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 to Journal Entries (title pending). Let’s get to the news!
Antoinne Griezmann and Sporting KC
First, let me just say this is a “rumor” in the loosest since of the word. Hence the quotes in the title. It all started with the Kansas City Chiefs playing the Miami Dolphins in Germany. Patrick Mahomes, part owner of Sporting KC and Chiefs QB, met French soccer superstar Antoine Griezmann.
🤩 Griezmann: "Un gusto conocerte".
😎 Mahomes: "Espero hayas disfrutado".
El encuentro entre dos cracks que se dio en Alemania…
(📹 NFL) pic.twitter.com/3m6gYxrROA
— NFLLive_esp (@NFLLive_esp) November 5, 2023
Griezmann is a big Mahomes and Chiefs fan it would seem based on his social media interactions. And a connection to Sporting Kansas City and MLS aren’t out of the question. Over the summer it was reported multiple teams had interest in acquiring him. On his AMA on Reddit the other day, MLS Insider Tom Bogert even mentioned Griezmann as a player he thought could end up in MLS.
For Griezmann’s part, he’s interested too.
“MLS, for the championship it is magnificent to have the image and talent of Leo Messi,” said Griezmann. “It still remains a dream for me but not now. I want to go there in the best conditions to win there, that remains a goal.” (emphasis mine)
Last week, Peter Vermes was asked by Harold Kuntz and our own Thad Bell about it. Feel free to read into the reply however you’d like!
Vermes on Antoine Griezmann: "He's a great player. Fantastic… Big time quality. He's a world class player. If he's interested, then he'd be a good player to start recruiting." @TheBackpost: "Have you ever had any talks with him?"
— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) November 14, 2023
I wouldn’t rule out Griezmann in MLS or at Kansas City. I’m also not sure how high I’d rate it. He’s under contract through 2026 with Atletico Madrid, but there are reports they are willing to let him go. According to Capology, he has three-years and $37 million remaining on that deal.
If he played primarily on the right wing instead of the left, where Daniel Salloi is signed through 2026, then I’d rate this as even a higher chance. Johnny Russell has an option for next year and the team could move on from the fan favorite and veteran RW or decline that option and bring him back at a discount. Imagine the offense!
A fanbase can dream! But don’t hold your breathe.
Just another day for @PatrickMahomes swapping jerseys with @AntoGriezmann who asked “if you need anyone in Kansas City” — I’ll assume he’s interested in @SportingKC maybe #chiefs can fly him back for tonight??? #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/vy3YoJwdAz
— Josh Klingler (@joshklingler) November 5, 2023
Mahomes & Hunt to Buy West Brom??
If that last “rumor” was not really a rumor, I’m not sure where to classify this one. It’s a story that appears to have originated from this Tweet. The rumor is Clark Hunt, part owner and CEO of the KC Chiefs, is set to buy West Bromwich Albion with Patrick Mahomes.
I literally cannot find a second source and it’s been more than a week since that first one came out saying it’d be done within the week.
West Brom are in the EFL Championship in the second division of English Football. The initial report was picked up by Marca and they seem doubtful too but confirmed West Brom have been rumored to be for sale for a long time.
It’s very trendy for American investors, celebrities and athletes to get involved in buying English football teams right now. If this is nothing, you can still watch Welcome to Wrexham or follow what Kealia and JJ Watts journey with Burnley.
This may be the last we hear of this one.
Gabby Robinson Extends Her Deal
The KC Current completed a good bit of business earlier this week when they announced a three-year contract extension for rookie CB Gabrielle Robinson. Previously, she just had a 2024 option in her contract after being a second-round pick, but she’s now signed through the 2026 season.
The center back struggled early in her rookie season but looked like a star by the end of it. The depth chart at CB is prepared to be stacked (outside of this NWSL Expansion Draft nonsense) with Robinson, Elizabeth Ball, Lauren and Stine Ballisager all under contract for next season. That looks like four potential starters for two (or three) potential spots.
Bogert’s Offseason Needs for SKC
I referenced Bogert’s AMA earlier and there was one Sporting KC specific question. Reddit user CoolRunnings7 said:
“Sporting KC had an incredible finish in the regular season after a horrid start. Understandably, a lot of that was getting healthier. But also think that finish masks some of the prevalent issues that are and will still be there regardless of how they finish this post season.
What kind of moves do they need to make vs what you think they’ll actually do this offseason?”
The first thing Tom said was a bit tongue in cheek, but true. “Figure out how to guarantee Alan Pulido’s health!!!” He then went on to highlight a need for depth at the number six spot (agreed!) and to add another high-level attacker.
I’ve been saying both those things on For the Glory KC in recent weeks, so I’m gonna assume Tom is a listener (ha!) in between his two hours of sleep and keeping up on all things MLS. What he didn’t mention is center back, which up until recently has been an area of concern.
I personally talked to Kortne Ford in the locker room after the St. Louis win and he was excited to come back next year. He does have one more option year in his contract and maybe that’s the only move Sporting KC make at CB. Thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
- Alan Pulido won MLS Comeback Player of the Year, as expected.
- The Athletic does a nice write-up on the conflicts of interest that are all too prevalent in American Soccer media/broadcasting.
- The Seattle Sounders may be purchasing the OL Reign. The Reign had to be sold because Michele Kang owns the Washington Spirit and brought the French club Lyon, which owns the Reign.
- Even some European teams think there should be a salary cap overseas. I could get behind that.
- The NWSL trades have started to protect players in the Expansion Draft. Every team is set to potentially lose two players and can’t even protect a full starting XI. It’s brutal. More on that from us in the coming days/weeks.
- Youth sports participation is down in everything except soccer.
- John Pulskamp and Gianluca Busio were both called up to the USMNT U-23s for Olympic preparations.
- This is a fun mockup of a hypothetical Sporting KC stadium on the Missouri River. Also, love the shade from the CPKC stadium account since the KC Current already did this.
umm hi sorry that’s taken https://t.co/MWoQkU4WTV
— CPKC Stadium (@cpkcstadium) November 12, 2023
- Congrats to NJ/NY Gotham on their NWSL title. If we could all only be as cool as Midge Purse.
Always cookin’ 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/pu6XFBoXQL
— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) November 12, 2023
- There were so many good memes floating around after the SKC/St. Louis playoff series. I’m particularly fond of how St. Louis “invented” so many things, like losing in a three-game playoff series. However, I never get tired of this one.
Who did this 🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/zwxrgnhkyS
— Michael Herbert (@DannarHetoshi) November 6, 2023
- Still another week and a half until the second round of the playoffs start. Shades of Blue weigh in on the format.
The Conference Semifinals are set! 👀
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 13, 2023