KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After a series of injury hiccups early in the season, Chance Myers has found his form down the stretch and re-established himself as the durable end-to-end player Sporting Kansas City need him to be.
“Obviously, he's got it under control and he's been consistent with being able to step on the field,” manager Peter Vermes said late last week during the club's weekly news conference. “And that's great, because that's what we need the most out of him. If he can do that, then everything else falls into place.”
A succession of nagging muscle tweaks kept the right back out of six matches through June 22 – but since then, he has been out of the XI just once. Still, his 27 regular-season league appearances, with 26 starts, were Myers' fewest since he took over the right back's position in 2011.
He also was out for one of Sporting's two US Open Cup matches and three of their four matches in CONCACAF Champions League group-stage play.
“In the grand scheme of things, that's not a lot, but it is for me,” Myers said. “I like to be in there every game, whether it's Open Cup, Champions League, anything. I hate missing a game. It's never easy watching the game, and for me I want to be one of those iron man guys who can play every minute of every game, given the chance.”
He's done that in the playoffs so far, playing all 300 minutes over three matches (including overtime in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against New England) – and barring a major surprise, he'll be back in the XI again on Saturday, when Sporting host Houston in the decisive second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship (7:30 pm ET, NBCSN, Univ. Deportes, TSN2 in Canada).
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And after two straight years of postseason disappointment at the hands of the Dynamo, Myers is looking to help his club get past them and into their first MLS Cup final since 2004.
“I lean on my team as much as my team leans on me,” he said. “You have your positional abilities and what you can do to help the team, but you rely on the guys next to you, and what they're going to bring.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.