TORONTO - JUNE 5: Julian de Guzman #6 of Toronto FC gets away from Korede Aiyegbusi #3 of the Kansas City Wizards during a MLS game at BMO Field June 5, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Korede Aiyegbusi is easily the fastest player on Sporting KC's 29 man roster. Maybe it was beacuse of FC Dallas' slow wing players or because of the terrific long balls SKC's midfield was playing to him but Korede astonished me the other night with his blistering pace. As I stood there watching him along with about 100 other Sporting KC fans(a great turnout for a Tuesday reserve game) I was reminded why Korede has been able to stay on Peter Vermes' side for so long while many other 2010 second round draft picks aren't even playing proffessional soccer anymore, let alone competing in the MLS.
At 5'4( probably second in the league in terms of height only to Joao Plata) Korede is not going to knock a guy over on an aerial challenge. He along with Kevin Ellis left Lawrence Olum and Konrad Warzycha to do most of that in Sporting KC's 2-2 draw with FC Dallas on Tuesday night. But what he was able to do was provide constant width for Sporting KC's 4-3-3 formation. This same mentality is echoed on Sporting KC's first team through Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers.
Albeit slightly smaller, Korede mirrored what those two fullbacks do on a higher level, which is get forward and help Sporting KC move the ball up the field. So while I'm not calling for a call up to the first team just yet I'm saying keep Korede in the back of your minds. He could prove to be a fit replacement for an injured fullback or a trading tool in the league. He's got quality, just give him time to show it.
Olum, Warzycha, Kempin and Joseph Also Impress
The partnering of Warzycha and Olum in the center of defense was pretty effective the other night. While Olum's massive dive lead to the second FC Dallas goal Lawrence played welll in the air and you could here him talking to the younger players and commanding the side from the back. At 27 he was SKC's oldest player on the field and stepped in for the absent Michael Harrington to captain the Swope Park Rangers.
Warzycha also impressed me in the reserve game. Besides the fact that he almost scored from half field he's adjusted well to the un-familiar center back spot and had a sensational sliding tackle during the first half. Joseph Peterson also played well on Tuesday, his first touch is godly and his vision was spectacular. I said a couple weeks ago I was worried what would happen if Graham Zusi fell to an injury and left huge shoes to fill in SKC's midfield. But I think Peterson could step in well to the center attacking midfield position.
The Little Puma (aka Jon Kempin) had a great game too. He couldn't do much about the goals that got past him and you can tell that since he's been traveling with the first team during the start of the season due to Eric Kronberg's injury he's stepped up his game to a different level.