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. Welcome back to Journal Entries (title pending). Let’s get to the news!
Germany to KC?
The 2026 World Cup is coming to the United States, Mexico and Canada. More importantly for Kansas Citians, KC is a host city. Now there is news that Germany may make Kansas City their base camp.
Katherine Holland, executive of the KC 2026 organization, said Germany are “very interested” in KC.
“If Germany does end up base camping there… we can expect… tens of thousands of fans to potentially take the 36 days off… come to Kansas City, Kansas… live there… play there… eat, drink… visit the attractions,” she said. “They’re going to want to base camp, where their team is practicing. Their team will offer some open practices… obviously, for media, but also for fans… so, the potential economic impact from those international tourists potentially coming and living around the team base camps is quite substantial.”
If Germany ends up basing their camp out of KC, that doesn’t ensure any of their games will be here. However, with all the Germany heritage in Missouri, coming to Kansas City makes a ton of sense to setup camp.
Losing an SKC Academy Player
While we don’t 100 percent know what happened based on this tweet, it sounds like the SKC Academy is losing promising 15-year-old Ramiz Hamouda.
MLS Next Academy News
USYNT CB, Ramiz Hamouda (2008), one of the most talented players in the 2008 class has left Sporting KC and is unlikely to return. SKC and RBNY have been trying to negotiate his homegrown rights for some time and those negotiations have collapsed. The most… pic.twitter.com/sNaH6AiLMb
— Marcus Chairez (@chai_asc) January 30, 2024
Since he’s been with the team since 2020 and has grown up in Nebraska, it would seem if Sporting KC wanted to sign Hamouda they could. The New York Red Bulls being involved makes it feel like they wanted to sign him, but Sporting KC were in the way. Again, that’s just a guess.
It seems reasonable that they would need to trade for his rights or make solidarity payments to Kansas City for their investment in training Hamouda. Considering how the center back position has been lacking for KC, you’d think they could at least find a place for him on SKC II.
If Hamouda wanted to go to RBNY, it could be because they actually play their youth players. This could be a repercussion of Peter Vermes not necessarily showing much to develop Homegrown players over the years. Look at this list of Homegrown signings for the last few years and you’ll see only a few names who have made any impact:
- 2023: None
- 2022: None
- 2021: Jake Davis, Kayden Pierre, Kaveh Rad, Ozzie Cisneros, Grayson Barber and Brooks Thompson
- 2020: Wilson Harris
- 2019: Cam Duke, Tyler Freeman
- 2018: Jaylin Lindsay, Wan Kuzain, Matt Lewis, Zach Wright
- 2017: Gianluca Busio
In the end, it sounds like Hamouda will end up in USL or elsewhere.
Sporting KC Third Kit Update?
The last time we did a Journal Entries it included news of a potential third kit for Sporting Kansas City. Recently, Footy Headlines put out further news that the five teams thought to be getting third kits won’t have sponsors on them and instead will have the city or team names.
While Kansas City aren’t in the predicted photos, the continued mention of their name seems positive.
You only empty the vault for special occasions.
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) February 1, 2024
SKC II Signing — Roberto Hategan
Sporting Kansas City II made a couple signings that you may have missed in January. First, they added winger Roberto Hategan. He spent last season with the San Jose Earthquakes II. He scored four times and added two assists for a team that finished 6th in the standings.
Still just 22-years-old, Hategan came up in the Sacramento Republic (USL) academy before joining their senior team and debuting back in 2017. In 2019, he headed to Europe and spent a season on FC Nurnberg’s reserve team before moving to Romanian second-division club Politehnica Timisoara. He moved to another Romanian team, Unirea Bascov, where he has seven goals in just nine matches before joining San Jose.
Hategan has also appeared for the US youth national teams at the U-16 and U-18 levels. His parents are Romanian, and he holds dual citizenship there as well. He’s just the third forward signed to an SKC II contract for 2024 (Pau Vidal, Sebastian Cruz).
SKC II Signing — Jake Swallen
The next Sporting KC II signing is midfielder Jake Swallen. The 23-year-old joins after a collegiate career at Wake Forest University. From 2019 to 2023 he scored nine goals and added 17 assists while playing for the Demon Deacons. After sitting out the 2022 season, Swallen had a breakout year in 2023 scoring twice and adding seven assists.
My NPR Debut
It’s a little late, but I made my debut on NPR here in Kansas City on KCUR 89.3. I joined “Kansas City Today” to talk about the Sporting KC and Gavin Wilkinson situation.
Journal Entries Every Week?
While we don’t always do a Kansas City specific version of Journal Entries as often as we probably could, the folks at Nutmeg Soccer do a weekly newsletter on MLS and USMNT. Sporting KC were featured in theirs from this prior week.
- A helpful Reddit user has put together a breakdown of all the Kansas City Current games, home and away, and what network they are available to be watched on. As we broke down for you all when the new NWSL broadcast plan was announced, it’ll be very expensive to catch all the games.
- The previously injured Desiree Scott and Vanessa DiBernardo are in full training. Mallory Weber is further out.
Vlatko says Desi Scott is in full training. Mentions Vanessa DiBernardo is also in training. Expects Hanna Glas to be back early part of the season, but maybe not for the home opener. Mallory Weber may not be ready until closer to the summer time. #KCBaby
— Daniel Sperry (@sperrydaniel94) January 31, 2024
- Matt Doyle updated his Western Conference depth charts. I think he really needs to get Stephen Afrifa into that left wing depth chart (probably above Marinos Tzionis), but he doesn’t have much to add otherwise for Sporting KC.
- Sporting KC were also put into the “we’re waiting” tier when it comes to transfers this offseason.
- The Washington Post did a big story on the KC Current.
- An inside look at Lawrence’s attempt to be a World Cup base camp.
- Copa America tickets are on sale later in February.
I missed this the other day. Copa America (which is in the United States in 2024) tickets go on sale around the end of February.
— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) February 1, 2024
- This is fun:
— Armchair Analyst's Ottoman (@DoyleStepOnMe) February 1, 2024
- And we’ll leave you with this:
— KC Soccer Journal (@KCSoccerJournal) January 27, 2024