Oct 25, 2012, 7:10 AM EST
Now one around Sporting Kansas City could deny that Roger Espinoza’s ankle injury would dent the team’s playoff chances – contingent on how fast the club’s engine room in the center of the park could get back on the went down with an ankle injury.
The one saving grace was Paulo Nagamura; while he’s not quite the energetic, non-stop presence that Espinoza supplies, the Brazilian central midfielder does help fill the void in sharp edge and bite.
So Nagamura’s first-half removal due to his own ankle injury is certainly concerning.
Sporting Kansas City did manage to close out the regular season successfully without either of them, finishing with a 2-1 win Wednesday at Philadelphia in the only league match. With the win, Sporting KC wrapped up the Eastern Conference crown, providing the best odds of hosting MLS Cup should they find their way into the league’s 17th championship match.
Only San Jose will finish with more points. So, a title contest between Kansas City and San Jose would be played out West in the Bay area.
But if Kansas City makes it through the East, any other match-up would be at Livestrong Sporting Park.
Of course, we may be getting ahead of ourselves.
They have about 10 days now to get Espinoza, Nagamura or both healthy. Otherwise, that Sporting Kansas City midfield won’t be exactly “unrecognizable,” but it sure won’t look much like the one that helped guide Peter Vermes’ team through the East so successfully this year.
- Should Roberto Martinez be starting Gerard Deulofeu? 1
- Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o set for move to Major League Soccer 3
- UEFA Champions League Preview: Manchester United, Bayern Munich look to finish group stage on top 0
- Some very interesting names now available through Major League Soccer’s re-entry process 1
- 2014 World Cup Draw: Recapping the event (43)
- 2014 World Cup Draw: USA in Group of Death with Germany, Portugal, Ghana – Schedule, times, venues (34)
- What US Soccer wants from the World Cup draw (23)
- Now that we know the U.S. opponents, which 23 players should Jurgen Klinsmann bring to Brazil? (20)
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: The sum of all fears scenario for the United States (17)
- Arena de Amazonia: Host of USA vs CR7
- USA Will Advance in Brazil
- Group B: No Walk In The Park
- Analyzing The Draw From An Azzurri Viewpoint
- Q&A With Alvaro Saborio
- Ronaldo: "I Didn't See the Draw, I Was Asleep"
- Messi: "There Are no Easy Opponents"
- England Are up in The Amazon Without a Paddle
- Mexico's World Cup Kit
- Fernanda Lima Raises the Bar For World Cup 2014