Make no mistake about it. Sporting Kansas City will be racking up the frequent flyer miles during the 2019 preseason, presented by Children's Mercy, and into the early stages of the competitive campaign.
The Kansas City Star's Sam McDowell dug into the club's preseason itinerary on Wednesday, detailing an arduous travel schedule that will see Manager Peter Vermes' side make two trips to Phoenix, return to Kansas City for their Concacaf Champions League opener against Deportivo Toluca FC, then make stops in Albuquerque, Mexico City and Los Angeles over the next seven weeks.
“It’s a challenge for all of us and something we have to figure out how to manage, but we have a plan,” Vermes told The Star. “I think the players are up for it. They’re excited. Whatever word you want to use — fresh, new, challenging — it’s something they haven’t faced before. And you add in some new players to the mix, and there’s some hunger there.”
Sporting will ramp up their preparations Friday with their first preseason friendly against Sporting Arizona FC, slated for 11:30 a.m. CT with live updates available via @SKCMatchday on Twitter. McDowell reports that Vermes plans to split his roster into two teams, both of which will receive equal playing time in a bid to get the entire squad fully fit by mid-February.
“It won’t be an A team and a B team — just two teams playing regularly in the exact same progression,” Vermes said.