For the Glory KC is back with the 19th episode of the show!
Side note: There is a bit of an audio hiccup just for me in the first few seven minutes (luckily, I don’t talk much until later and it’s fixed). Sorry!
On this week’s first episode, Sheena and I talk about the 0-0 draw in the Sporting Kansas City home opener against the LA Galaxy. We take it player-by-player to give thoughts on the game, individual moments and point out some stats that may add some context.
Here is a quick rundown of topics (and approximate start times):
- Sheena’s gameday experience in the South Stand
- Sporting KC/LA Galaxy Thoughts - 7:15
- Leftover media day thoughts - 35:05
- Digital Crawl - 37:00
You can find For the Glory KC wherever you get your podcasts. Just search “For the Glory KC” and be sure to subscribe! Here are some helpful links:
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The temporary intro/outro music is by Kristian Leo and is from the song “Ride it Like You Mean It.”
Update 3/16/23: We found a free transcription service and it’s not super accurate, but it gets the broad strokes right. So here is the unedited transcription from Revoldiv.com for those that wanted it. The player names are mostly wrong, but I tried to do a quick clean-up of those but I’m sure I missed some.
Transcription from Revoldiv
We’re back just like I said, we’ll be back. This is for the Glory KC where we bring a mix of in-depth Kansas City soccer knowledge and a more casual perspective. I’m Chad Smith, one of your co-host and the editor at thebluetestimate.com. I’m gonna take you a bit more in-depth.
And I’m joined as always by my wife, the excellence of execution, Sheena Smith, who gives us that more casual perspective. Hey, Sheena. Hey, Chad.
So on today’s show, Sporting Kansas City and LA Galaxy thoughts, they battled to a 0-0 draw last night. We’re gonna give our opinions on that. Some leftover quotes from Media Day that I wanted to share. And of course, the digital crawl, y’all.
But Sheena, I wanted you to start the show today talking about your experience. Was it a little cold for you sitting in the South Stand last night? Oh my gosh, it was freezing. But before I get started, I just want to say we’re recording on a Sunday and I am struggling with daylight savings, the transition.
I didn’t have to deal with it for 13 years. And I thought people were being dramatic, like my friends and family in other states. And they’re like, oh, I’m so tired. But holy moly, am I tired today? And I’m so sorry to everyone who I thought was being dramatic. I’m just, I’m really struggling. How are you feeling? I’m feeling it as well.
I do think partially it’s self-inflicted because we got home from the game and it’s not like we went right to bed. We turned the game on and started watching it again. Sheena fell asleep pretty early. I remember seeing the clock in about the 70th minute and then I woke up and then my watch said it was 3 AM. I was like, man, I was asleep for a long time. But it turns out, you know, there was like an hour loss somewhere in that mess. And I, yeah, Arizona, where we came from does not have daylight savings time. So we have been spoiled, I guess, not having to deal with it.
Well, and it’s funny because when I woke up off the couch, it was 3 AM on my phone and 2 AM on the stove or the oven. And I was so confused. And I was like, I must be seeing this rump. And then at some point I realized it’s daylight savings. So anyways, I hope everyone else is having a better transition day than I am and chat as well.
But yeah, so the game last night was very cold. And so we sat in the cell stand and when I say me or we, I mean, me, our daughter and Chad’s brother who went to his first home game for sporting Kansas City last night, chat opted to stay in the warm media room, which was kind of rude, but that’s fine. To be fair, I asked and you said it was okay. I am in.
I didn’t think it was going to be warm up there because usually always the windows are open, but I guess they decided, hey, no, we’re going to close the windows. And even when they close the windows, usually I’m relegated to a seat outside. So I don’t know if this is just a, hey, I’ve been doing this for eight years. It’s a seniority thing and I get to stay inside now. But yeah, I definitely had both my jackets off and my sleeves rolled up because it was pretty warm up there. So not to rub it in.
Yeah, well, I could have used your extra jacket or two. I was pretty cold. So I was a little bum for Chad’s brother. Hey, Corey, if you’re listening, because it was so freaking cold out. But if you were in the cell stand, you may have seen us.
I was trying to fit my gloves into Corey’s hands because he was so cold. And it was pretty comical because we were struggling to get the second glove onto his hand and I was dying of laughter at how ridiculous the whole thing was. The funny thing is he found his gloves in the bottom of his bag today when he went to leave. And I was like, you sure you don’t have your gloves yesterday before we went to the game. I was like, you’re going to want gloves.
