Well, it’s official.
As expected, Jimmy Conrad will not be among the Sporting Kansas City players who unveil the new stadium next season. Conrad was selected in the second round of the MLS re-entry draft by Chivas USA. Chivas is now required to offer him a legitimate contract, but if no agreement is reached, they still hold the right of first refusal on Conrad.
In a somewhat surprising move, SKC selected veteran defender Frankie Hejduk with the 8th pick in the draft. At 37 years of age, this was somewhat of a head scratcher, but I figured Hejduk’s legendary fitness would allow him to continue to perform at a high enough level to be more valuable to SKC than Conrad is at this point.
However, SKC immediately sent Hejduk to the LA Galaxy for Luke Sassano. Sassano was actually taken by the Galaxy with the 14th pick of the draft.
Begging the question, “Why didn’t SKC just take Sassano with their 8th pick?”
My initial thought was that SKC knew LA really wanted Hejduk and thought they would sweeten the deal in order to get him. But Pete Grathoff at the Kansas City Star is reporting that no such sweetening occurred, and the swap was straight up player for player. Um, okay.
Sassano is a midfielder/defender who made only three or so appearances in 2010 for the NY Red Bulls, so it seems unlikely that his acquisition will make a huge impact on SKC, other than perhaps adding some depth and versatility since he can play both defense and midfield.
Now, SKC is focused on getting a deal done with outside defender Michael Harrington – one of the nicest surprises of 2010. That and adding a couple players, including some “young designated player” that we keep hearing about – most likely another attacking player – as well as another defender or two.
GOLD CUP 2011 COMING TO KC’S NEW STADIUM
Sporting KC just announced that the CONCACAF Gold Cup is coming to its new stadium for a doubleheader June 14 next year. KC is one of eleven cities that was chosen to host games in this tournament of the Americas that already includes the United States, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Cuba and Grenada. Five more teams from the region will qualify during January’s Centramericana in Panama.
I’m assuming this is what Robb Heineman was alluding to yesterday when he tweeted, "good news coming tomorrow…" Tickets to both games are included in SKC season ticket packages.
The exact schedule will be released in February.