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Blue Notes: Vujnovic and Vermes Quotes, SKC II Signings, KC Current Preseason

Plus landing spots for former Sporting KC players Tyler Freeman and Brooks Thompson.

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Liverpool v Villarreal: Premier League International Cup
Rhys Williams of Liverpool and Nikola Vujnovic of Villarreal in action during the Premier League International Cup game at The Kirkby Academy on November 21, 2018 in Kirkby, England.
Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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.

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.

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, has a story on each one:

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.)

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