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Is Fausto Rossi the Next Sporting KC Midfielder?

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Even after Benny Feilhaber re-signed with Sporting KC, it appears the team may be on the verge of adding another midfield piece to the puzzle.

Real Madrid CF v Cordoba CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Former Juventus footballer Fausto Rossi has long been rumored to be joining Sporting Kansas City. Those rumors got a little hotter when Rossi was interviewed (in Italian). When asked if he’ll be playing in America in January he responded (via Google Translate) that “the percentages are very high.” He stated an agreement hasn’t been finalized yet.

SKC isn’t fully mentioned but “Kansas” is. I often hear people in other countries refer to Sporting KC as Sporting Kansas. There have also been rumblings that the team that Rossi could be joining is Orlando City or New York Red Bulls.

Rossi is currently out of contract with Juventus. He had been a part of their youth system since he was just eight years old. He’s now 25. Rossi actually never appeared on the field for Juventus (though he did make it into the 18 several times). He actually was consistently sent out on loan for the duration of his professional career.

Fausto has Italian National Team experience as well, though it’s entirely at the U-21 level and lower. He’s never appeared for the Senior Team. Even though that’s the case, let’s get unreasonably excited about this news. The last Italian to come to MLS (that I recall) was Sebastian Giovinco. I’m sure this will work out as good as that did.

The question is, with the re-signing of Benny Feilhaber, is there a need for another midfielder on SKC. Roger Espinoza remains the highest paid player on the whole team (and is now a Designated Player) at $800,000. Benny got a raise and Soni Mustivar has been serviceable as a defensive midfielder.

When Rossi was first rumored he was thought to be a Benny replacement. Now that he isn’t needed as a replacement, his cost appears to be too high. His value is roughly estimated to be €1.7 million (about $1.8 million USD). That’s more than twice as much as the next player on SKC [It’s been correctly pointed out to me in the comments that is a transfer fee, not a salary. My bad!]. It’s hard to see Rossi playing out of position on the wing, which is the true position of need.

Also, if Peter Vermes is still playing his 4-3-3 system (which he will be), there is no room for a fourth midfielder (at least not at that salary). It’s possible Rossi can play defensive midfielder, but all statistics I can track down tend to show he doesn’t play that deep.

The only way I can see this actually happening is if Fausto Rossi signs for a very reasonable salary. That wouldn’t be out of the question (see Krisztian Nemeth). Rossi has been out of contract for six months so he could be looking for a bit of a reclamation project in MLS.

We’ll bring you more news as it breaks. The offseason is starting to get rolling and it should get pretty crazy after MLS Cup in early December.