It’s been a whirlwind day for Kansas City soccer. Let’s get caught up.
Lynn Williams Lost for the Year
One of the big acquisitions of the offseason for the Kansas City Current, was United States Women’s National Team forward, Lynn Williams. On Tuesday, news broke that she was lost for the season. She is going to have surgery after “suffering an acute injury to her right leg in the opening match of the Challenge Cup on March 18.”
Williams looked like a star, as she’s been for her entire NWSL career, in the limited minutes she’s been with the team. It’s hard not to compare this loss to Sporting KC losing striker Alan Pulido for the year. Both teams were likely to be at or near the top of their teams in scoring.
Multiple KC Current Players Called Up
Three players are set to miss time with the Current as they will be representing their national teams. Sam Mewis will join the USWNT for two games against Uzbekistan on April 9th (4:30 PM CT on FOX and Univision Networks) and April 12th (6:00 PM CT on ESPN2 and Univision Networks).
Desire Scott and Victoria Pickett will also be away as they join the Canadian Women’s National Team for back-to-back friendlies against Nigeria on April 8th and 11th.
It’s possible these games will result in no missed time with the Current. KCC have games bookending this FIFA international window on April 2nd (Racing Louisville) and April 15th (Houston Dash).
Marinos Tzionis Scores for Cyprus
While he hasn’t hit the mark yet in limited chances for Sporting Kansas City, new left winger Marinos Tzionis returned to Europe to play for his native Cyprus National Team and knocked in an absolute banger against Estonia in the Nations League.
The 2-0 aggregate win pushes Estonia down to League D of the UEFA Nations League and secures Cyprus into League C. Cyprus had finished fourth in their group and ended up in the Relegation play-outs. Kazakhstan, who were the top seed (of the bottom teams), were pushed to penalties against Moldova before winning 5-4 to stay up. I guess this at least makes the games mean something instead of endless friendlies.
MLS NEXT Pro Broadcasts
Our frenemies over at Sounder at Heart get on MLS for their terrible broadcast situation for MLS NEXT Pro’s opening weekend. Hard to disagree based on what we “saw” but definitely didn’t hear, from the Sporting KC II versus the Colorado Rapids 2. From SB Nation’s Jeremiah Oshan:
“From what I’ve been told, the league decided to forgo live camera operators and in-person announcers, instead opting to utilize panoramic cameras that are effectively edited by artificial intelligence with remote announcers operating off a video feed. The result was a choppy broadcast that felt very different from anything we’re used to seeing. Although the camera could track the ball well enough when it was around midfield, it often got lost when passes were played quickly upfield. This was most frustrating when the quick ball-movement resulted in shots that were out of frame, and the AI-camera operator even missed a couple of goals. Compounding the problem was an inability for viewers to pause or rewind the action and the complete lack of replays or on-demand viewing.”
There is some good news on the horizon per Oshan. Since the cameras are AI operated, they should learn and get better. Additionally, they hope to add replays and on-demand viewing. It can’t come soon enough as it’s going to make road matches unwatchable and require me to personally drive all the way to Lawrence, KS to watch home games just to be able to tell what I’m seeing.