KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Two Minnesota United players left the pitch limping in the 3-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. But their statuses are unclear.
Winger Miguel Ibarra came off in favor of midfielder Rasmus Schuller in the eighth minute. A team spokesman confirmed Ibarra had a right calf strain.
Left back Marc Burch limped off in the 63rd minute, with Justin Davis taking his place. Burch has managed a lingering groin injury most of this season, but it has only kept him out of practices.
Coach Adrian Heath declined to give an update on Burch or Ibarra.
United was already depleted heading into this match, missing center back Francisco Calvo and midfielder Johan Venegas to national team duty with Costa Rica, midfielder Sam Cronin to suspension and forward Abu Danladi to injury.
Far from full speed
United's three substitutions against Kansas City were all players who hadn't played in more than a month.
Schuller most recently played in the first half April 15 at Houston, when he left early because of a hip flexor injury that has plagued him since.
He did make the match-day squad May 13 at Toronto but didn't play and then re-aggravated his injury.
"Yeah, it was hard," Schuller said. "Didn't feel, like, physically ready, maybe, to play … 80 minutes. The end result reflects that."
Davis played for the first time since April 23 against the Colorado Rapids. Winger Bashkim Kadrii came on for Ish Jome in the 55th minute after not playing since April 29 and not making the squad since the last meeting with Kansas City on May 7.
Schuller said it didn't feel like any of the players were ready to come into the match, and it "shouldn't be like that."
"Nobody can take any satisfaction out of that game today," Heath said when asked of the substitutes' performances.
Oh captain, my captain
With Francisco Calvo gone on national team duty, Minnesota United was in need of a captain Saturday. Well, the armband didn't have to move very far. Just a little to the right, in fact.
Fellow center back Brent Kallman acted as team leader for the first time officially. Kallman wore the armband in preseason when he played with the non-starters.
"I just think he deserved it," Heath said of naming the defender captain. "Local kid. Means a lot to him to play for the club."
Every captain for United this season has been a center back, beginning with Vadim Demidov to start the season before Kallman eventually took his spot in the starting lineup. Calvo then took over the captain duties.
"I was excited for the challenge," Kallman said. "I was happy to be named captain. But I wish we would have performed a little better."