Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Sporting Kansas City's depth will get tested
by Ridge Mahoney, August 18th, 2013 4:11AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  mls, sporting kansas city


[MLS: Playoff Push] For Sporting Kansas City's faithful, the issue isn't whether it will make the playoffs. It's what will happen when it gets there. Back to front, Sporting KC is as good as any team in MLS.

Record: 11-7-6
First 10: 5-2-3
Last 10: 5-3-2

THE STORY SO FAR.  Another impressive regular season has at least a segment of the fan base mumbling, “Okay, now what?” Playoff fizzles the past two years can only be rectified by postseason success, of which Sporting KC is eminently capable.

RECENT MOVES. Erik Palmer-Brown was signed as a Homegrown Player, Brendan Ruiz came aboard as a free agent, and Jimmy Medranda has been added on loan from Deportivo Pereira of Colombia. They are players for the future, according to head coach Peter Vermes. A quest for Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros fell short.

STYLE POINTS. Few teams can match SKC’s talent in all portions of the field. Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara and Claudio Bieler (combined totals: 20 goals, 11 assists) are among the league’s very best attackers. Center backs Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin anchor a stingy defense (21 goals allowed in 24 games). The under-appreciated Oriol Rosell keeps a midfield that includes Benny Feilhaber ticking. Young players like Soony Saad are providing valuable contributions. Jimmy Nielsen was Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012. Any questions?

NEEDS WORK. So the question has to be, how to persevere in the playoffs? Though it is again contending for the Supporters’ Shield, SKC is also embroiled in a tightly packed Eastern Conference. This year it is a relatively modest 6-4-3 at home, where crashed out of the playoffs the past two seasons despite holding home-field advantage as the higher seed. SKC wears a stigma of wilting in the critical moments, and its depth will be tested with three CCL games to be played as the regular season winds down.

FINAL ANSWER. This is shaping up as the toughest road to MLS Cup since the league switched to intraconference playoffs in 2011 and SKC certainly has a squad as good as any in the league. Yet not getting to the final hurdle will be a crushing disappointment.

August 18: @San Jose
August 23: @Chicago
August 27: @Olimpia (CCL)
August 31: Colorado
September 7: Columbus
September 17: Real Esteli (CCL)
September 21: @Toronto FC
September 27: Philadelphia
October 5: @Columbus
October 9: @Houston
October 18: D.C. United
October 23: Olimpia (CCL)
October 26: @Philadelphia

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
USL Final: Red Bulls II favored, but Rangers are ready    
The USL season concludes Sunday at Red Bull Arena, where the home team, New York Red ...
CCL: Seedings give MLS chance of two teams in semis    
Concacaf pairs the teams for the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League by seeding them ...
U.S. U-18 women lose to England, beat France     
The U.S. U-18 women's national team, coached by April Heinrichs, opened the 2016 Women's International Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives