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Sporting KC pre-season kicks off

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Sporting KC pre-season kicks off

Graham Zusi lining up a strike on goal during a training session.

Graham Zusi lining up a strike on goal during a training session.

Patrik Bergabo

Graham Zusi lining up a strike on goal during a training session.

Patrik Bergabo

Patrik Bergabo

Graham Zusi lining up a strike on goal during a training session.

Sam Pryke, Reporter

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As the MLS season quickly approaches, Sporting KC has headed down to the desert for their preseason camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., where they will play a total of seven games in the build-up to the big kick off in February.

After a heart-breaking defeat at home to Portland in the MLS western conference final this past season, there are high expectations amongst the camp to bounce back and go one better this year, by heading to the MLS Cup in 2019.

The team has started pre-season strongly by comprehensively beating Sporting AZ 4-0 in their first game.

On the impressive win, head coach Peter Vermes said to Sam Kovzan of SportingKC.com, “We played three different teams and mixed the group up quite a bit. I like the fact that all three teams resembled how we want to play. There’s already a good, solid foundation of fitness to be able to play 30 minutes like we did.”

Head coach Vermes has also been busy recruiting players to augment his team for this season, by adding 26 new players including four players from the Swope Park Rangers, the United Soccer League team.

Key returners include Scotsman Jonny Russell, who begins his sophomore year in MLS after scoring an impressive 10 goals with a further 10 assists in his debut season.

Furthermore, teenage sensation Gianluca Busio, who made his MLS bow at age 16, has already made seven appearances, scoring one goal and one assist. He will be the one to watch to see if he can continue his breakthrough in his sophomore year as a professional soccer player.

Before the MLS season kicks off, Sporting KC will host Mexican Premier League side Toluca at Children’s Mercy Park on Feb. 21 in the Concacaf Champions League to test their wits against the best.

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Student newspaper of Park University
Sporting KC pre-season kicks off