Category Archives: PRO TEAMS

Amer Didic, from Baker University, signs with Sporting KC

Amer Didic

Bosnian-born defender Amer Didic didn’t know if he was going to play collegiate soccer. Didic, a center back, had received little interest from college scouts while playing high school soccer in Edmonton, Alberta, and was considering the local Academy team as his best option.

However, Baker University coach Nate Houser visited a former coach and got a chance to see Didic’s skills before offering him a scholarship.

With Jeremy Maclin gone, the KC Chiefs have a big gap to fill

Chris Conley Maclin Chiefs

The game of football is all about gaps. On offense, you’re trying to create gaps, while on defense you’re trying to close them. For the Kansas City Chiefs, the 2017 season will be all about filling the gap left with the departure of leading receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was released in June.

Maclin appeared to be a salary-cap cut victim. Cutting him when they did saved the Chiefs $10 million against this year’s cap, room they desperately needed.

Jason Vargas for MVP! Great numbers make LHP the Royals first-half-of-season star

Jason Vargas

This defies reality, but I promise is not fake news. The Royals’ Jason Vargas, a 34-year-old left-hander, has won more than 11 games in the majors in only one season, going 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA in 33 Seattle starts…Until this year, that is.

Vargas had already claimed an American League-leading 12 victories entering July. His 2.22 ERA was the best in the American League. He went 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA in June. He is 7-1 with an AL-leading 1.84 ERA in his first nine home starts this season.

Should the Royals be sellers or buyers as MLB trade deadline approaches?

Royals trade

With the trading deadline looming at the end of the month, Royals General Manager Dayton Moore will face some key decisions that will determine the Royals future not only for this season, but could impact the franchise for the next several years.

Everyone knows the Royals list of potential free agents – third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar and left-handers Jason Vargas and Mike Minor. Trade several of those and the Royals should be able to get back a boatload of prospects, many nearly Major League-ready.

Is selection of Patrick Mahomes a big gamble or great fit for KC Chiefs?

patrick mahomes

Taking quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the first round of the NFL draft was a risky proposition for the KC Chiefs.

For every Aaron Rodgers (taken by Green Bay with the 24th overall pick of the 2005 draft), there are more busts like Akili Smith (third in 1999), JaMarcus Russell (first in 2007) and Ryan Leaf (second in 1998). Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert (10th in 2011) failed to live up to such a high pick.

While many more first-round QBs are simply competent and serviceable – like Alex Smith (picked first overall in 2005) – they are nowhere near the lofty expectations of a “franchise” signal caller.

Yet that is the tag being applied to Patrick Mahomes, for whom the Chiefs traded up 17 spots.

For Ilie Sanchez and Sporting KC, La Masia connection pays dividends

Ilie Sanchez Sporting KC

When midfielder Ilie Sanchez signed with Sporting Kansas City, he became the third from Barcelona’s famed La Masia Academy to make the jump.

Oriol Rosell and Jordi Quintilla were previous Sporting products from La Masia. Rosell and Quintilla’s experiences helped convince Sanchez that Sporting KC was the place to be.

Chiefs: Off-season answers from Andy Reid, Dee Ford and Spencer Ware

Chiefs Andy Reid Spencer Ware Dee Ford

Kansas City Sports & Fitness Magazine caught up with the KC Chiefs Andy Reid, Dee Ford and Spencer Ware and discussed a variety of off-season topics including the QB position plus recent draft and contract decisions that could affect the 2017 season.

ANDY REID

Q: How important is it to establish that this is Alex Smith’s team coming into camp?
REID: “I think a given is that Alex [Smith] has been here, he’s done well and all the guys understand that. There’s more than just stepping back and throwing the football. That position has grown into a tough thing to pick up right away. That young kid [Patrick Mahomes] is going to learn. That’s what he’s going to do. He’s got a great room there to learn in between the players and the coaches in there. Then I expect Alex [Smith] to go in and win. That’s what he’s going to do. He doesn’t think any different than that. He’s not looking back, he’s moving forward and that’s an important thing. He’s been around it a little bit.”

Injury to pitcher Danny Duffy puts Royals’ rotation in a bind

Danny Duffy

The next time Danny Duffy takes the mound for the Kansas City Royals will be after the All-Star break.

In a season where little has gone right for the Royals, they lost their best starting pitcher with a Grade-One plus oblique strain.

For the Royals, time is rapidly running out for a turnaround in 2017

Royals-time-running-out

I’m not ready to wave the white flag yet on the season for the Kansas City Royals, but I have taken it out of the closet and am close to running it up the pole.

I know it is a long season, but it is getting late to say it is early. A third of the season has passed and the Royals have shown little signs of making a serious run to make it into the postseason.

In fact, entering June the Royals are not only in last place in the American League Central, but have the worst record in the AL. That is the bad news. The good news is that despite their travails they are only 6½ games out of first.

Will May be better for the Kansas City Royals? They’re glad to be past April

Royals in May

Will May be better? It can’t be much worse than April was for the Royals.

When the Kansas City Royals hit a major league-worst .210 in April, you can expect a bad month. When you add to that a .270 on-base percentage and a .336 slugging percentage, also, all worst in the bigs, you know that is going to add up to a lot of losses.

When you score a big league-worst 63 runs, 24 fewer than the next club, it is going to be a long, long, month.

When your bullpen, once a strength, is 2-7 with a 5.67 ERA and with more blown saves, four, than saves, three, and you know it must be horrible month.

It was. Ending with a nine-game losing streak and the American League Central caboose.