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Will Mike Burns be the change Sporting KC need?

On the surface, a former teammate of Peter Vermes doesn’t exactly feel like the sweeping changes we’ve been looking for at Sporting KC.



Credit: Thad Bell

On the newest Shades of Blue, we’re discussing the dismissal of Brian Bliss and hiring of Mike Burns as Sporting Director at Sporting KC. Is the former New England Revolution General Manager – and teammate of Peter Vermes – the sweeping change fans have been asking for?

Daniel Sperry of the KC Star joins the show to help us cover change in technical staff, and a very busy week in the world of soccer. Surprisingly, that includes the return of fun to Children’s Mercy Park after a 2-0 Sporting KC win over Austin FC.

Captain Johnny Russell had a fantastic night in what was one of the best overall performances for SKC in some time. Stephen Afrifa got on the scoresheet again. How high is his ceiling?

During the broadcast, it was said Peter Vermes implied that SKC would not be very active this upcoming window. Thad explains how this might be on the owners’ lack of funding.

Brian Bliss was the sacrificial lamb, but was he actually at fault?

Stay tuned for more details coming on Tuesday, when Burns is introduced formally at the press conference.

Plus we’re talking about the KC Current’s record breaking unbeaten streak, the Copa America, and the US Men’s National Team.

Please subscribe, rate, & review the KC Soccer Journal feed wherever you get your podcasts! Feel free to yell at Cody @ThatCodyTho, Thad @TheBackpost, and Robert @SpKCLife.


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GV dude

Hot take. SKC just made the same managerial move you see at the highest levels of USA soccer. Hire an unqualified individual because you have a personal relationship with them. Greg Berhalters brother is the president of US soccer. How does an organization sit on their hands and let these hires happen? Does no one object at SKC or USA soccer?

I’ve lost all faith in this organization. SKC might as well be owned by David Glass. Owners are being very clear with their intentions, are fans paying attention? Playoff line is the goal, not cups. Getting you to the stadium to spend money is the goal, not cups. Funny thing, you win cups, you make more money. Silly owners.


Over the past few days, San Diego fired Casey Stoney, who got them to the playoffs in year 1 and won the Shield year 2, but was in a slump. Utah fired Amy Rodriguez barely halfway through their expansion year. And Provel SC just fired Carnell, who miraculously won them the conference title in year 1, but they are currently in a slump and out of playoff position.

That said, I wouldn’t want to be on this extreme end of the spectrum either. Sometime people need time, and people who have achieved for you deserve a little rope. However…


I was shocked that Carnell got fired. He led them to an amazing first season, and they have a ton of injuries right now with a very low overall payroll, and a few reinforcements coming. It’s crazy they’re not giving him a longer runway. The coaching hair trigger these days is just nuts, in multiple sports.

Chad Smith

Yeah, this is where I came down on all three coaches ar_hawk mentioned.

Carnell’s situation is well outlined by KCOutsider. I heard he lost the locker room, so who knows. St. Louis fans have wanted him fired even last year at times. It feels irrational.

I don’t know Stoney’s situation, but they had the best record in the league. Even now they are 3 points out of the playoffs after swinging a big midseason trade for Maria Sanchez. Give it time!

Rodriguez was setup for failure. She was given a terrible roster and no time. I don’t know if she’s fit to be a head coach or not, but hopefully she finds a place to even ben an assistant to gain more experience. She went from playing to coaching pretty quick and less than a season with that roster isn’t enough time.


RE: Rodriguez – this is so true. She probably WASN’T ready, but now she’ll be the one who failed in Utah. Vlatko would probably bring her on if he has a spot. Let her rebuild her rep.

Mister Murse

If I were the owner would I trust this front office with a large sum?

No. Not with how Pulido has worked out, Gadi Kinda, Tzionis, Voloder….

I have heard that we aren’t in the price market to expect results, but also we haven’t had huge success with what we did purchase. Injury or performance has crippled the return on investment and maybe ownership is holding out (naively) until the front office has a better plan or leads.


Well, according to today’s presser they will be getting more money than ever before to work with. They admit to being in the bottom third of teams in terms of spending and have the goal of being in the top third. Though I, like you, am wary of how well that will be managed. But, I am intrigued and ready to see what they do.

Last edited 11 days ago by Kat

I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry over that quote. On the surface, great, we are going to compete. Reading deeper – Vermes fully expects to be around to spend that money…

Mister Murse

Thanks for sharing that! I can’t remember which podcast was discussing the threshold for successful u22 signings, and how far sporting was from that price point.

Chad Smith

I think that was Shades of Blue or maybe even Home and Away. It sure wasn’t mine, but you can see the teams that spend big on U22s are having greater success with them. You are getting something closer to a sure thing than a lotto ticket.

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