Yes, Kansas City may be riding high after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, but Sporting KC has some work to do in order for defender Matt Besler’s goal of bringing more championship parades to the city.
For the second half of the preseason, Sporting Kansas City has added five players from their Sporting II side: Wilson Harris, John Pulskamp, Kaveh Rad, Camden Riley, and Brooks Thompson. The side travels with 31 players which include these five, their regular first team, and two academy products, Jake Davis and Tucker Lepley.
So what can we expect out of Sporting KC in Arizona? At this point in the preseason much is unknown. One thing we may all agree on is hopefully no national coverage of the Beslers’ split jerseys. Sporting KC will look to get their off-season acquisition Mexican national Alan Pulido, who came in on a club record transfer fee, involved, but don’t look for him to play a full 90.
The rest of their off season acquisitions — Richard Sanchez, Roberto Punsec, Kihiry Sehlton, Amadou Dia, and Gadi Kinda — will look to make a case for minutes, as well as the Sporting II and academy additions.
As with most preseason matches, multiple lineups will be used as head coaches Freddy Juarez and Peter Vermes look to get a feel for their teams ahead of the fast approaching kick off to the 2020 MLS season at the end of the month.
Will we see a polished Sporting KC side? No. Will we see flashes of what might be this season? Yes. As with any preseason match, what the coaches want to learn and use the game for may not be to walk away with a win.
The first two matches that Sporting KC played in their preseason were against Phoenix Rising FC Trialists and FC Cincinnati, both being 4-0 wins. Look for Sporting KC continuing to give players time as they solidify their roster. RSL looks to do much the same, so expect a variety of lineups and combinations as the teams look for who will feature in the 2020 season.