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Sporting KC Injury Updates & Lineup Predictions v Vancouver

Sporting Kansas City have multiple bits of good news and no really bad news on an injury report. Who starts Saturday against Vancouver?



Cam Duke is back... but I don't see him making it onto the field. | Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City will be looking to bounce back from their loss to the Chicago Fire last weekend. Home games are extra critical, especially if they hope to catch and pass teams like the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Sporting KC Injury/Availability Updates

OUT – Kortne Ford (Achilles surgery), Willy Agada (stress fracture tibia), Tim Melia (quad), Graham Zusi (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE – Kayden Pierre (hamstring), Logan Ndenbe (hamstring)

Logan Ndenbe gets an upgrade to questionable, and Cam Duke is off the injury report entirely. Perhaps biggest of all, Dany Rosero’s suspension for yellow card accumulation is over.

Update 7/1/2023: Everyone but Ford expected back by the Leagues Cup.

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Starting XI Predictions

With the overall health of the lineup improving, I don’t have a lot of questions. Let’s go broader.

What is the Ideal Midfield Trio?

There are four midfielders in contention to start in my eyes: Nemanja Radoja, Remi Walter, Erik Thommy and Gadi Kinda.

No doubt in my mind, Radoja is a lock to start at defensive midfielder. That leaves three guys for two spots. Despite Gadi Kinda and Erik Thommy being Designated Players, I think the best combination is one of them off the bench for an injection of energy. Likely Kinda, as he has that more game changing play style. If things aren’t working, he can come in. Remi can do all the true #8 box-to-box running, and Thommy or Kinda can help push the ball forward on the dribble.

That said, I’m not sure you can go wrong with any of those two in the starting lineup and it may be more matchup based.

What is the Ideal CB Partnership?

All the CBs are healthy (besides Kortne Ford, who I hear is doing some running). Dany Rosero is a surefire starter at RCB. I think we all probably know Andreu Fontas is starting next to him at LCB. With the season week by week slipping away, I’d like to see some of the younger guys get time. Primarily Robi Voloder, despite his mistakes. Fontas has made plenty of mistakes. Same for Rosero and Castellanos. You spent a transfer fee on Voloder, see if he’s the man of the future.

But we know it’ll be Fontas.

It’s Time for Pulskamp

As I said on For the Glory KC this week, it’s time for Kendall McIntosh to go to the bench. Sometimes you need your goalkeeper to stand on their head and make a big play and that’s been few and far between for McIntosh. He’s 29. Pulskamp is 22. See what you have! He played pretty good early in the season before the whole team failed against the Seattle Sounders in that brutal home loss. Pulskamp can’t stay on the bench forever in my eyes and a week of three games and one point is as good of a time to make a change as any.

Rest of the Lineup

  • Salloi, Pulido and Russell are definitely starting at forward. I’d like to see Tzionis before the 80th minute though. 60th perhaps? Whichever winger doesn’t have it, he should replace them.
  • Ndenbe may have lost his starting job simply by being hurt as I don’t see Tim Leibold giving it up anytime soon.
  • And Jake Davis is the only healthy ‘right back.’

Rest of the 20: McIntosh, Espinoza, Afrifa, Duke, Voloder, Shelton, Hernandez, Castellanos, Kinda

Fan XI

A few notes:

  • I swear I don’t look at your votes until I put together this story. You all picked Pulskamp too!
  • We agree on defense as well.
  • Radoja took a hit in midfield voting, which I find surprising. I’d love to know why some of you don’t see him as a starter, because I think he’s been a revelation at his spot.
  • Espinoza getting 10 percent of the starting vote is bananas. Off the bench is fine, but I cannot abide him as a starter.
  • Tzionis creeping up in the starting vote is something to keep an eye on.
  • Khiry Shelton got four votes in the whole poll. Two in defense. I think you all are trolling me.

Here is the tally of your fan vote. Starters in italics with guys at five or so percent showing up with their tallies.

Goalkeepers: Pulskamp (57.5%), McIntosh (42.5%)

Defenders: Rosero (95.0%), Davis (90.0%), Leibold (82.5%), Fontas (77.5%), Castellanos (15.0%), Ndenbe (15.0%), Voloder (10.0%)

Midfielders: Radoja (87.5%), Thommy (75.0%), Walter (65.0%), Kinda (57.5%), Espinoza (10.0%)

Wingers: Salloi (95.0%), Russell (75.0%), Tzionis (22.5%), Thommy (5.0%)

Strikers: Pulido (97.5%)

What is your preferred lineup? Let us know in the comments below. You can also add pictures in the comments too, so maybe go to and throw together a graphic if you are feeling fancy.

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