One was in an unfamiliar position. The other went far longer than expected in his return to the starting XI.
Either way, both Uri Rosell and Jacob Peterson played key roles in helping Sporting Kansas City pick up a road point in Saturday's scoreless draw against the Montreal Impact.
Rosell, a center back turned defensive midfielder, made his first start in an attacking mid role while Roger Espinoza served a one-match suspension for caution accumulation and Paulo Nagamura shifted to the bench after getting banged up during Sporting’s 2-0 midweek win in New York.
“I asked him to do something different, because I thought Naga was struggling a little bit,” manager Peter Vermes told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “So he did something that he wasn't normally used to. But I tell you what, he did a good job. He was good in the game. His instincts to move the ball were excellent, and he put himself in good positions to really help us at times.”
Nagamura came in for Júlio César at the hour mark, allowing Rosell to take on more defensive duties for the remainder of his 89-minute outing. Before that, though, Rosell displayed a crisp touch on several long passes.
“I thought he played well,” midfielder Graham Zusi said. “He played smart, simple and he found his gaps pretty well.”
The only downside to Rosell's first start, Vermes said, was that he wore down late in the match.
“He expended a lot of energy out there, so I think he got a little tired,” Vermes said. “I probably left him out there five to 10 minutes too long, but I was trying to squeeze every ounce out of him.”
Vermes also got a longer-than-expected stint from Peterson, who was making his first start since he sprained his right shoulder in a 2-1 home loss to Columbus on July 28.
On Friday, Vermes said Peterson was good for 45 minutes, perhaps 60 if the situation called for it. But against the Impact, Peterson – who was later ejected from the bench for what the match report called “foul and abusive language” – played past the 80-minute mark.
“It was the same thing. I probably left him out there 5-10 minutes too long as well,” Vermes said. “But he did a good job. We squeezed every ounce out of him as well. I thought all of our guys gave a great performance.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.