Yeah, it was pretty funny. Our kiddo was the one who was on the tablet and pretty annoyed anytime I made her watch the game. So I had her become my videographer, not that I need one. So I might post some of the videos she took on to the Instagram account just to get some kind of usage out of them. She was hoping to get a goal, like capture a goal on camera. So most of her videos were from the second half when we were in the cell stand. So when they were towards us, that’s when she...
was taking videos, but yeah, so very cool, but still a fun game. And I just wanted to give a shout out to Khiry Shelton, who stayed probably 45 minutes after the game to sign autographs and take pictures with the fans. Most of the team went inside after doing their rounds around the field, and he stayed the entire time. And we were one of the last people that he, like I think our daughter was second to last of getting his autograph.
So I think he was out there at least 45 minutes. So I really appreciated that. She was pretty excited, even though she didn’t even know whose signature she was getting, because she’s not into it. But yeah, I thought it was really sweet, and all the kids in line were excited to meet him. And you can say what you want for him as a player, but as a person, like we need more people to be as giving us Khiry.
And also John Pulskamp was out there signing autographs for at least 20 to 30 minutes. He just never made it over to us, and Felipe Hernandez was out there as well. So I appreciate the players that did stay on the field and signed autographs for all the kiddos. But the atmosphere was great. I thought the tribute to Grant Wall was really nice, and it was cool. His brother was able to be on the field. I did take a video of it. So at some point, I’ll post it to Instagram, because I don’t know if they showed it on the broadcast or not.
And I just want to talk a little bit about the people in our area in the South Stand. There was some real characters who amused me. There was a kid who was giving his feedback, and he kept saying, are you freaking kidding me? And that just cracked me up, because that is totally something I say. And then the lady behind me was really funny when they were introducing the lineup, and they said, Kairi Shelton. She said something along the lines of, he’s nice to look at, but I’m ready for us to get rid of him, which I think, unfortunately, a lot of people probably feel that way.
So overall, for it being so cold, the stadium was packed, so I was excited about that. I would have loved to have heard the crowd erupt when a goal was scored, but alas, that wasn’t our life. So yeah, that was my experience.
Yeah, who would have predicted it going into the season that Sporting Kansas City would have no goals in three games? We were talking about, oh, they’re going to score so many goals, but they’re going to give up a lot of goals, and they haven’t given up a goal since the sixth minute of the first game. So 270 minutes without a goal, but a 264 minute shutout streak going for the back line, the defense there. So who would have thought? Let’s get deeper into this game here. So we thought we’d try this a little bit differently today, kind of move our way down the list and talk about each player. If we have thoughts, if we don’t, just kind of move on from them quickly.
Sheena, who do you want to start with? Well, before I get started, I wanted to say one thing about the game as a whole. And I think what made this game frustrating to me is there wasn’t one player that stood out to me as playing bad. And I think in any sport when the score isn’t going in our favor, we want to play blame on to someone, and I just don’t feel like there’s a certain person, at least in my opinion, that we could place the blame on. And the reason I bring this up is one other person that was in my area in the South Stand. I heard him blaming Zusi saying, that’s the reason we weren’t scoring. And to that gentleman, I think you’re wrong on that.
Zusi so far overall has been playing great. He’s had a few missteps, but it’s not due to his age or how fast he runs. So last night, there was a few crosses that didn’t make it to his target, but he kept up with who he was covering.
And I’m just kind of over people putting the blame on him or Roger Espinoza or Khiry Shelton. If they were truly the problem and the reason we weren’t winning games, I really don’t think Peter Vermes would continue having them be the starters. And we kind of saw that last week with Khiry because Tzionis Marino started the game. So maybe that’s my hat take for this podcast, but I’m kind of overall the shaming of those three players specifically because I thought they all played fine last night. What do you think? Yeah, I definitely think that’s probably a bit of a hot take, Sheena.
I think that I would agree, Zusi in particular, I seems to be playing exactly what he’s being asked to do. I was looking at the stats on the crosses because they do cross the ball a little too much for me. I’d rather see short tight passes that work their way into space, kind of take advantage of their possession, but we’re not possessing the ball as much this year. And what Zusi’s asked to do, I think he’s doing fairly well. He had some howler crosses a little bit earlier in the season, but this game, nothing really stood out to me as particularly atrocious. And I do sort of think that Espinoza and Shelton take a lot of blame, but they’re being asked to do maybe more defensive things. They both were tracking back, stealing the ball.
I don’t think Roger’s going to be a day in, day out starter. He saw the debut of Nemanja Radoja and he looks like he could be pretty talented players. So if he’s starting and Remi’s playing in Roger’s spot, then I think that’s going to fix a lot of things. of our woes. So those feel like a good place to start.
Since you were mentioning Khiry, he gets all the hate. I will say he had one of the lower match ratings on whoscored.com, which I tend to rely on, but he wasn’t the lowest of the starters. Who would you guess was the lowest rated starter on the team, Sheena? Daniel Salloi. Oh, you would be very wrong.
Willi Agata was the lowest rated guy. And I thought Willie played fine. I thought he played better. He was getting more service.
