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Dom Dwyer Not Signing, Afrifa Signs, Open Cup Opponent

Plus, Mallory Weber’s season is over (again), CF Montreal are very injured, US Soccer hires a new Sporting Director, Amy Rodriguez lands a job and five possible coaching candidates for SKC if Vermes were ever fired.



Dom Dwyer, staying hydrated. | Credit: Chad Smith

Journal Entries

When we at the KC Soccer Journal were The Blue Testament, we would often write stories called Blue Links or Blue Notes that rounded up stories you may have missed. There have been so many as we’ve built out the new site, but we hit a tipping point on stories that we just couldn’t miss. Welcome to Journal Entries (title pending).

Dom Dwyer Likely Not Signing

Our own Thad Bell was out at Sporting Kansas City training today and it sounds like Dom Dwyer’s return to KC isn’t happening. “We are probably not moving in that direction,” said Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes.

Dwyer had been on trial last week and some of this week before the announcement was made to sign striker Stephen Afrifa (more on him in a moment). As things stand right now, Sporting KC’s roster is technically full, but the team could open up a roster spot by moving Kortne Ford to the season ending injury list (a move they must make before the start of the secondary transfer window if they want roster relief of up to $250,000). That window opens July 5th.

The team can also seemingly clear another spot with a year-long loan to Sporting KC II in MLS Next Pro.

There is more on Dwyer here, if you are interested in that debate.

Sporting KC Sign Striker Afrifa

On Wednesday, Sporting KC made official the signing of 2023 MLS SuperDraft pick, Stephen Afrifa. He had been away at Florida International University finishing up school, but he officially joins the team today. The 22-year-old signed a one-year contract with options through the 2026 season.

This move uses that last open roster spot, the one vacated by Ben Sweat recently.

The timing couldn’t be much better since Willy Agada was recently announced to be out a significant amount of time (12 weeks at least!) because of a surgery on a stress fracture in his tibia. Afrifa can play at center forward or on the wing.

Presumably he’ll be available for selection as early as this weekend, but that seems unlikely, despite having some training sessions with the team through the Spring. It’s more likely Erik Thommy, Gadi Kinda or Khiry Shelton would be the backup striker against CF Montreal.

For more on Afrifa, go back to our original coverage when he was drafted (including highlights). 

SKC Face Houston in the Open Cup… Again

In what feels like (but isn’t quite) an annual occurrence, Sporting KC will face the Houston Dynamo in the US Open Cup in 2023. This time, they’ll hit the road on May 10th for the 7:30 PM CT fourth round matchup. These teams have faced off in five of the last six editions of the tournament with Sporting KC winning three, including one on the road.

While SKC only had to defeat the fourth division Tulsa Athletic (NPSL), the Dynamo had to beat second division side Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL Championship). They won 1-0 on the road in Florida on the back of a goal by 18-year-old Brooklyn Raines.

Sporting KC Injury Updates & Lineup Predictions v CF Montreal

Leagues Cup Times Announced

In another, non-MLS competition, Sporting KC found out the times of their Leagues Cup games. They will hit the road on Sunday, July 23rd to face FC Cincinnati at 6:30 PM CT. Then return home on Monday, July 31st to host Liga MX side Chivas Guadalajara at an astoundingly late 9:00 PM CT start time. Their performance between now and then will go a long way into seeing if that’ll be an empty stadium.

The 9:00 PM game is clearly to cater to Chivas fans (7:00 PM PST).

All games are available to stream through MLS Season Pass.

Weber Re-Tears Her ACL

For the second time in two season, Kansas City Current fullback Mallory Weber has torn her ACL and been lost for the season.

She played just 31 minutes this season in a Challenge Cup game, and a mere 19 minutes in 2022. The team confirmed they would place her back on the Season Ending Injury list.

“I’m heartbroken and devastated to be going through this again,” said Weber. “The Current have been so supportive as they have given me the space to process this news and then plan for recovery. I am thankful for them, my teammates, friends and family as I begin the process once again.”

Weber is just signed through the 2023 season with no options on her contract beyond this year. She would be eligible for free agency at that time. Her lone minutes this season were at LB/LWB, a position the KC Current are relatively stacked at with USWNT defender Hailie Mace and second year player Izzy Rodriguez. Sadly, this may be the end of Weber’s time with the Current.

Quick Entries

  • CF Montreal are hurting (literally) ahead of this weekend’s game with Sporting KC

  • took a look at what is ailing Sporting KC. I’m not sure I agree it’s just CB play. The defenders aren’t tasked with scoring the goals and with just three in nine league games, that’s got to get fixed to even give the defense a chance (they have three shut outs this season).
  • The Athletic did a “franchse rankings” for MLS. It’s historical, so Sporting KC finished quite high, even if their recent form is lacking. The videos showing when the points were accumulated are pretty fascinating to look at.
  • Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is asking for $10 million in funds to help prep for the World Cup in 2026. The money would be for the “Sporting KC facility” in Kansas City, KS and the surrounding areas, including an “entertainment facility outside of the stadium.”
  • US Soccer hired a new Sporting Director, Matt Crocker, from Southampton. Fun fact: He used to coach a U-12 team in Louisburg, KS.
  • SKC II added two more Academy contracts for defender Alex Cunningham and midfielder Cielo Tschantret. Tschantret started and played the entire game against FC Cincy 2 in their loss over the weekend.
  • Former FC Kansas City and KC Current forward, Amy Rodriguez, will be the first coach of NWSL expansion side, Utah Royals.
  • A lot of folks want to fire Peter Vermes and I stumbled upon a site that came up with a list of possible candidates to replace him if that were to happen.

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