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Official: Sporting KC acquires versatile Amobi Okugo from Orlando

Orlando wanted Carrasco and Sporting wanted depth, a perfect match?

While with the Union, Okugo had a meeting of the minds with future team mate Collin at Sporting Park
While with the Union, Okugo had a meeting of the minds with future team mate Collin at Sporting Park
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

We reported it earlier today and it is now official. Sporting Kansas City has added much needed depth in three spots when they acquired Amobi Okugo from Orlando City SC for Servando Carrasco.

"Okugo can play three positions, he can play central defender, he can play defensive midfielder, he can play the number eight role, one of the attacking midfielders for us," Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes stated after practice. "For them, (Orlando City) they had a real interest in Servando, in the way that he plays defensive midfielder."

Orlando wanted Carrasco for some time and approached Sporting KC multiple times. "They (Orlando) came with an interest in him (Servando). A while back they asked about and we weren't willing to do it. They came back a couple more times and we started thinking about it and we started talking about a certain player, which was Amobi. It ended up being a good fit because we needed cover in those positions," Vermes explained.

Picking up Okugo relieves some pressure on Vermes. After Ike Opara was injured again early in the season, it has primarily been Matt Besler and Kevin Ellis at center back with a few appearances by 18 year old Erik Palmer-Brown thrown in. Okugo may challenge for starting center back role or be center back depth at least, sparing the need to rush anyone into a starting role.

Vermes is familiar with Amobi

In December of 2011, Peter Vermes and the rest of the Sporting Kansas City coaching staff took the Generation Adidas team to Holland for training and Okugo was part of that squad. "That was a great opportunity to see him and get a chance to be around him," Vermes explained.

Vermes expects his players to be good locker room guys as well as perform on the field and sees Okugo as fitting in well. "He is a great kid. He has a couple good friends on the team as well which I just found out. He is a good kid, he really is. He will fit into our team really well from that point of view."

What does this mean for the transfer window?

The summer window is open until early August and it was expect that Sporting would try to find a center back for depth. They had Ghanaian John Mensah in for a quick look but declined to sign him, possibly because the trade was working towards agreement.

When asked about the transfer window, Vermes replied, "I would like to say that I think we are still planning on doing some other things but what we are not pressed to do is try to force somebody into the team that maybe we aren't sure it's the right person. We have a lot of confidence that Amobi can do a lot of things which is going to help us. I look at it as one player that covers three positions which is fantastic for us."

"One of the big things in this window is trying to find players and a lot of times when you try to find players they end up being foreign players," Vermes continued. "But there is a lot of things that can go wrong with those moves."

Other considerations

While Vermes would not go into any detail about what "other considerations" were, he did say that it was "very favorable" for Sporting Kansas City. Other sources have suggested that Orlando is covering a significant portion of Okugo's salary for the next year or two.

Update: It has been confirmed that "Orlando will retain a portion of Okugo's budget charge for 2015 and 2016."