I talked about that stat key passes last week, and he had four of them. So he was making some good plays. Khiry had a couple key passes as well. Actually, a lot of players had a lot of key passes, which are passes that lead to scoring opportunities, which they had numerous scoring opportunities. They just didn’t have quality scoring opportunities. A lot of like kind of mediocre opportunities. Throw in the ball to net. See what slips through.
So speaking of Khiry, I don’t have a lot of thoughts about him. I thought he did okay. I thought he like many other players on the field, just too hesitant when Marina Tzionis replaced him. He was hesitant at times. Too many touches, too many dribbles. I want them to play faster in the final third. You know, when you’re close to the net, it’s like they hesitate a little bit. I could see, and of course it’s so much easier to see from the press box height.
There’s these passing lanes that are open if they just take them, but they hold the ball. They dribble. They let people catch up with them and get on top of them.
And that’d be my main criticism of both I just not Khiry and Marina Tzionis in one take. Yeah, that’s fair. I think that for me, this is the best Khiry has played so far in the three games he’s been in. I saw him win some headers, which I feel like he’s typically bad on with his head given his height. He did take at least one shot.
I thought he played well on defense. And if this is the Khiry that continues to show up each week, I wouldn’t be mad about it. I saw his potential last night and I think he still has room to improve.
And I always kind of wonder how much slewing the players do or read about themselves. And I have to imagine curiosity would have to get the best of you at some point in the season. And if he’s ever read anything the fans have said about him, I have to think he’s probably playing even harder at home to prove them wrong. I don’t know how much truth there is to that. But that’s just like one of the things I thought about on Why Baby.
I thought he played so much better from the other two games. Yeah, I mean, again, he’s fine. I hope he doesn’t read stuff on social media because it’s going to be terrible for your mental health.
It doesn’t seem like many people have very much many nice things to say about him. So I kind of mentioned Willie. I thought Willie played a little bit better. He, you know, getting at the lowest match rating of any starter, but he had five shots, only one made it on target.
A lot of blocks and misses and things of that nature. But the fact that he’s getting all those touches, something that really stood out to me is if you all go to MLSSoccer.com and you look at the stats from the match, you can see this passing chart I’ve referred to before. And there’s these lines that shows like the circles of the average position on the field for each player. And then it shows lines to the players on who’s connecting passes to them.
And previously, nobody was getting the ball to Willie Agata. It was like John Pools camp and like, I forget somebody else, maybe Zusi. And almost everybody has lines going to Agata.
Actually, ironically, not Pools camp because he’s not having to play the ball long. He’s playing it short and they’re building out of the back. They looked, they looked like they were playing their regular formation more today than they have in prior weeks. So they were definitely in a 4-3-3 and defending, they looked to be in like a 4-5-1 where the wingers tuck back in line with the midfielders and help defend with, you know, different guys moving forward at different times to help, you know, do the pressing triggers that they do.
So I thought that’s a positive sign and they’re building towards something. And unlike most of the internet, it feels like I’m still not very panicked. I’m not, I’m not that concerned about things. Who’d you want to talk about? And actually, you know, this is a good transition point, Sheena. Wait, I want to talk about Willie Agata. Willie, I didn’t let you talk about Willie. Go.
Yeah, or Maurice Jeanis. Marino, Tzionis. Or whatever. What did I say? Maurice, I think. Oh, I meant Marino. Anyways, okay.
So yeah, I think, you know, we finally got to see Willie Agata get the ball a decent amount. And he had some good moves and some chances to score. He just wasn’t able to capitalize on his chances. And I feel hopeful, I think as long as he continues to get the ball from someone other than Zusi and John’s, John Pulskamp, like, he’s going to get the goals. I mean, to me, this feels like truly last night was his first real game because he was not really getting the ball at all in the first game and only a few times against Colorado. So I’m excited to see what happens going forward, assuming he gets the ball more.
And then my only complaint about, oh, and you know what, for both of them, for everyone, like you said, I agreed, they need quicker passes. Like they are on the ball too much. And that I think was part of the reason they didn’t score. But with Marino, my only complaint was that towards the end of the game, he seemed exhausted and he was only in. for 20 to 25 minutes. So I don’t know if he was just tired or what the situation was, but I needed him to be hustling a little bit more. And he was hesitant with the ball as well.
So that was my only thoughts on them. Feel free to pose your question to me now. All right, it sounds good. Yeah, Marino’s to me, I’m not sure.
I didn’t notice the tiredness, but I noticed everybody felt a little tired at the end of the game. Like nobody was running forward. There’d be attacks and it’d be like one person alone. Like Willie got down there and kind of beat a bunch of guys. And then there was nobody to play the ball to cause nobody else had joined him. There were a lot of end to end towards the end and it looked like they were getting a little worn out.
