New Additions Make the Difference for SKC

Players like Bieler and Feilhaber have proven to be winners for Sporting KC
by Skylar Rolstad   |   Monday, April 15, 2013

State of SKC - column on Sporting KC (SKC) & the Kansas City soccer scene.
Through 2 years of playoff soccer, Sporting Kansas City has developed a solid core of players that complement each other across the field.
There's been American players out of college like Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers. Some foreigners have also been discovered from scouting like Aurelien Collin and Uri Rosell. And previously-established stars, like Claudio Bieler, Benny Feilhaber and Jimmy Nielsen, have also picked up their play. With these players, Sporting KC has created the perfect mixture of raw talent and experience.

So far in 2013, the offseason additions have highlighted the difference between a win and loss for Sporting. In the last 2 matches, that difference has been 2 Feilhaber assists, 2 Bieler goals, and a Zusi goal.

If Besler and the SKC defense take care of business yet again, it will be down to Sporting's attacking threats like Feilhaber, Bieler and Zusi to keep the ball in the attacking third and, more importantly, in the back of the net.

While it was all but inevitable that Zusi would have another standout year, it was questionable whether the team's offseason acquisitions would fit in with the rest of the team. Bieler's 4 goals in 6 games has certainly eliminated any doubt. As for Feilhaber, who many thought would be a pointless signing as he plays the exact same role as Zusi, has notched 2 assists in the last 2 games and can pull strings in the middle of the field while Zusi now plays on the wing.

In the middle of last season, Sporting added midfielders Uri Rosell, Michael Thomas and Jacob Peterson. While that last pair have not played yet for Sporting, they will be instrumental in US Open Cup play and in games where players are out for national team duty and resting after CONCACAF Champions League matches. Rosell, however, is yet another player that has emerged as a deserving starter on this team. After losing Roger Espinoza in January, he has filled in as a great box-to-box player and distributor.

The backline has been business as usual, going for a 5th straight shutout on Wednesday in New York. In Sporting's last outing at Red Bull Arena, Roger Espinoza's absence made for a scoreless match New York and Kansas City fans alike would love to forget watching.

NEXT UP: Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Arena, New York. 7:30 EST, MLS Live.


Univ. of Kansas
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
AC Milan
A student at the University of Kansas. He writes for the Sporting Kansas City club column for Soccer Newsday and is a regular at Sporting Park. His passion for soccer can best be described as unhealthy.