A couple days ago the name Antonio (Toni) Rodriguez Dovale was linked with Sporting Kansas City and morereportspopped up Wednesday. The 23 year-old Spaniard plays for mid-table Celta Vigo in La Liga but appears to have fallen out of favor with his manager.
Toni has played in only 12 (started 11) of his team's 26 matches so far this year and has two assists. Those two assists do rank him tied for fifth on Celta with the most being four so it seems that he was contributing from the left back position. He was originally a forward but was converted to left back by his current manager.
He has spent time in the Barcelona and Celta youth system before graduating to the Celta ‘B' team and eventually the senior squad.
Often rumors are just rumors with little or no basis in fact but this time there is at least some validity to the reports. While there is not much to report, Sporting KC's Manager Peter Vermes confirmed they do have an eye on Toni. "We do have an interest but there's nothing to talk about yet," stated Vermes.
A closer look
Vermes admitting interest is telling. He would not normally be so open about it unless they are not worried about losing him to another team. Perhaps Sporting KC has a discovery claim on him, preventing other MLS teams from signing him or he just may not be so good that he would be a great loss if another team scooped him up.
Toni does seem like the type of player that Vermes likes to take a risk on, talented but not fitting in with current team, can play multiple positions (forward and back) and with the technical ability born from playing for Barcelona's youth system.
The ultimate question would be how long would it take for him to become "Sporting Fit"?