John Carver will in no way underestimate Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City tonight.
John Carver – will not underestimate Kansas City
Or the Sporting Kansas manager Peter Vermes for that matter, as Newcastle will be playing in temperatures of around 90 degrees F at the Livestrong Stadium tonight, with the game starting at 7:30 pm central time, which is 1:30 am tomorrow in Newcastle.
John spent time at Toronto FC as their manager from February of 2008 through April of 2009, and got to know a lot about the MLS and their teams.
John talked about the Kansas side and their manager Peter Vermnes today:
“There’s no doubt that Peter will have his players set up to play in a way we are accustomed to. But, their level of conditioning is obviously going to be different to ours.”
“They are halfway through their season and sitting in the middle of the Eastern Conference over here.”
“We are in for a difficult game because some of our guys have not had any football yet. But it’s what we want – it’s part of our preparations for the new season.”
“We need to deal with the heat, the stadium and the fans over here, who will be looking for a scalp.”
Carver seems to have been very impressed with the fantastic facilities at Kansas, and the $200M Livestrong Sporting Park should be near its capacity of almost 19,000 tonight (18,467 is the capacity).
The Park only opened last summer and Manchester United were the visitors from England last July, and they lost 2-1 to Kansas, even though the home side were reduced to 10 men in the first half, so it will not be easy for Newcastle tonight.
The MLS are also only allowing 5 subs, unless Kansas manager Vermes can get that changed today, which he’s trying to do, so some Newcastle players may find it hard work to play the full 90 minutes in so much heat.
“You look at the stadium they have here and it might turn some of our lads’ heads. Later in their careers they might fancy coming out here. It is a good experience for our guys and they are all looking forward to it.”
“Coming to a facility like this and playing at a fantastic stadium makes all the difference to our pre-season plans.” “I’ve been looking forward to this for the last few weeks.”
“We now have to pick things up, albeit in the heat, for the game on Wednesday.” “I think we have got quite a few fans out in the States. I’m sure they will come and watch us.”
“I think it is important for our lads to see how much the MLS has developed since it kicked off.”
The Newcastle players were busy last night signing hundreds of autographs for the many fans who turned up, and of course Newcastle have a growing fan base over here in the US.
And with football being the world’s top game, it’s important for Newcastle to gain global appeal quickly, so we wouldn’t be surprised if next summer the squad goes to Asia, where football is huge and growing in popularity very quickly.
And if you didn’t see our earlier report- here’s information for Newcastle fans regarding the game tonight, and arrangements that have been made by the fans over here.