In one of Steve Davis' latest pieces on his Daily Soccer Fix SB Nation Blog, Davis called into question some of Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes' personnel decisions over the last year or so. He listed three decisions by Vermes that he feels were questionable. Those three being;
1. Letting Josh Wolff go, although he does go on to write that Wolff's injury history made this move understandable.
2. Selling Jack Jewsbury to Portland.
3. Letting Kevin Hartman go, and signing Jimmy Nielsen.
First, it's worth mentioning that I've talked to more than a few Sporting Kansas City supporters who feel that Davis doesn't know one iota about Sporting Kansas City, and after reading his criticisms of Vermes, I have to tend to agree with that sentiment.
On Wolff, Davis writes;
Josh Wolff is a big part of the recent success at D.C. United. His health was always an issue, so it's hard to splatter SKC for that one.
I just don't see Sporting letting Wolff go as being that big of a deal. The team has plenty of attacking options with players such as Teal Bunbury, CJ Sapong, and Soony Saad. All three players are younger, and make less money than Wolff. I'd imagine every team in MLS would rather have Bunbury or Sapong over Wolff if given that choice.
Where exactly is the downside to this decision? Not to say that Wolff hasn't played an integral part in the success D.C. United has had this season, but I just don't think Wolff fit on this Sporting Kansas City team with the number of quality players the team has at the same position.
On selling Jack Jewsbury to the Portland Timbers, Davis writes;
Jack Jewsbury is a major reason Portland still has a heartbeat in the MLS playoff race. I don't personally rate him in my Top Five in the chase for MLS MVP, but some people do. Jewsbury went to Portland for allocation money, so there was some level of compensation there.
There's no denying that Jewsbury has had a very good season for Portland, but once again, much like the Wolff situation, I'm quite happy with how things have turned out for Sporting.
I had a twitter conversation with Mike Kuhn from the Sporting Kansas City website Down the Byline a day or so ago in which we both agreed that had Jewsbury still been on the team this season, perhaps Graham Zusi wouldn't have had the opportunity to make the huge impact he's had on the club. Zusi is now one of the core players for this team, and should be for years to come.
Once again, it would have been a numbers game in the Sporting Kansas City midfield had Jewsbury stayed. Roger Espinoza, and Julio Cesar have the holding midfielder role locked down. Davy Arnaud is the captain of the squad, so he's starting every game that he's available. That would leave one spot available in the midfield for Jewsbury, and Zusi. But then again, all of this is hypothetical, and who's to say that it would have only effected Zusi's playing time. Perhaps, it would have lessened Julio Cesar's minutes as well. Who knows?
As you can see, there are endless possibilities and scenarios and it's probably not really worth our time trying to figure them all out.
At the end of the day, I think the move was best for everyone involved; Graham Zusi emerged as a huge piece to the Sporting midfield, and Jewsbury was able to revitalize his career in Portland.
And last but not least, on the Hartman/Nielsen issue, Davis writes;
Kevin Hartman was let go from K.C., but he's been nothing short of spectacular for FC Dallas over two campaigns. In my mind, shipping Hartman in favor of Jimmy Nielsen was a booboo.
This line was total proof to me that Davis hasn't watched a single Sporting Kansas City match this season. Hartman's been good for Dallas, but I currently have Jimmy as my team MVP this season. The guy has made huge save after huge save for Kansas City. Statistically speaking, Hartman has saved 1% more of his chances, than Nielsen. I guess it's that 1percent difference that makes the Nielsen signing a "booboo" in Davis' eyes.
So, what do you think? Do you regret these particular decisions by Vermes?