KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City will be on the pitch Saturday at Red Bull Arena for the 2021 season opener against the New York Red Bulls, but the club's veteran starting goalkeeper, Tim Melia, won't be with them.
Manager Peter Vermes said Melia might miss the first few weeks of the season with an undisclosed injury.
"Tim is actually progressing very quickly," Vermes said. "It's not a long-term thing. It's a short-term thing."
19-year-old John Pulskamp will start in Melia's place. He's never appeared in an MLS game, but Vermes expressed confidence.
"It's amazing that I look at him sometimes that he's 19 years old," Vermes said. "The kid's a beast."
Pulskamp, who turns 20 on Monday, allowed three goals and made nine saves in two games for Sporting II, the club's USL Championship side, during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Fellow goalkeeper Brooks Thompson, Amadou Dia, Graham Zusi, and Kendall McIntosh also won't be available for the season opener.
Sporting KC shored up depth at the goalkeeper position earlier Thursday, announcing that it had signed Parker Siegfried on loan from USL Championship side Louisville City FC.
SKC had to trade a 2023 third-round pick to New York City FC in exchange for Siegfried's MLS rights.