Sporting Kansas City enjoyed some success in 2014 with their attacking triad. Dom Dwyer improved upon his 2013 season to score a club record 22 goals, while Sporting KC inked winger Graham Zusi to a designated player contract. They were never ever to find a consistent left winger, however, and their heralded designated player in Claudio Bieler scored more time on the bench then he did goals.
Outside of their essential parts, Sporting KC overhauled the forwards for 2015 and will have a new set of depth going into the season.
Who is Out?
Soony Saad- Contract not renewed
Claudio Bieler- Contract termination
CJ Sapong- Traded to Philadelphia Union for 2015 MLS Superdraft first round pick
Sal Zizzo- Exposed in Expansion Draft, picked up by New York City FC
Toni Dovale- Option declined
Who is in?
Krisztian Nemeth- Free transfer
James Ansu Rogers- Drafted in 3rd round of MLS Superdraft
Bernardo Anor- Traded from Columbus Crew for Allocation money
The forward roster
Dom Dwyer turned into a star in 2014. Scoring 22 goals helped, but making his name on social media and with goal celebrations turned him into one of the faces of Sporting KC. One of the biggest questions with Dwyer going into 2015 is whether he can keep his form up to 2014 standards and whether the shakeup in the midfield will effect the service towards him at all. He has high standards to live up this season, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
It came out in the offseason that Zusi was playing with an injured foot towards the end of 2014 but he still managed to have a productive season. He had eight assists and played with a strong pace on the right side of the ball. He comes back into this season rested, healthy, and with a strong target in the box to send in crosses. He and Dwyer are the only definite starters going into the first matchday.
"The Answer" is back as a utility man for 2015. He featured in 22 games last year and will primarily serve, once again, as a spot starter and sub off the bench. His ability to play multiple positions, from winger to fullback, makes him a popular option off the bench for Peter Vermes and with the forward depth being a little thinner in 2015, he could see a bit more action.
Anor was one of the earlier acquisitions by Sporting KC in the 2014-2015 offseason and played with the first team in the preseason. Should Sporting KC play with a 4-3-3 formation, Anor would likely be the starter opposite Zusi on the left side. Anor only started 11 times in 2014 for Columbus but at this point, it looks like he is the best option for Sporting KC on the left wing.
Nemeth is a Hungarian international that most recently placed for Roda JC Kerkrade. He scored eight goals in 24 games in his final season with the Dutch side. He impressed in preseason and was tried out as a center attacking mid for a couple of matches. Whether Sporting KC decides to keep him there in the regular season remains to be seen, considering Claudio Bieler also saw time at CAM in the 2014 preseason. Nemeth has also been proposed as depth for Dwyer or as a partner in a different type of attacking formation.
James Ansu Rogers
Ansu Rogers did not have a contract going into the 2015 preseason but played well enough in Arizona to earn one. The third round pick out of New Mexico played mostly with the reserves for the preseason and is a likely candidate to go to Oklahoma City Energy FC.