With everything that's happened lately, I'm sure Peter Vermes has gone from "Who do I pick for the back line?" to "Who CAN I pick for the back line?"
With Matt Besler and Lawrence Olum unavailable through national team duty and with Aurelien Collin and Ike Opara out injured, Vermes is left with little to choose from.
Depending on whether or not Uri Rosell is available (Vermes called him a "game time decision" on Friday), we may see Eric Palmer-Brown make his MLS debut at the tender age of 17.
What impresses me about EPB is how well put together he is at his age. Here is a kid not even old enough to vote who may get a start for the defending MLS champions.
And yet, he seems to me to be very calm, mature beyond his years, and quietly self-confident. Vermes told us (Steve Brisendine, Sam McDowell and myself) on Friday, he's seen EPB play since he was nine years old, trying out for the team's academy.
Consider this: Juventus of Italy's Serie A offered the club $1.5 million for (at the time) a 16-year-old kid who has yet to play in an MLS match. That has to tell you something about his talent level.
Olum's call-up to the Kenyan national team provided its own problems. The Kenyan FA didn't request Olum's release until this past week for games on Sunday and May 30.
Vermes said the team could have prepared differently had they known they would be without Olum's services. He also called the Kenyan FA "unprofessional" for the way the situation was handled.
I don't think Vermes is upset with Olum for wanting to go represent his country, but I do think he's upset with the Kenyan FA because of the timing of their request, in addition to the other problems the club's having with depth at central defender.
And I must say that I'm more than a little jealous of the more than 450 Sporting KC fans that have traveled to Chicago to see today's game at Toyota Park.
It's been a while since I've been on a road trip with the team, so I haven't been in a group quite that large going into "enemy territory."
Travel safe and have fun.
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