This or That: Teal Bunbury or C.J. Sapong?
Welcome to the latest installment of MLSsoccer.com's "This or That?" It's is as simple as it gets: You choose one of two options. Sometimes you might want a third option or the ability to choose "both," but that's not the point. The point is to present an either/or question and find out where people's opinions lie.
With Teal Bunbury already out of the picture after linking up with Caleb Porter's US U-23 national team ahead of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, Sporting Kansas City will be without their promising young striker for at least three MLS games.
Manager Peter Vermes will undoubtedly miss the speedy forward, who scored 12 times in all competitions last season, but there's a reason why few in Kansas City seem particularly worried.
Help is in reserve, an awful lot of help in fact.
In Bunbury's place will surely step the 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year, C.J. Sapong, who did not start against D.C. last weekend during First Kick 2012, yet came off the bench and ran United ragged before scoring the winner deep into stoppage time.
That goal and Bunbury's absence puts a topic on the forefront that fans in Kansas City have already been debating for most of the past year: Sapong or Bunbury? Boiled down to the most basic elements, which player is the more important to Sporting?
Bunbury’s blistering pace and predatory instincts, coupled with his brute strength and ability to get in behind the backline, make him a real handful for any MLS defender to deal with.
WATCH: Sapong scores winner in D.C.
Meanwhile, Sapong's ability in the air and hold-up play brings others into the game, and his creative eye opens up defenses and allows him to time late runs into the box from deep-lying areas to perfection.
Whichever way you look at it, the dynamic duo of Bunbury and Sapong has been instrumental in Sporting’s rise as a major MLS force. Yet if the US qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London, Bunbury will likely be missing for another large chunk of the campaign, so Sapong may be even more crucial to Kansas City’s title hopes than he already is.