KANSAS CITY, Kan. — While acknowledging the challenges that CONCACAF Champions League play will present to his club – especially if they're still in contention to defend their 2012 US Open Cup title – Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said he will wait until closer to this summer's CCL group stage before deciding whether to recall any of his club's loanees to USL PRO affiliate Orlando City SC.
“I have the availability to do it, sure,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “It just depends on where we are at the time, player-wise and everything else, and how I think everything fits together. It's not something that I would say right now, either '100 percent absolutely' or '100 percent absolutely not.' It just doesn't work that way.”
Dwyer has been rewriting the third-tier league's scoring record books since his loan, and the other three players have all seen significant action for the Lions – although none of them will compete against their parent club when the two sides meet on June 12 in the Open Cup's fourth round.
On Monday, Sporting were drawn into a group with Honduran champion and perennial CCL qualifier CD Olimpia and Nicaraguan champion Real Estelí. Dates for the round-robin, home-and-home group stage have not yet been announced.
"Those are a tough two teams we've got to play, for sure,” Vermes said. “Olimpia is a very good team. A lot of good players in our league have come from that club, so definitely a very difficult opponent in the first round.”
Olimpia have made five appearances in the new-format CCL, making the quarterfinals in 2010-11 and 2012-13. Real Estelí have made three CCL appearances, reaching the group stage in 2012.
“Real Estelí will be difficult for a number of reasons – getting there, the travel and everything else,” Vermes said. “They're a club that has been known to be tough to play against. Both those clubs are going to be a tough go for us.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.