When the announcement came out a month ago, January 23rd, about the agreement between MLS and USL Pro a lot of talk has come about what that meant for MLS teams. Sporting KC announced an affiliation with Orlando City SC later the same day and with that comes four players that will be on loan from Sporting to Orlando City for the season. The preseason began on February 9th with the regular season for Orlando City begins on April 7th the regular season ending August 17th then they have playoffs after that. Any players then that go out on loan would probably be around the middle of March and them come home anywhere from middle of August to beginning of September if the schedule holds like last year.
The topic of what players are loaned with being discussed between both teams and this is done with no insider information. I have went through the roster of Sporting and come up with 18 players that I see as having no chance of going out on the loan. These players are Jimmy Nielsen, Eric Kronberg, Chance Myers, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic, Lawrence Olum, Josh Gardner, Graham Zusi, Peterson Joseph, Paulo Nagamura, Oriol Rosell, Benny Feihaber, Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong, Bobby Convey, Jacob Peterson, and Claudio Bieler. All of these have the potential to start or be a key sub. That leaves Jon Kempin, Kevin Ellis, Ike Opara, Yann Songo’o, Michael Thomas, Kyle Miller, Mikey Lopez, Soony Saad, and Dom Dwyer as the four players that could go on loan. Here is a short look at all the players.
Jon Kempin – Jon played in one first team game, verses couincely Orlando City SC in the US Open Cup, he also did play in some reserve league games this year and the past. I can see him being loaned if the OCSC goalie is not back but if goalie is back then there is no reason to loan him out to sit on the bench.
Kevin Ellis – Kevin seems to be the primary back up to Myers on the right hand side unless Peter Vermes deems that Josh Gardner can cover Right Back also.
Ike Opara – Ike played in half of the MLS regular season with San Jose. Would seem to be the four ranked, fighting with Lawrence Olum third rank position, Center Back on the team and with Matt Besler getting United States Men National Team looks I would be surprised to see him go on loan.
Yann Songo’o – Yann is a new player to the team and MLS. With him being young, not a whole lot of experience and at a deep position on the team in Center Back, he would be a player that the loan could be good for.
Michael Thomas – Michael is one of the easier players to predict on where he will end up , the fact that he played some in the first team and would the sixth Midfielder on the team should help him. He could benefit from playing more but with Zusi and possibly Feihaber playing some USMNT this year is more likely to stay.
Kyle Miller – Kyle made no first team appearances and while having some time in reserve league and the two friendly’s he would be a good choice to send to Orlando City if Sporting feels that he can make a difference in a few years.
Mikey Lopez – Mike is a hard choice to be made, could he grow by going on loan absolutely but being a Generation Adidas player his contract doesn’t count against the salary cap. I can see this going either way and depending on what other players are going who knows where he will end up.
Soony Saad – Sonny is a player that I almost had on the safe list but one that I would be shock to see go on loan. He played in a few games with the first team and with Kamara leaving I don’t see him leaving.
Dom Dwyer – Dom was denied a loan to St. Mirren of the Scottish Premier League. At the time was the partnership between MLS and USL known by Sporting? Possibly, which may be the reason why the loan was denied. Even with Kei Kamara on loan for the first of the year and maybe the whole season, Teal Bunbury hurt until the summer time, I still think Dom Dwyer will end up being one of the players on loan to Orlando City.
After looking at each player listed above and also taking into account the USMNT games through the World Cup Qualifies and Gold Cup and first team schedule with League, Open Cup, and CONCACAF Champions League, Sporting only having four players on loan instead of a full reserve league schedule is a good thing. When both teams get together it will be interesting to see what they both need and who they want to send down to further develop and help Orlando City. Unless there are some incoming players through Free Agency or Supplemental Draft pick signing, i.e Christian Duke, with this roster I think Yann Songo’o and Dom Dwyer are locks to head down to Orlando City. The next most likely player to be heading south to me is Kyle Miller he is the odd man out with Mikey Lopez in the Midfield some due to Mikey Lopez’s contract as a GA and his ability to play in more of the attacking role. The last player could be a couple different players but if Orlando City is interested I think Sporting would like to send Jon Kempin to get some playing time if Orlando City is not full at goal keeper if not Jon Kempin then Mikey Lopez would be the logical choice.
