It is the MLS offseason, and Sporting KC is down in Tucson, AZ preparing for the upcoming season where they will look to defend their title of MLS Champions. Here is a quick recap of what has happened with SKC over the past few weeks, and what is in store for the rest of the preseason.
Chance Myers is staying with Sporting KC
Chance Myers has signed a new contract with Sporting KC. The 26 year-old right back has been a staple in the Sporting KC backline for the past few seasons, making his impact in 2011. Reports from Europe suggested that Myers was being looked at by clubs in Germany and a few Scandinavian clubs. Myers started 31 games for Sporting KC in 2013, where he scored two goals and assisted four others. His two goals against Portland Timbers on April 27th are the only goals he has scored for a first team in MLS.
The details of Myers’ new contract are not known to the public. With most MLS contracts, it is either a two or four year extension, and he has also probably seen a nice raise in his salary.
Sporting KC acquires winger Sal Zizzo from Portland
This happened quickly after Sporting won the MLS Cup, and with all of us at KC Kingdom being so excited for the few weeks after the win, we forgot to post this one. Sal Zizzo is a true wing player that Sporting KC acquired from the Portland Timbers for allocation. At 26 years-old, he falls right in that age of players that manager Peter Vermes looks for.
One thing that Zizzo can bring to Sporting is his ability to play on the wing, which is a player that Sporting KC has been lacking for the past few seasons. Graham Zusi has played that winger position for SKC, as that is his position for the United States national team, but his roots lie in central midfield. Bringing a player in like Zizzo can significantly help out the lack of goal scoring that we saw last season.
Sporting KC is rumored to be in the hunt for another DP
The soccer website Tribal Football posted a story the other day saying that Sporting KC is rumored to be in talks with Jeffren Suarez to bring him on as Sporting KC’s second designated player. Suarez is another Barcelona product, but unlike the other Barcelona academy product on the Sporting KC roster (Uri Rosell), Suarez actually made his way up to the first team at Barcelona, making 22 appearances for the club and scored three goals.
Suarez is currently at Sporting Lisbon, and is looking for a move back to La Liga. The rumor is most like a complete farce, but it is exciting to see Sporting KC’s name being thrown around as a contender.
First preseason game sees Sporting KC beat FC Tucson 1-0
C.J. Sapong scored the lone goal in a 1-0 Sporting KC victory over USL PDL side FC Tucson. It was Sporting’s first preseason game of 2014. With the likes of Zusi, Matt Besler, and Benny Feilhaber with the US national team ahead of a friendly against South Korea on February 1st, it was not the strongest team that Sporting KC could play.
It is nice to see Sapong on the scorers sheet. If he can enter the 2014 season full of confidence, it could be his biggest season. One noteworthy item from the scrimmage is Claudio Bieler played in midfield right behind forward Dom Dwyer. It is an interesting move, but one that makes sense. Bieler is an excellent passer, and if he can sit right behind a forward and find space, it could be a way for Bieler to find the back of the net more.
I don’t expect Bieler to stay in midfield once the season starts and Feilhaber is back in the side, but who knows what Vermes has planned for 2014.
Sporting KC preseason game against Portland will be streamed
For those that can’t make it to Arizona and are looking for the first glimpse of Sporting KC in action in 2014, you are in luck. The preseason friendly against the Portland Timbers will be streamed live. The game is set for February 1st, and kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm.
That is your quick round up for the Sporting KC offseason up to now. Hopefully we’ll have a big player addition to talk about soon, as Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman hinted at earlier this week.