For the last 31 days left in the year, we're going to be looking back at 31 different storylines from 2014 in Kansas City soccer. From Sporting KC's roller coaster season, to FC Kansas City and the Missouri Comets both winning their respective league championships, each day we'll have a different article looking back at one of the 31 most important stories in Kansas City soccer this year as we get ready for 2015 and everything it brings.
The initial news of the Uri Rosell transfer seemingly came out of nowhere. While we're used to Taylor Twellman, Grant Wahl or any of the reputable British newspapers bringing us transfer news, a CCN reporter was the first to say that Sporting KC.
1. Transfer news: Former La Masia graduate Oriol Rosell returning to Europe. Leaving Sporting Kansas City for Sporting Lisbon #fcb— John Sinnott (@JohnSinnott) May 14, 2014
This tweet was taken with a grain of salt at the time. After all, it came on the same day as Sporting Kansas City playing the Philadelphia Union. Rosell played the full 90 in the Sporting KC loss, although Rosell would be listed as injured for the next match against the Chicago Fire.
It would be a few weeks before any more news came out about Rosell transferring. He was still injured and had not played in a match since the one against the Union and Sporting KC were starting to miss their solid defensive midfielder. News started to pick up as June started with the Portuguese media picking up news of Rosell's transfer. Nothing had been confirmed by either club or player, but it was starting to look like the unconfirmed rumors from a few weeks prior were becoming real.
While Sporting was losing a key contributor, Peter Vermes, at the time, said that Sporting would continue to evolve and grow stronger despite the loss of Rosell. These quotes are from the article linked above, reported by our very own site manager Thad Bell.
"I don't know anyone that has left the club and we went down. Every year we have evolved stronger and stronger. It's the nature of the business that we are in. We are in a place where sometimes you can't compete with foreign clubs because of the dynamics they have regarding finances."
A lot of emphasis was put on salary cap. Rosell's quality would certainly have demanded a high salary once it came time for contract re-negotiations and with Sporting Lisbon reportedly offering $1.77 million for him, it had to be hard to turn down.
"We have a salary cap, they don't," Vermes said. "Certain situations sometimes dictate what you have to do but we have always managed to do the right thing, especially for the long term of our organization. As much as we liked Uri and he liked it here and he fit into our team well, we have other guys who can play there and will do a good job for us."
Rosell leaving left a hole in Sporting KC's midfield that would remain a bit of a liability for the rest of the year. Lawrence Olum, the solid backup that he was, was not able to be the defensive stalwart or the passing guru that Rosell was. Sporting brought on Jorge Claros later in the transfer window that gave them some stability at the defensive midfield position, but adjusting to a new midfield is hard and Claros definitely looked like a midseason transfer.
So far, Rosell has played in just a few matches for Sporting Lisbon but that includes getting some play in the UEFA Champions League. Rosell's journey in Kansas City was short, going from a midseason transfer in 2012, to a regular starter and significant contributor in 2013, to a season cut short by transfer in 2014. Such is the nature of the business.