But the question I was going to ask you, I said that I got a score the lowest who scores rating. Who do you think had the highest rating from the match? It seems like Eric Tommy would be the obvious. So it must not be him if you’re asking me. So I’ll go with Remi.
So I had Tommy in my eyes as well. I thought he played really well. Daniel Salloi had the highest rating, which you said he might have had the lowest. So I thought that was interesting that you picked him.
He had three shots on target, five shots overall, four key passes, almost 82% completion on his passage. And he had 66 touches that he’s just very involved in the game. He does not get as much credit. I feel like for as much running as he does, he makes a lot of runs off the ball where nobody delivers the pass to him. I think you actually commented on that when we were rewatching the game. It’s like he’s making these balls and runs and no one’s looking up and getting the ball to him.
So Remi was third though. So you were not wrong. It goes Salloi, Tommy, Remi. And that felt about right. Fourth, by the way, Robert Voller, the highest rated defender. So kudos to Robert.
I feel like he’s really settled in since his just utterly disastrous backpacks in the first game and then that first couple, like 10 or 15 of the second game. Things are settling down. Things are feeling better.
So on Daniel thoughts, I don’t really have any thoughts. I thought he was out there. He was making a couple of plays. A lot of his shots that felt like they would have been good opportunities, they got blocked and then I don’t know if that’s taken too many touches, whatever the case may be like we’re talking about, just not making that final pass into a more dangerous area. But just getting three on target is decent, but sometimes on target shots are just weak shots that went at the keeper. On a general thing, not just towards Salloi, I thought the shots were better than they were against Colorado. In Colorado, it felt like everything went right to William Yarbrough’s hands.
And this one felt like Bond was diving a lot, poking things out for corners. There was a ton of corner kicks. So I think they were more dangerous, but obviously eventually you gotta score. And that’s, if this continues, it’s an area of concern, but it feels like they’re trending up. They’re just not getting there yet. Anybody else on the forward line you wanna talk about or should we move into the midfield? Well, I wanted to say if you have 30 attempts at the goalie, like yeah, some of those, they shouldn’t all be going straight to him, like they were in Colorado. I think Daniel had some good moves, but again, he needs quicker touches and people are hating on him on the internet. And I just don’t think it’s necessary at this point.
I think they’re still trying to click and find their way. And if they find their way together, it could be pretty magical. We can move to the midfield though, because that’s where most of my thoughts are at. Okay, we’ll get us started.
Who do you wanna talk about in the midfield? Okay, well, let’s start with Eric Tommy. So I thought he was everywhere on the field. He was making play, stealing the ball. He really, I felt like was doing it all.
And it’s impressive. And everyone has been impressed with him, the first couple of games, I should say. And I’ve been impressed with him, but I was really impressed with him last night more so than I have been with the other games. But you could see towards the end of the game, he was exhausted and he should have been subbed out. And the only reason I could think of that Peter didn’t take him out of the game is he thought that Eric Tommy was our best chance of scoring. But regardless, he did everything he could to create opportunities.
Yeah, you know, the reason he probably wasn’t subbed is because they used all three of their sub windows. The way they did their subs. Oh, okay, I didn’t realize that. Yeah, you can make five subs, but you get three windows to do it in.
And then when Tim Leibold sat down because he needed to come out of the game, that was their last window. So they would have had to do it then and make a move. And I agree, he looked really tired. There was one time I specifically remember him just like telling them, don’t pass me the ball. Like he had just made a run and he looked exhausted and he’s like trying to get back onside, but like doing it at a walk because he was spent, probably would have been smart to get Cam Duke or Philippe Hernandez, somebody in there that could bring some energy to the game. But I get it, yep, he’s probably the most likely person to score out of that midfield.
So I’m not completely upset about it. I’m struggling to get as worked up as everybody is. One reason is because I was looking at the standings and I was like, gosh, sporting’s gotta be doing terrible. They have two points through three games. No, there are one point behind Real Salt Lake for the last playoff spot right now because everybody gets in the playoffs, everybody. So if they get going at any point, it’s not gonna take too long to start climbing up these standings and you’ll knock other people down just by the nature of not letting them are in points against you. So again, I can’t get too worked up about it. I know that you all want me to be mad and angry and you want us to be upset, but I’m just not there yet.
We’ll see. tough stretch of games coming up. So we’ll see how that plays out. Yeah, well, let’s move on to Remi. So I’ll start my thoughts.
Earlier today, Chad and I were talking about Remi in the car. And the way I was thinking about it a little bit ago and the way I would explain him as a player is he’s your safe bet. Like, if this was the real world, and you’re dating around, you’d consider Rem ithe good guy, like he’s nice, he’s gonna bet you dinner. He might be a little boring because he’s your safe space slash borderline in the friend zone.