Well this is another one of those blog post that I kind of kept putting off, but it wasn't really time sensitive and it seems like my procrastination worked out in my favor a little bit this time. The WPS or Women's Professional Soccer recently announced that they were going to suspend the 2012 season, which came as a shock to some people especially with the WPS fighting so hard to keep their USSF Sanctioning for at least another two years. It wasn't really a shock to a lot of people though at the same time.
Yes there is even an argument that most people don't even care about any women's sports let alone soccer. But I say this to you that women's soccer is probably the best possible sport for United States and even the world to possibly get behind. Why would I make a statement like that? Well really I think it is quite simple and that is that soccer or as the rest of the world calls it football is also called the worlds sport.
I am going to break away from what I was talking about to talk about something that I was fortunate to sit in on during my time at the NSCAA convention a few weeks ago and that was the WPS Draft. It seemed a bit silly to have a draft for a league that only has 5 teams, but I will tell you that it was taken completely serious and with a high degree of professionalism in my opinion. I was really looking forward to getting to the season to watch some of these new players that were suppose to come in and make a huge a big impact. I mean I wasn't expecting anything huge, but something to start making the league bigger and better, especially after dealing with the whole magic jack issue. Apparently the whole magic jack issue still hasn't been taken care of and the magic jack owner, who probably has the most money of all the other owners, is really starting to cause problems for the WPS as a whole.
Now back to what I was talking about and that was why I think that the women's soccer can become a popular sport in the United States even while Men's soccer isn't all that popular yet. The past two summers we have been able to watch the Men's World Cup and this past summer the Women's World Cup. I think there is an argument to be said that the US was more into watching the US women's team then the Men's team. Granted everybody tends to realize that the women's team tend to do better then the men's team has. Even with the competition getting so much better on the women's side of soccer for the rest of the world.
Most people probably don't realize that there is more then just the WPS league for women's soccer. there is also the W-League that you see some of the MLS teams supporting a women's side like Vancouver Whitecaps and DC United. I'm sure there are more teams, but I just recall those two right off. There is also the WPSL plus more leagues that are lower leveled then those but the WPSL is something that is starting to become considerably bigger in the United States, but if you were to look at a map of all the WPSL teams you will see a huge gaping hole in the middle of the country! More specifically in the KC area, who has a huge youth soccer following especially in the girl/women's side of soccer.
My self and a small group of other dedicated soccer followers are looking to rectify this problem and start forming our own Women's League and get some teams into the WPSL to hopefully give women's soccer a huge presence in the Kansas City area that would allow post High School women soccer players a chance to compete on a bigger level then having to try and go to college where there is a very slim chance that they even get picked up or forced to play in coed leagues where rules are starting to almost push any women players out more and more.
I know this seems weird for me to be dedicated to something like this when I don't even have a daughter but I do have other family members and friends that could greatly benefit from a league like this and a league like this could allow for more women to play on bigger levels of soccer in the future to include overseas in some of the European leagues that are starting to become bigger and bigger. Something like this could possibly result in even higher quality players starting to play for the United States like the recently drafted Sydney LaRoux has played in the WPSL and finding more players like this could possibly help ensure that the United States Women's National Team get back on top and stay on top of the Women's soccer world for a while again like they did before and almost did this past summer. If you happened to miss the Women's World Cup Final.
