It will be an interesting seven days for Sporting Kansas City.
As they prepare for their 2012 season opener against D.C. United (March 10, 6:30 pm CT), SKC manager Peter Vermes could have a midfield dilemma on his hands.
In Saturday afternoon’s intrasquad scrimmage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Graham Zusi, Julio Cesar and Paulo Nagamura all sat out and their availability for next Saturday is in doubt.
“I think they all have just little nagging injury type things,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We have a couple days that we’ve already given them. We’ll give them a couple more and then we start up Tuesday fast and furious getting ready for D.C.
“So hopefully at that point they’ll be back in training. That’s what I’m hoping for. If not, we’ll have just to go with other guys. But right now I think they should be ready or at least a tandem of them should be ready for the game on the weekend.”
Striker Teal Bunbury, recently returned from the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team, led his side to a 3-2 victory in the scrimmage with two goals in the opening 45 minutes. Rookie Dom Dwyer notched the match-winner, while C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara each recorded goals to cap a strong offensive display from the club's strikeforce.
But it was a defensive player who got the round of applause from his teammates following the match when Vermes announced that goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen will captain the club for the 2012 season.
When asked on his outlook for the upcoming season, the newly appointed leader pointed out the one advantage that Vermes has on his side as he begins to identify his matchday selections for the season opener next Saturday.
"We have a great roster, a very deep roster," Nielsen said. "We're ready to play a real game now."