But you know, he’s reliable. He’s not going to be a bad boy like Roger Espinoza, or a thrill seeker like all on Polito. But he’s going to be consistent. He’s stable. And he’s got his stuff together.
And that’s how I feel about him as a player. Like, he’s really good with the ball. And he’s a hustler, but his plays aren’t necessarily exciting or aggressive. But he’s going to win you over as a fan because of his work ethics passes. Like I said, they’re not super exciting.
But occasionally, he does something amazing with the ball at his feet. And you’re like, could this be something more? Should I consider not friend zoning him? And that’s my thoughts on Remi and how he plays. He’s he’s reliable and consistent.
So what do you think, Chad? I love your analogy and acting like if you weren’t single and Remi wasn’t single and he was interested that you would at all friend zone him like you’re in love with this man. But I’m not in love with them. I’m in love with him as a player, like maybe because he’s so consistent. Like I just like that.
And I think you describe him really well because I think he had the highest passing percentage of anybody on the team. But he also makes a lot of safe, short passes. He’s not making dangerous plays, but his hustle is what wins me over every game. Like if you ask me who’s been the best player of the season, it’s kind of between him and Eric Tommy for me.
They’re both working hard. But Remi brings something different. He just always just popping up everywhere. If you look at his heat map, which kind of shows like where you’re at and where you’re getting your touches on the field, he’s all over the place. So once he’s able to slide forward and play that other number eight midfield spot, then I think that can make a big difference.
Actually, I have two little bits from Peter and from talking to Remi at Media Day. Oh, she and are you jealous? I got to talk face to face with Remi. I’m not. I’m just glad you didn’t tell him. I think his moves are sexy.
I did not do anything to embarrass you. You did not come up other than to tell people that this podcast exists and they should listen to you and I banter with each other, which is embarrassing enough. Yeah, well, I didn’t tell that to the players. Don’t worry. That was to other folks.
So, um, anyways, what I found out about Remi at Media Day is because he had said in the past that he prefers to play that number eight position, the place that Roger plays on the field. But then he told me he goes, No, in this system, I’m best suited to play the six. And I thought that was interesting.
That’s the defensive midfielder spot for those of you that don’t love these numberings. That’s like what Ilié played for all the years that he was with the team. Now, that’s Nemanja Radoja’s best spot too. So it had us wondering during the game, we had to ask Peter after the game, why is Radoja not playing in the six? And he basically said he thought Remi was playing really well and he didn’t want to disrupt two different spots in the midfield by forcing Remi to move forward and by Radoja to move back and play defensive midfielder. So Radoja kind of played out of position, but Peter said Radoja can play the six, the eight, the four and the five, which are two center back spots as I’m guessing based on the way he was using the numbers. And I thought Nemanja played pretty well too. Like he didn’t get a lot of time.
You can see his quality that he’s going to bring to the game. And once he’s fit, I think he’s the starting defensive midfielder. No matter what Remi told me, and I think Remi’s going to move forward. I find it kind of funny though, because there were many games last year where he would, Peter would sub off whoever was playing defensive midfielder and move Remi back in game. So I thought it was funny that he didn’t want to move Remi forward, but you don’t want to make a mistake that leads to a goal. And if you’re further back on the field and you make a mistake, it’s much more likely to a goal.
Any other midfield thoughts before we move to the D? I thought you were going to tell the story about how you asked Remi to guess your age at media day. Oh, I asked him and Eric Tommy. Yeah.
Remi did guess a little bit higher than Eric Tommy and Eric was like, Oh, I think you, I think you’re much younger. We were just playing this game because I made some joke about being old, not knowing how to do something. And then they both had me pretty low though. Eric had me in the low thirties and Remi in the mid and I’m 40 y’all.
Oh my gosh. I think I told you all that last week, she was going to put a picture on our Instagram and she did and we got a bunch of votes. Everybody voted too low.
It’s just, oh, that makes you feel good about yourself, doesn’t it? Well, getting back to this, the only other things I had to say as I liked what I saw with Radoja to me, he lived up to the hype and he came on immediately and to me, he made an impact. So I’m excited to see more of him. And then the other person I want to talk about real quick is Tim Leibold. And I thought his first start was a little shaky at times, but overall, I like what I saw. To me, he’s an improvement from Ben Sweat, no offense, but I think Leibold is going to be exciting once he’s gotten some more time in with the team. So I’m excited to see more of him and more of Radoja . All right. I like it.
Yeah, and Tim, I think it’s funny that you thought he was shaky because I thought he played really well. He was intercepting some passes. He made some really good steps to get in front of plays. It could be a bad thing if you’re missing and then you’re leaving Andreu Fontas out there, but he hustled back. He did a good job recovering whenever they did get by him because there were times that they were buying because in this system, inherently, the left back plays further up the field. Zusi tends to stay back a little more and whoever’s playing on the left, Sweat and Dembe, Leibold, they tend to be further up the field.
