Aug 28, 2012, 7:31 PM EDT
Teal Bunbury’s season-ending injury is awful news for the young U.S. international and a real downer for everyone who makes the Blue Hell a little more hellish around Livestrong Sporting Park.
But all hope is surely not lost for SKC supporters. Far from it.
In terms of the bigger picture impact to Sporting Kansas City and its chances at capturing the playoff grandeur that proved slippery last year? Bunbury’s loss certainly won’t help, but the damage is fairly well contained.
First, having C.J. Sapong (pictured) as a backup is a blessing. The young striker isn’t fully fit just yet, but SKC manager Peter Vermes said after Sunday’s match that Sapong is 85-90 percent there. Get better fast, kid!
Physically, Sapong may not be quite at Bunbury’s level. But he’s not miles away, and his soccer IQ may actually be a little higher. So, that is impact softener No. 1.
Other options: Kei Kamara works as a wide man in the club’s 4-3-3 because he’s willing to put in the work along the wings, providing defensive cover in the right spots. But he always looks like a striker, one who is dutifully filling a role in a wide man’s position. He was an out-and-out striker before at Kansas City and at Houston, and he can be an effective one again.
If Kamara comes inside, that leaves at least one wing position open. I checked with Sporting KC spokesman Rob Thomson this morning. He said Bobby Convey is still fighting that hard-to-mend hamstring strain but expects the left-winger to commence full-on training within a week.
Once Convey is fit, it’s time to stand and be counted – that’s all there is to it. Untapped potential is a cursed thing, and that’s where we are at this point with Convey.
Jacob Peterson, performing well before a shoulder injury, is following roughly the same time frame. He’s an option for several spots.
Graham Zusi played wide in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with New York. It’s not his best usage – and he may soon have to rotate back inside, anyway, if Roger Espinoza grabs the cash and heads overseas.
There’s also the Soony Saad factor to consider; he continues to look like a forward with potential to spare.
So no one will rejoice at the thought of Bunbury along the sideline in a bulky knee brace. He’s a well-liked sort in addition to possessing all the talent, and it stinks that he’s gone for 2012 –especially when that might mean missing out on an Eastern Conference crown celebration dance and who knows what else?
But there’s no need to jump into the Missouri River over this one, either.
May 19, 2013, 7:51 PM EDT
A dull, scoreless first half picked up in the second term as D.C. United grabbed a point against the league’s second-best team and ended their club-record losing streak at 7 matches.
May 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
With his eye on the imminent vacancy at Real Madrid left by Jose Mourinho’s almost certain departure, Paris Saint-Germain’s mastermind Carlo Ancelotti may now have a large hurdle to get past if he is to land his ideal job in Spain’s capital.
May 19, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT
Fernando Torres broke his Premier League scoring drought by banging home the game-winner to secure Chelsea a third place finish.
May 19, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Heartbreak in Serie A this year belongs to Fiorentina. Mario Balotelli converted a penalty in the 84th minute to draw level and two minutes later Philippe Mexes slotted home a cross to secure Europe’s top competition for AC Milan.
May 19, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT
Rare as they are, we’ve seen more than our share of “Olimpico” goals in MLS over the last pair of seasons, including one last night:
May 19, 2013, 4:47 PM EDT
With Arsenal and Tottenham the only teams battling for any meaningful positioning in the Premier League table, the final day still had implications for many teams in the form of placement prize money.
May 19, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
Sir Alex Ferguson managed the final match of his career away from Old Trafford, and it looked set to complete on a high note, until the opposition had other ideas late.
May 19, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Another game-winning strike from Gareth Bale wasn’t enough to save Tottenham from more Champions League heartache.
May 19, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
New York took all the points from the L.A. Galaxy on Tim Cahill’s late goal. So let’s talk about that goal.
May 19, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
This Landon Donovan debate regarding his place on the national team is not going anywhere. So, did Sunday’s performance move the needle either way?
May 19, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT
Arsenal secured its 16th consecutive spot on the Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
May 19, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
Sensational news for fans around BMO Field:
May 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
With David Beckham-esque tears streaming down my cheeks, we’re finally here: The final day of the 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League.
May 19, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT
Newcastle have nothing to play for and have been a disaster at home of late, losing their last two matches at St. James’ Park by a combined 9-0.
May 19, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT
The timing on this thing in two words: pretty bad:
May 19, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves on the 20-year-old goal-scoring sensation … :
May 19, 2013, 12:48 AM EDT
The Sounders exploit Dallas’ young back line in a meeting of two Western Conference teams in top form. Final score: 4-2 for the Sounders:
May 18, 2013, 11:41 PM EDT
Juan Agudelo makes his New England debut as Jay Heaps posts one of the best wins of his young coaching career:
May 18, 2013, 10:33 PM EDT
Highlights and context as “Jack Mac” scores his league-leading 8th goal:
May 18, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT
Cascadia Cup matches are always interesting, and Saturday’s 2-2 draw at BC Place was full of talking points:
- Where Landon Donovan’s afternoon takes us in the ongoing U.S. national team debate 2
- Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney would be league’s youngest Golden Boot winner 0
- Talking points on Portland’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver 0
- PSG president confirms Saturday was likely David Beckham’s farewell match 3
- As Alex Ferguson says goodbye, Manchester United’s cupboard remains stocked 1
- Live Extra: Watch live coverage of Penguins-Senators
- PBT: Parker carves up Grizzlies as Spurs roll in Gm. 1
- PHT: Bruins crack Lundqvist, hammer Rangers
- MST: No bumping on Bump Day at Indy 500
- PST: Arsenal grabs Champions League spot
- Ferguson's managerial career ends with 5-5 draw
- Moore stays unbeaten as Rays top Orioles
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
- Play Video: Morgan committed to growth of new women's league
- Play Video: Boy with cancer, 8, scores against major league soccer team
- Play Video: Red Bulls pull off win on the road
- Play Video: Highlights: Montreal extinguish Chicago