Training Report: Burling back on the pitch
Bobby Burling returned to the training pitch for the first time this week after injuring his foot in a 1-0 loss to Colorado on Saturday.
The 6-foot-5 central defender made it through the entire session on Thursday, but said he still felt pain in his injured foot. San Jose's coaching staff wouldn't commit to a line up for Saturday's match against Kansas City, but Burling could be available.
Omar Jasseh also made a return appearance to the Nutrilite Training Facility on Thursday. The explosive 17-year-old midfielder spent the last two weeks in Africa while representing his native Gambia at the Orange African Youth Championships. Jasseh helped the Young Scorpions advance by scoring a goal in a 4-1 aggregate result against Sierra Leone.
Tim Ward practiced with San Jose for the first time since being traded from Chicago last week. After flying straight from Chicago to Denver for the Quakes match against Colorado last weekend, Ward spent the last few days sorting out his move to California.
Ward was part of a group of apparent starters training together during a 9-on-9 scrimmage. Also in the mix were Jon Busch, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Sam Cronin, Bobby Convey, Khari Stephenson, Arturo Alvarez and Chris Wondolowski.
Still, it's difficult to anticipate a definite first XI for Kansas City. Will Ryan Johnson slide back into the starting rotation after playing 78 minutes for Jamaica in a 3-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday? Does head coach Frank Yallop return to a traditional 4-4-2 or stick with the 4-1-4-1 San Jose employed last weekend? And where does Burling go if he's fit to play?