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Three Questions about Sporting Kansas City with The Blue Testament - preseason edition

RBNY will have a run at SKC in Desert Diamond Cup. Cody Bradley from The Blue Testament stopped by to fill us in on the Red Bulls' latest preseason opponent.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls' 2017 preseason continues with a Desert Diamond Cup game against Sporting Kansas City. The RBNY first team is back at home, getting ready to start the season with CONCACAF Champions League games against Vancouver Whitecaps. But the club is committed to seeing out DDC, and the tournament will provide opportunity for fringe players and trialists to advance their claim to minutes with either the first team or (more likely) NYRB II.

What of SKC? The Blue Testament's Cody Bradlley is here to tell us.

Once A Metro: What do you think SKC needed to do this off-season, how close is it to being done?

Cody Bradley: This off-season went pretty well - for me and for most of SKC nation, I think. The obvious thing everybody wanted was a winger to provide more offensive firepower. The void left by Krisztian Nemeth had still yet to be filled as Brad Davis and Justin Mapp proved to be failed experiments. Gerso Fernandes is the DP winger we've been waiting for, although Peter Vermes downplays that label. It was a matter of circumstances that lead to that DP status, but he will talk with even more excitement about newcomers Latif Blessing and Illie Sanchez. Blessing is another speedy winger - just 20 years old - and at 19 he led the Ghanaian league in scoring. Sanchez is a 26-year-old from Spain who will provide depth in the midfield.

Vermes shored up the midfield and the attack, but if there is a knock on the off-season it is the lack of a defensive acquisition. Homegrown local kid Erik Palmer-Brown is back from a loan to Porto B, but one injury to a CB and the options will become quite limited.

I think the team is basically set and I would be surprised to see anything big happen for a while. Although PV is always searching and will take any player they like when given an opportunity.

OaM: RBNY will be fielding a second team due to CCL commitments, but what sort of lineup should we expect from KC - and who should we be excited to see play?

CB: We should see just about everybody on the SKC roster and their brothers as well. Dom Dwyer and Matt Besler are still rehabbing from surgeries so they may see even more limited time than the rest. But most of the starters will be given a half and then we'll see backups and some Swope Park Rangers as well.

We, as Sporting fans, are excited about Blessing whom I mentioned already. But hopefully that means you guys shouldn't be. He is insanely fast and will definitely be someone to watch on the wing. Gerso (or #Gershow, if you will) has already shown a bit of flash this pre-season. He will be on the other wing, with pace for days to match. Sanchez plays a less glamorous role but keep an eye on him because he might be challenging for Soni Mustivar's starting spot at holding mid.... and Soni is great! Another fun player is Soony Saad. He is back in KC after being sent off to Thailand for a couple years. He's very hungry to score and has absolutely insane power behind his shots.

OaM: Apart from the result, what is a positive outcome for KC from this game? What does the team want to get out of this scrimmage?

CB: Positive outcome is get minutes under their belt. We need Dwyer to get game-speed minutes as he recovers, and if he could see the ball go in the net that would be perfect. I'd like Latif Blessing to prove to Vermes that he is ready to start in this league. In turn, I'd like to see Graham Zusi continue to work in the system as an outside back (but he will get used all over this year). Those two things would help set up this team very nicely. Another hope is that Jimmy Medranda shows up with some quality minutes. He was primary getting used at left back last year, but he's got a lot of quality and, if he progresses enough, he could be very dangerous in the midfield for KC this year.

Thanks, Cody! Follow Cody on Twitter and find out what OaM had to say about RBNY over at The Blue Testament.