SBNation is not just about sports, analysis, breaking news etc.. It's also about collaboration and what better way to get to know the Impact's next opponent than asking our brothers, sisters and cousins from Kansas City, the Blue Testament. Cody Bradley answers our questions about what is happening in KC to get a better idea about the team, the coach and maybe a little bit about the soccer culture.
Mount Royal Soccer
1) Sporting KC seems to be always on top.
a) Is there a wish that winning the league did not involve winning MLS playoffs ?
The Blue Testament:
The playoffs can indeed be a bit of a crap shoot. But after winning it in 2013 they won't be complaining much about it. Also, I think the Supporters' Shield is still growing in importance. With the highest PPG in all of MLS, KC may have their sites set on both big trophies at this point. The club has definitely built a winning culture and high expectations.
b) When is Sporting Park going to be dubbed " the Stadium where Vermes makes a lot of awesome things happen"
I like that name right now! The House that Vermes Built is appropriate. With only a couple of exceptions like Jorge Claros and Luis Marin in, Peter Vermes has been a master at bringing people in and making them successful. In KC with the Royals and Chiefs, (and many years of struggles) fans like to think they can do those front office jobs better. They question and doubt many decisions that are made. But with Vermes and SKC, there is a confidence that the right call will be made. Vermes has his eyes on moves 5 years down the road already. With one of the owners talking about a surplus and money to spend, fans are excited about filling the needs of another CB and some attacking depth.
2) Krisztian Nemeth came out of nowhere, his name is hard to type on a keyboard due to the accent and is a Hungarian international. As a bonus, he is scoring goals. I don't really have a question but please tell us more about the Hungarian sensation.
GLADLY haha! As I just mentioned above, Vermes is working years in advance. Being Hungarian himself, PV had his eye on Nemeth back when he was an 18 year old (and also before he knew Liverpool were after him). From the second he got here and had the ball at his feet in preseason it was clear he was going to have a huge impact on the team this year. He is playing under two coaches of Hungarian descent and I believe that has helped his transition immensely. Nemo has been getting better every game and his partnership with Dwyer up top continues to grow. It has been great watching him this season and expect more goals to come in the second half.
3) Is Zusi expandable as the club seems to still thrive without him?
Hard to call a guy like Zusi expendable, but things have indeed been working without him. Seemingly the never ending theme of this team (since the beginning of last year) has been absences due to injuries or international call ups. Last season, Peter Vermes had legitimately thrown out a different starting lineup for something like the first 25 games of the year! Therefore, these guys know how to deal with absences. Vermes is big on showing confidence in his back ups and rookies. Then when he needs to call on them, they are ready to step up for him. SKC was expecting to lose Zusi, Besler, Mustivar, Espinoza, and De Jong. So after losing just Zusi and De Jong, covering for them feels like a cinch. There is however, a noticeable difference on the right side without his creativity. If rumors are true, there may be some reinforcements coming from England. KC can get by for a few more games without him, but fans will be excited to have him back after the Gold Cup.
Predicted lineup and score
(4-3-3) Tim Melia, Chance Myers, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Marcel De Jong, Soni Mustivar, Rogers Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber, Krisztian Nemeth, Dom Dwyer, Jacob Peterson
Sporting KC 3 - 1 Montreal Impact