Sporting Kansas City made a flurry of moves yesterday and one of those was recieving Columbus Crew midfielder Bernardo Anor. We talked with Patrick Murphy from Massive Report about Sporting KC's latest acquisition.
1) Statistically, at least, it seemed like Anor had a breakout year in 2014. What did he bring to the table for the Crew both in terms of stats and other on-field production?
Anor certainly had his best year in 2014 with a career-high six goals and more than one multi-goal game. He flourished in new head coach Gregg Berhalter's system, which asked the wide midfielders not to provide the width as much as be a part of the possession game in the middle of the field. He was able to get on the ball and attack the defense in more central areas.
One thing Anor discussed multiple times this year was playing with consistency, which he did better this year than any of his previous seasons. Even when he wasn't scoring, he still found ways to contribute. He would have likely had a better year if it weren't for the performances of Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay, who locked down the two starting winger positions over the final third of the year.
2) Anor has made appearances at all sorts of positions. How valuable is his versatility?
It was very valuable over the course of his four-year career with the Black and Gold. Over that time, Anor played on either side of the midfield, in central midfield, in behind the single forward, and at left back. At the end of 2013 it appeared his best position might be alongside Wil Trapp in the middle of the park, but under Berhalter, he demonstrated how dangerous he could be on the outside.
I will be interested to see how Kansas City uses Anor. While the playing style is similar to the one used in Columbus in that it's possession based, it's not the same. Anor's versatility will allow him to give Sporting several options. He's someone who opposing defenses must be worried about unloading a shot from anywhere, so as long as Peter Vermes can get him around the box, he should be successful.
3) Has Anor had any problems following his ACL injury in 2012? Even just a drop in form or any changes to his play before the injury.
No, actually I would say he's been better since returning from the ACL injury. Now, that could just be due to experience, as he got hurt in his second year as a professional, but he came back strong in 2013 and was a bright spot at the end of the year on a team that didn't make the playoffs and was certainly a part of the team's success in 2014.
Since returning from the injury, Anor has played in 47 games over the course of the two seasons. Any issues the Venezuelan had over that time were never revealed as complications from the knee surgery and were all minor.