Sporting KC forward Omar Bravo spoke about his frustration with his lack of playing time in the Eastern Conference Final, going as far as to question his future with the club. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
According to a report from Andrew Wiebe of MLSsoccer.com, it appears Sporting Kansas City forward Omar Bravo is rather unhappy with his role in the club's 2-0 loss to Houston in the Eastern Conference Final, and the report goes on to quote Bravo essentially saying that he's not 100 percent sure about his future in Kansas City.
Bravo via Wiebe's MLSsoccer.com article:
"I am super happy [in Kansas City]," he told Univisión, "but I have to think about the professional aspect, and obviously situations like [Sunday] give a lot to think about and talk about with Peter, with Robb [Heineman, SKC owner] and everyone in Kansas City."
It definitely sounds like Bravo was pretty upset with his playing time in the Final. A lot of that frustration, as the article eludes to, is that Omar felt as if he was 100 percent recovered from the quad strain that had previously kept him out of the Colorado Rapids series.
Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes obviously felt Bravo was not good to go, although I do find it slightly perplexing that Vermes wouldn't take Bravo's word on the matter. After all, it was Bravo who was suffering from the quad strain, and only he could really gauge how the injury was effecting his ability to perform on the field.
Wiebe and Andy Edwards of the Talkin' Touches podcast had a discussion on the post Houston match edition where they wondered why Bravo didn't play a more prominent role against Houston. One of them asked: if Bravo was fit enough to be on the bench, why only play him five minutes at the end of a match when your team is down two goals? And if Bravo was not healthy enough to really make a go at playing, why even have him on the bench at all?
It's definitely a strange situation, and now that Bravo has came out and vented his frustration with the scenario, it makes one wonder just what exactly was going on. How can Omar say he feels 100 percent ready to play, and his head coach think he could only go five minutes in the most important match of the season?
More from Bravo via Weibe's article:
"I felt like I could play, without a doubt, but [manager Peter Vermes] said no, and I respect that," Bravo told Univisión. "I started to feel a bit frustrated. Time was passing by and, even though I’m just one more [player], I felt that I had the capacity to contribute to the team. But five minutes are not enough."
The "I'm just one more player" talk from Bravo is awfully humble stuff. He's more than just one more player. He's one of the club's top goal scorers this season. One of the key figures in Sporting KC's run to the playoffs, and someone that Kansas City could have used much sooner than when he was substituted against Houston.
As Vermes has stated, Omar is under contract for next season, and I'd have to believe there's no way he doesn't suit up for Sporting KC in 2012, but the situation does bear monitoring, as it's the first time I can recall where there has been some type of friction between Vermes and one of his pivotal players this season.