Life as an MLS coach is difficult enough during the summer, with international competitions chipping away at rosters. Add in the resurgence of COVID-19, and sometimes it's hard to know who is available.
But Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes has an unusual quandary as his club prepares to host the San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday night. He's not sure if he'll be available.
"I can't answer the question," he said when speaking about his availability with the media Monday.
Vermes and two of his players were in MLS safety protocols two days before the match. He declined to name the two players, but he laughed at the fact that he wasn't sure if he'd be on the sideline in 48 hours.
"Just to be clear, I can't answer the question because I really don't know," he said.
"I'm going to say (the players being available for Wednesday's match) is probably unlikely. It's definitely going to cause shuffling in the lineup, but we'll put a good team out on the field like we always try to."
Sporting certainly will be without striker Alan Pulido, who is with the Mexican national team competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and midfielder Gianluca Busio, who is on the American squad.
Midfielder Felipe Hernandez is away from the team for undisclosed personal reasons, meaning versatility will be key for SKC (8-3-2, 26 points).
San Jose (3-7-3, 12 points) is in 11th place in the Western Conference. Midfielder Jackson Yueill is also on the USMNT roster, so he won't be available. Playing their third consecutive road match against a team above the red line, the Earthquakes will at least be looking to match the back-to-back draws, if not steal three points on the road.
Forward Cade Cowell tallied his fourth assist of the season and fifth of his MLS career in the match against Colorado. He became the first player in MLS to tally at least four goals and four assists this season.
"Cade keeps growing and yet is still very young," Quakes coach Matias Almeyda said. "When he improves on the things that I am looking for, he will become a very important player for his club and country."
--Field Level Media