have been pretty busy in the last few weeks. They just added another seven players in that last two weeks. The one you’ll definitely recognize is Sporting KC 2022 first round SuperDraft pick, Esai Easley. Another is Coby Jones, who you may recognize from his time in preseason with the first team this last month. For more on each signing, SportingKC.com has a story on each one:
- Esai Easley — March 11th
- Coby Jones — March 9th
- Cade Thomson — March 3rd
- Tajini Fatah — February 28th
- Curtez Kellman — February 28th
- Cole McLagan — February 28th
- Dembakwi Yomba — February 28th
Fatah is yet another Ghanaian joining the club. These signings move the roster up to 18, not including loans from the first team and future SKC Academy amateur contracts that are signed. The team can have up to 35 players.
Catching up with the Current
The Kansas City Current have put out so much fantastic content on their social media this offseason, I feel like a bit of a failure for not highlighting more of it. I recommend giving it a good scroll, but at the very least, check out the most recent five episodes of “Below the Surface,” narrated by former TBT staff writer, Aly Trost. (For the first two episodes, head over here.)
Episode 3: A New Era— KC Current (@thekccurrent) February 19, 2022
Leaving 2021 in the rearview mirror. pic.twitter.com/J3ddlzDgDZ
Episode 4: More Than A Team— KC Current (@thekccurrent) February 28, 2022
A winning culture...but make it fun pic.twitter.com/5RzBxFGtFR
Our world-class players are ready to make history.— KC Current (@thekccurrent) March 2, 2022
Our world-class people will be with them every step of the way.
Episode 5: Behind the Team pic.twitter.com/Gg7XkmRe8y
you might want to grab the tissues for this one— KC Current (@thekccurrent) March 7, 2022
Episode 6: You're My Inspiration | Below the Surface pic.twitter.com/iW9mO8l6sb
Welcome to the big leagues, rookies— KC Current (@thekccurrent) March 10, 2022
Episode 7 | Below the Surface pic.twitter.com/rdz6rXiUtg
- Doyle has Sporting KC in Tier 2 of his preseason rankings. This feels about right.
- If you missed it, New York City FC signed a 14-year old. The youngest player in MLS history.
- The Athletic has been doing some fantastic work lately. I highly recommend this anonymous team executive survey.
- And this one about the San Diego Loyal’s journey to find a Torrey green jersey. MLS will never go away from the money of an Adidas or Nike, but man the USL and NWSL just have wildly better kits.