KANSA CITY, Mo. — Scott Lorenz isn’t gone for good. He’s just heading back to old stomping grounds for the time being to get some much-needed game time under his belt.
Sporting Kansas City announced Wednesday that Lorenz had been loaned to the NSC Minnesota Stars for remainder of the NASL season. Minnesota currently have 11 games remaining in their regular season and could technically play through Oct. 29 should they make a deep run in the playoffs.
SKC signed Lorenz in February after he enjoyed a standout season for the Stars in 2010 and was named the club’s Rookie of the Year in his first professional campaign. He started in his only regular season appearance against the Chicago Fire as well as all five of Sporting’s Reserve League games and two US Open Cup ties so far in 2011, but should get the opportunity to play week-in and week-out in familiar surroundings in Minnesota.
“There is almost a sense of going home since I played here last year,” Lorenz said in a phone interview from Minneapolis. “It’s a familiar city and there are still a lot of the same guys that were on the team last year, so there are familiar faces too.”
From manager Peter Vermes’ perspective, the move simply made sense for all parties involved.
Discussions with Stars manager Manny Lagos indicated the NASL side was in need of a left-sided player and Lorenz could slot back into an environment he was accustomed to while getting the game experience needed to spur his development after spending most of the season training and receiving scattered playing time.
“I want him to have games,” Vermes said. “Because of the number of games we had with Open Cup and the regular season, he got a few, but he wasn’t getting a ton. For him and his development, it’s great.”
Lorenz also has the benefit of walking into a team that has been relatively successful this season. Minnesota are currently tied for third in the eight-team NASL with a 6-7-4 record and have the second-stingiest defense in the division.
The University of Wisconsin product figures to line up somewhere on the left side with the Stars and said the timing and the opportunity to play were too good to pass up when Vermes suggested the move might be the best thing for him at this point of the season.
“I obviously love Kansas City and training with the guys every day is great, but at the end of the day, nothing compares to the real thing and playing 90 minutes,” Lorenz said. “Getting fit that way and getting game experience is important. This move is the right thing at the right time. It’s not like they are sending me away forever. I’ll be back.”
He could be back as soon as Sept. 24 should the Stars fail to make the playoffs. Either way, Lorenz should be back before Sporting’s season is over, with experience to draw upon that he wouldn’t have gotten in Kansas City and a better opportunity to make his mark in MLS come 2012.
“As a player, you always want to play,” Lorenz said. “It’s just the nature of things. I always want to play, but I understand jumping up a league is not always going to be easy and is not always going to be instant. I have tried to take my lumps in stride, improve every day and train hard. Hopefully, the coaches noticed that. Maybe at the end of this year or next year, I’ll get my shot and take advantage of it.”
Collin out for six weeks
Kansas City suffered yet another injury blow on Thursday when the club announced starting central defender Aurélien Collin could miss up to six weeks with a back injury suffered last weekend against Toronto.
Collin was forced out of the 4-2 home victory against the Reds after being on the receiving end of a collision and was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the transverse process of the L2 and L3 vertebrae this week.
Surgery will not be required, but Collin, who has started 15 games since signing in April, faces a painful road forward as he waits for the vertebrae to heal.
“He’s hurting right now,” Vermes said.