I thought he played well. He kind of gassed himself out, I think, on his last really good interception where he intercepted that ball and he broke away all the way down the field. And then again, he made a pass to somebody, I think, Marino Sen. He just was a little hesitant. A lot of hesitancy. Decisive, you know, in three quarters of the field, but that last quarter, that last third as it’s often referred to, just not decisive enough for me. Any other thoughts on the defense? I don’t know if we only talked about Zusi and Leibold so far. Yeah, so I had a couple thoughts. I’ll start with Fontes.
First off, after the game scene, Fontes with those kids and going into dad mode may have been the cutest thing I saw all night. Like, I took a video of it, which felt kind of weird. I probably should delete it.
Such a creeper. I know. It was just so cute. Like, I don’t know what I thought I was gonna do with it. Let me get it up to Roka because she’s like really cute and small and then I think a lot of times she thinks she can say things because she’s like cute and small and she’ll be like, oh my gosh, that baby is so cute. I just want to grab that baby. I’m like, you could not grab people’s babies, Sheena.
It’s just like, again, coming from me where I’m like 6’2”, and more, I guess, I guess just, I was gonna say intimidating, but like, I’m not intimidating. You’re not. I’m tall. I’m tall, so sometimes that could be intimidating. And thinking of that, if I said that same line, kind of like your double standard of you talking about the attractiveness of players, I feel like it wouldn’t be okay. So Sheena, stop talking about and taking pictures and videos of other people’s kids. Okay.
And all fairness, I saw other fans doing it, so that was kind of what gave me the idea. So I don’t know that I would have... What if they all jumped off a bridge? You all are gonna go jump off a bridge too? Do I sound like your mom right now? Yeah. Or every parent ever. Every parent ever, yeah.
Anyways, Bet Fantes, cute as a dad. During the game, he won quite a few headers, but I was neither impressed or disappointed by him. Ben Sweat, I thought he came on and he played fine. To me, he wasn’t on the field long enough for me to feel one way or another. But I did yell in his name and frustration at one point, but I don’t remember why. Probably because he just had the ball and didn’t do exactly what I needed him to do, but I don’t remember what he needed to do.
Your big tactical mind over here. Yeah. And then Voloder, I think that he’s starting to get better. I’d also say this was his best game so far. Yeah.
And I realized at some point during the game last night that his running has like an Ike Opara-esque about it, which I really enjoyed when I made that connection. So a little bit awkward of a runner, I guess, but he made some good plays. He had a few missteps, but I think he’s starting to get better and I’m here for it. What do you think? Yeah, I was pretty high on both the center backs. I thought they played well.
Voloder is still very left-footed. There’s times I was really watching what he was doing with the ball and he would just play the ball with his left foot when he really should use his right. But as somebody that’s very right-footed, I understand it. You’re comfortable with what you’re comfortable with and I’ll make weird touches with the outside of my right foot when I should use the inside of my left foot.
But hopefully he’ll get better when he plays on the right more. The only big gaff I remember him having was really late in the game. He had kind of a poor pass that led to a turnover, but then he ran and he broke up the play that came from it.
So he’s quicker than Fontes. I think he’s the long-term left center back on this team. It’ll be interesting to see if when Danny Rosario arrives, if he takes his job. But if Voloder keeps playing stable, I don’t see Peter changing anything right away. But he’s going to have gaffes. He’s a young kid still.
The last place to talk about, I think, is going to be defense. Or defense. Were we talking defense? Goalkeeper. Yes.
John Pulskamp once again didn’t get tested a lot. Only had to make two saves on the night, but he did what he needed to do. He came up big for me.
I don’t know if Mili is fully healthy. He practiced on Tuesday when we were when was open to the media. It feels like Pulskamp’s the starter until something changes and his distribution with his feet was better. I think he’s getting better and better and I don’t see how he loses this job without just some big screw ups. Yeah, that was basically the same thing I was going to say as he had that one really good save at the beginning. I think it was either at the beginning of the game or some point in the first half. Yeah.
And I the one thing I really appreciate about him is I genuinely believe he feels fortunate to be the starter. And he at the end of the first half, like he was thinking the South Stand. And like I said, he was out there for at least a good 20 to 30 minutes after the game doing pictures and autographs. So he seems a very humble and a good guy and I like that in a player. All right, so having talked about all that couple just other thoughts about the game that are not players specific. here that I wanted to throw out there. And Shini, you feel free to throw some in here as well.
There was a lot of hate saying, hey, sporting are taking bad shots. And I’m still not too upset about shots. There were slightly more from outside the box than inside the box, but they did have quite a few in the box. Just the Galaxy seemed like they’re playing for a draw. They had a lot of people in the box. They blocked a lot of shots. So while those do not count as shots on target, I feel like most of them were heading on target. So that jumped out at me as I didn’t think it was as egregious.