This past weekend I was privileged enough to be able to go to the 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention which was held right in my neighborhood of the Kansas City area. I must admit that I went as a media member, but also had intentions of taking it in like a coach. I did just that and my only regret is that I didn't have enough time to go to even more classes and I was pretty busy the entire three days that I went. The reason why I also wanted to go as a media member was so that I could do a post much like what I am getting ready to do and that is review everything that I did check out while I was there to hopefully encourage other coaches to attend the convention each year because I know several coaches that would of really benefited from going to the convention, and more so then just for the exhibitions which I also really enjoyed and talked to several vendors about their great products. My goal is to some what break this down day by day, but hopefully not go too much into depth and make this blog post go too long.
So here is my attempt to sum up my weekend without making a book about my weekend because who would want to read that? I know I wouldn't. Guess I better stop wasting my word count huh?
DAY 1(and no do not insert Law & Order sound here)
I got to the convention early so that I could figure out where I was going because I literally had no clue what to expect and come to find out I probably didn't need to be over an hour early before the first thing even started.
1st session - I sat in on the beginning of St. Louis Scott Gallagher's Soccer Club session discussing how they have some what made their club so successful. I didn't sit through the entire session as I had a field session that I really wanted to get to, but what I heard was very good and gave me a couple ideas for my own youth club. This gave me a good idea that this convention was going to be great as this was just a more of a class room type setting and it was good information.
2nd session - Was a finishing game session that was shown on the field. This stuff I found really interested me as they brought in various youth teams to help demonstrate the different things that each coach was trying to go through. I am a U9 coach and this drill was geared more towards the older teams, but I was still able to gather very good information that I can take back to my team and club.
3rd session - Well not really a session but more a major event and that was the MLS Superdraft. I quickly found out and should of known that I should of gotten a media pass just from the MLS, but I didn't. So I tried to check it out the best I could and got about half way through the first round which was very interesting, but decided that I wanted to go grab some lunch with my father since he also worked in the downtown area and I had another session that I wanted to try and get to before the MLS Draft was even over.
4th session - Goalkeeping games, now this is something that really got into because I am a goalkeeper and this session was incredible. Showing us all sorts of games that got goalkeepers involved along with field players. This was good because I am always looking for new ways to get my entire team working as a group but also allow the goalkeepers to be in the game.
5th session - This session was pretty interesting as it was more of a discussion again but this time was about inner city leagues and getting kids involved that can't be a part of a league like most of our children and even mine are. This is something that I think I could really get behind, but it is definitely a challenging task and good on anybody that can be successful at it.
6th session - Using training aids in training. This again was a field session and although I got a lot of useful information out of this session I think the best thing that I got out of this was a great laugh as the instructor named Tosh Ferrel was a complete riot and had pretty much the entire crowd laughing and enjoying the entire session.
1st session - Again off to an early morning to an event that wasn't really a session, but actually a breakfast for high school soccer awards. The thing that I wanted to try and catch was Tony DiCicco who was the guest speaker and I was able to take some good notes from just him speaking. Like the biggest thing I remember right off was a story about his book entitled "Catch them being good" and it was where he got the name for his book.
2nd session - I left the breakfast a bit early because I had to run back over to a field session about approaching the 4-3-3 system as my local MLS team head coach (Peter Vermes) was running the session with the Sporting KC Juniors U16 team. Again I was surprisingly able to take quite a few notes from this session even for a person that doesn't even coach a U13 or above team. I was able to pinpoint exercises and drills that I think I can easily convert to work in my U9 team training. Peter Vermes really knows his stuff when it comes to the 4-3-3 formation.
3rd session - Again not really a session, but it was a media luncheon where I was able to meet a couple of people that I have been talking to for quite a while and I must say that it is awesome to put names with faces and be able to converse face to face instead of twitter to twitter.
4th session - Again a major event and this is something that I really wanted to get into as I had to have permission to get into this and wanted to because I think it is awesome and I really want to try and help push the information about this out more and more. This was the WPS (Womens Professional Soccer) League Draft. Just like most of the United States I don't know a lot about the WPS but I really think that shouldn't keep people from knowing more stuff about it or even following the WPS. I really hope that my minor contribution helps bring a little more attention to women's soccer and not just the Women's World Cup.
5th session - Coaching the Details was the name of this field session and I must say that although very interesting I didn't get too much information from this session, but again it was still very entertaining because of the instructor being very German as he is a former German National Youth Coach.
6th session - Seems to be a running theme for this day but again it was a food event and it was the awards banquet that I really tried to get through, but I had been there a long time by this point and it was running pretty late and I had to be back early the next morning so I cut out early and headed home.
This was going to be a long day, but with it being my last day I wanted to make it worth it because I wasn't going to be able to catch anything on Sunday.
1st session - Again this was a breakfast thing that I was able to catch most of besides just the guest speaker which again was very entertaining as he was the Australian Women's National Team Coach. I decided that I wasn't going to really take any notes during this time and just sit back and enjoy the guest speaker which was very nice.
2nd session - I wasn't able to stay for the whole breakfast thing as my brother had come today to work on getting his Goalkeeping Diploma Level 1, so I grabbed a couple pasties for him and ran them to him and then took off for the coaching triangles in a U10 system. This was probably one of the best session I could of sat through as I have stated before that I am coaching U9 and although there is a whole age difference there I really need to find any sort of passing drills that I can work on with my team so that they can get better with passing, because that is one of the things that I know can help any team excel in this game. Otherwise your team is just playing kickball as one of the previous session coaches said.
3rd session - This one was getting back to goalkeeping type stuff and was all about basic handling and hand distribution which you wouldn't think is that big of deal but after sitting through this session I can see why it is part of the goalkeeping diploma course.
4th session - This was another goalkeeping diploma course and it had some really good information. I really think that this particular course could of been taught better but the person teaching this session was still kind of new to teaching lessons and tried their best. The information wasn't really important to me as a U9 coach, but it was really good stuff for a U13 team or higher. So take that in mind.
Missouri Comets vs Wichita Wings - I have already covered this game as I am more focused on getting post game match up stuff out fairly quickly, so if you are interested in seeing that then please feel free to click right here and read through that article. I promise it is not as long as this post.
There was still other stuff that had been going on this entire time like their was an exhibition hall that had a ton of great vendors showing off their stuff that I checked out quite a bit and was even able to get a few items. This weekend proved to be incredibly long and exhausting for me hence the reason I am just now getting this blog post out. I will say though that I really plan on going back next year when it is in Indianapolis for the 2013 convention. So I guess I better start saving my money up and if you are a coach I highly recommend that you do as well. Even if it is just for a Friday or Saturday. I'm telling you that it will be so worth it.
Well the indoor schedule can be a bit more compacted and with me having a normal job besides trying to blog I have gotten a little behind already with keeping up on posting after games, but this post will help catch me up as I am posting my post game thoughts about our local indoor soccer team the Missouri Comets from the last three games that I am currently missing. Think of it as a week review if you will. A week where the Comets were able to get three victories. The December 4th, 9th, and 10th games.
December 4th was against the Syracuse Silver Knights
December 9th was against the Baltimore Blast
December 10th was against the Norfolk Sharx
Comets came into this game after a rough lost to the Wave just a few days prior to this match. I would like to say that it was a fair match and honestly I think I will even though the score indicated other wise. Comets were obviously pretty upset about the previous match and was looking to prove something and 23-10 final score I think showed that.
For the most part this game was actually pretty much back and forth with each team trading off leads a few times. That is until late in the 3rd when the Comets turned it on, what ever it is, and started lighting up the score board. The final score was 23-10, but the game, like I said before, was actually pretty close.
The Comets start seemed unimpressive and they keep making me nervous. If this league was bigger with more teams and some of the teams having higher quality talent, then I could easily see a game easily getting away from the Comets because of those teams wouldn't hold back and would do everything they could to put away the Comets even in the first quarter.