And you know, you get a bounce or two here. It deflects off somebody who could go in. There was, I see it, Lewis scored one of their goals off a deflection. Oh, I see Lewis. I’m sorry I even brought them up.
The three and oh perfect start, nine points, leading the Western Conference. But to knock my own stat down here, the expected goals from LMSSoccer.com, MLSSoccer.com is 1.4 for Sporting Kansas City and 0.4 for the Galaxy. So the Galaxy very unlikely to score, but sporting not egregiously likely to score, considering 30 shots in the game.
She had any other final thoughts from you? Yeah, there was just two things I was gonna get your thoughts on. And one of them is, can we talk about the midfield becoming so stacked? And what do you think that means for Cam Duke and Felipe Hernandez? Oh yeah, I’m excited it’s stacked. I think, like I said, Ridoy is gonna be the sixth. Remi and Tommy above them in the midfield, above him in the midfield. And then when Kinda’s back too, you know, that’s another guy in there.
So it’s like, I feel like Hernandez is probably your replacement for Remi, but Remi is not gonna be coming out of the game. So does Hernandez replace Tommy right now? I’d rather see him come on than Espinoza come on late in the game, unless you’re winning and you’re just trying to close it out. But I think Hernandez is gonna bring more to the game.
As for Duke, oh gosh, he is a jack of all trades type guy, right? He can play all over the field and he provides good depth everywhere in case there’s injuries. But I think that guy’s gonna need to play for Sporting Kansas City too a little bit. It’s not gonna be hard for him to find the field, especially as more of these guys show up healthy and Radoja becomes 90 minutes fit. Cause I could see a situation where Radoja and Remi play all 90 minutes and then it’s maybe just Tommy subbing out cause of the way he plays, he tends to use up his juice sometimes.
Yeah, I think it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out. My last question for you is, at what point do you think we see Kate and Pierre come onto the field? Ooh, good question. I think again, Zusi’s played pretty well, but maybe if there’s a change in the way they expect the game to play, Zusi’s more delivering those long balls in, those long switches across the field. I actually asked Caden about that at media day because I feel like that’s part of the reason that Zusi gets to play over him because he’s obviously a better athlete at this stage of his career, right? Caden’s very fast. But Caden wants to dribble and attack off the dribble and I don’t know if Peter wants both of his fullbacks going up the field because it kind of leaves your defense a little hung out to drive. They’re both up the field.
I asked if he’s working on adding that long switch to his game and he did say it’s something he practices and he’s trying to get better at because he’s definitely more comfortable dribbling forward to attack. Some people had suggested maybe he should come on and play right wing and I don’t know how much he gets to do that in training or whatnot, but he definitely has an ability to take guys on the dribble and I wouldn’t hate it if you don’t have any other options. Him or like Cam Duke out wide getting to take guys on might be kind of fun, but I’m fine seeing more Marinos. I’m not sure when we actually see Caden though. Like if things keep being one game a week, I could see Zusi playing one game a week for a while until it starts to get a bit more congested. All right, so I want to give one last thought about the game.
I like to make excuses and I had an excuse roll through my mind and I was thinking about, man, who’s got some weird weather, right? The Portland game gets delayed because of snow and has to be played a couple of days later and then it rains all day leading up to the game. It was awfully cold in Colorado. Obviously it was cold last night in Kansas City for any of you that were there. It was just brutal and it had rain literally all day leading up to the game. What a weird set of weather and like, imagine trying to perform physically in weather like that.
Now they’re professional athletes, I guess you can’t make excuses for them. I’m sure they’re rather bad weather games in places where people scored goals, but I need an excuse. So I’m blaming the weather. All right, we said we’d give you some leftover media day thoughts. I’m going to switch over to that.
I gave some of them just into my analysis there. I snuck them in. So there’s two more that I’m thinking about.
I want to first apologize to Chris Rindov. We’ve been saying his name wrong. We were saying Rindov until we met him and got to hear. So in the pronunciation guide, he says his name is Rindov. He like really kind of Americanizes it, but he told me one on one that it’s really Rindov with more of like an F sound at the end. So I thought that was interesting. I’m going to assume we hear a lot of Rindov.
That’s better and closer. And that’s kind of his, that’s how he pronounced it in his pronunciation guide, which I told him that’s kind of funny. And he goes, I didn’t want to make it too hard on people.
So he knows the media is going to get their hands on that. And then the other thing was my favorite interview from media day, and I can’t believe I didn’t bring this up in the last podcast was I got to talk to Roger Espinoza. And it was just the most chill time talking to Roger.