Just like I said that this game was close, it actually wasn't that close. The Comets were able to pretty much take complete control of the game shortly into the 3rd quarter and that is a little soon for any other team to just let any team take over the entire pace of the game. I also think that the Silver Knights just got gassed and were ready for the match to be over before the 4th quarter even started, because they seemed to also be a completely different team in the 2nd half and especially in the 4th quarter.
Comets came into this game after having a complete domination of the Silver Knights the past Sunday and were looking to continue that domination of play and finally get a victory over a non-expansion team. It was an interesting game to say the least.
Simply put the good or more like impressive thing was the Comets comeback from being down by 10 points half way through the 3rd quarter to pull out the victory over the Blast who is no slouch of a team. The other good thing was the Comets defense to lock it down in the 3rd qtr as well and keep the Blast from scoring in the last quarter and a half.
The Comets came into this game I believe having not beaten a non-expansion team and did not get off to a great start. At one point the score was 12-2 in favor of the Blast but that is one of the unique things about indoor soccer. A couple of good goals and any team is right back in it.
The Comets defense in the beginning half of the game just did not seem ready to play and although the score was close at the end of the 1st quarter the Blast had pretty much controlled the most of the 1st half. Now obviously they got it together sometime during the 3rd quarter but this game could of easily been a domination by the Blast.
Seriously who makes a name like the Sharx? I mean I guess I can kind of understand as to why they did it, but really sometimes it looks silly. But I guess it kind of goes along with some of the other indoor teams in the league. I am not here to talk about teams choice in team names though.
Comets are on a hot streak right now and all though didn't put the game away early, did pretty much dominate the play of the game and at times made it look like it was a pro team facing an amateur team. I don't know where the Sharx came from, but the comets I think could of made the game a lot worse.
I will go ahead and say that the Comets seemed to possibly go into coasting mode just a little too early and although it worked out for them they should know that a team can come back from 10+ points down to still get the victory as they had just done it the night before.
Again I will have to say the Sharx just didn't have a good night. They could of easily been in this game, but I think there is sometimes something to be said about a team like this. They put up a good fight, but just couldn't finish any of their chances while the Comets just simply could of pounded on them worse and didn't. I don't know if that is saying that the Comets are playing that good, which if very possible having watched them more then the Sharx or if tonight was just not the Sharx night.
Yes I could go look up scores from their previous matches, but from the sounds of what I've heard they are not having a good season so far. Still plenty time to turn it around though, and I personally thought that the Sharx could have a good team, They just had a feel about them that was different then from any of the other teams I have watched the Comets play this year. Yes I haven't watched many games this year of the Comets, but I've seen enough soccer that I think I can make decisions like that for myself.
Veteran's day is upon us and it is time for those to honor veterans whether they be young or old.
It has seem that people the last decade have really taken an appreciation for veterans and given them the respect that they deserve. It would seem like it should be that way but it hasn't always been that way for some reason. Yeah more then half the veterans might not of actually put their life on the line but 99% of people don't even serve in the armed forces, so take that into consideration when you might see someone who did serve but didn't do much and you jus blow them off or show them disrespect.
When I was was younger it just always seemed like the only veterans I possibly knew we're my grandpa's age when in reality they are all over the place and as I get older I find that out more and more each year but a lot of them don't always go on and on about it. They figured they were just doing their job and why should they receive praise for that.
I am a lot like that. I personally served six plus year in the Marine Corps Reserves with a year of that being activated during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I didn't do hardly anything besides what was asked of me and I tend to not go out seeking rewards or praise for what I did. I most times don't really know what to do when somebody finds out I was a vet and thanks me for my service because as soon as they do my mind immediately goes to the men and women that actually gave their lives for our country.
Even people like my great uncle who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor when he was stationed on the U.S.S Oklahoma and was thrown from the ship during the attack as he was headed towards church service. He was also later involved in the Midway Conflict. he survived all that was just recently passed away this year.
It is people like him that all of us, even other veterans, that I think we should be celebrating and honoring the most. But that isn't the way things work and it is still a great honor to be recognized on days like this.