I wasn’t getting deep into the analysis. I was way more jokey with him. I’ve been talking to Roger the whole time. I’ve been a member of the media. I mean, he’s been around a while, right? He thought I’d been around longer than him. And I was like, hey, hey, what are you? trying to say over here, I haven’t been doing this that long, but I have met like eight years now. It’s kind of wild.
But we were kind of joking and he had a good line about he was hoping that he can retire soon so that Lowe will just, you know, she’s killing it over in the NWSL for the KC current Lowe the Bonta, his wife, sorry. And that he’s hoping she’ll just, you know, keep killing it so she can pay all the bills and he doesn’t have to keep playing. But for now, he’s planning on keeping playing and we were sitting next to Cam and Felipe on media day and he’s saying, I’m going to fight those guys off. If they can’t take this job for me, I’m going to keep doing this job until they can take it from me.
That’s cool. Yeah. That was, I think, one of the first stories you came home and told me and Chad says the same thing about me. He wants me to pay all the bills and so he can not have to work and that’s just not happening because I don’t want that life for him.
All right. Well, it is time for the digital girl, y’all. So just got a couple of quick stories then we’ll get you out of here for the week, but don’t worry. We’ll be back later in the week to preview the next game against FC Dallas. But before that, the Kansas City current played their third preseason game. They won two to one over the San Diego Wave goals by newcomers Mimi Larson and Michelle Cooper. Congrats ladies. First goals of the preseason. Casey, current thoughts? No, that’s exciting.
They won two to one over San Diego. I know San Diego is a really good team. So that makes me hopeful for the season coming up. Awesome.
And then I do want to point out, I looked at the lineup. They’re not telling us what formation they’re in. It looked like five defenders though when they started. So I think that’s something interesting. If you haven’t read it yet, I wrote up a story kind of breaking down all the different formations that the KC current could potentially use.
And I think they got to get away from those five defenders. They have so many good midfielders and forwards. I want to see more of them on the field together.
But who knows? I’m literally basing that off of the way, the names that I saw on the tweet. That’s all we have to go off of. Another bit of news here. Las Vegas’s Major League Soccer Expansion bid has kind of fallen apart.
I don’t know if you all heard this. We talked about it earlier, but Don Garber spoke with the athletic in a really good like 90 minute interview. Go check it out. I’ve linked it over at thebluetestimate.com. And it was basically about stadium cost in addition to expansion costs. So Garber is looking for $500 million expansion fee, which is just insane. Because you can go buy a Premier League team for less than that, which is crazy. And then they said they want Vegas to play in a closed stadium, like a dome basically or a stadium that can be climate controlled. And now it’s like another 500 million.
So if you want a team in Vegas or probably Phoenix, frankly, for that matter, you’re looking at a billion dollars and the San Diego Wave or San Diego’s MLS bid seems to be the leading bid to be the 30th team. But Garber basically said they’re going to go to 32 teams. He didn’t use those words exactly, but he said he’s never shutting the door on adding more teams. And if it’s $500 million, why would you shut the door? That’s so much quote free money. That’s crazy.
I don’t know why you’d pay a billion dollars, like especially if you could get a Premier team who already has like a stop or Premier League. Yeah, whatever. When they already have established like fans and stuff. Also, would there be a situation where they could play in the Raiders stadium because they’re a dome? Like is that a possibility? So I think that’s what the guy that was linked to getting a Vegas team wanted to do. And that was like a deal breaker.
And he did want to buy the stadium and he even had quotes about he ended up buying Bournemouth in the Premier League and basically saying like, it’s ridiculous how much MLS wants. But the values of these teams are going up up. But there’s only one team worth a billion dollars versus in the Premier League, you know, there’s quite a few teams worth that much money. So hard to invest and get a billion right out of the gate. Yeah, it kind of feels like they’re being greedy just a little bit.
So that’ll be interesting to see does San Diego even have a billion dollars to make that happen? They wouldn’t need a dome. They would need at least 500 million. Yeah, for an expansion fee. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this next expansion fee come in at less than 500 million. I don’t think it’s going to be that much because to go from 325 what Charlotte paid to 500, that’s an astronomical leap in just a couple of years.
So we’ll see. All right, so if you’ve made it this far already and you haven’t done so, go ahead and subscribe to For the Glory KC. Go rate us on Spotify. You can do so in the mobile app. Click those little three dots, give us five stars, or you can rate us on Apple Music iTunes, whatever you Apple users have. I have an Android phone. Don’t judge me.
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I recommend following our Twitter account when she has not a game. She’ll go back to live tweeting, but her fingers were frozen. She couldn’t do it from the stadium and she refuses to put Twitter on her phone. So yeah, I will not be putting Twitter on my phone. Sorry. Not sorry.
No, it’s a disease looking at those notifications. So let’s play us out. Thank you all for joining us. Here’s Christian Leo with Right It Like You Mean It. Take care everybody. Bye.