As I began to watch the season over again, starting way back in March with the game against Seattle, there was one thing that really stuck out to me, Jordi Quintilla. Jordi started out the season as the starter while Benny Feilhaber was coming back from injury. I can even remember thinking to myself while watching Sporting KC's preseason games in Tucson how much Jordi had improved in just one off season.
What changes did I see in Jordi's game? HIs first touch was impeccable. I remember several times seeing a player pass him a ball in the middle of traffic and his first touch allowing him to maneuver out of it. His passing ability had improved as well. While watching the Seattle and Vancouver games you couldn't help but notice the amount of possession that Sporting KC had, and a lot of it was attributed to Jordi. In those two games Jordi did an excellent job of either giving his teammates an easy option or finding another pocket of space to allow Roger Espinoza or Soni Mustivar to get on to the ball. Lastly what I was most pleased with was his defensive work rate. It's easy to be have a work rate when your team has the ball, but for me the difference in a good center mid is how much they work to win the ball back when their team doesn't have it.
I believe what happened with Jordi was simply his confidence. He played well at the beginning of the season when he knew he was the out right starter and that Benny was recovering. Jordi really struggled with fighting to hold his spot as the season wore on, and maybe even took a bigger confidence hit when he went from being the outright starter to being loaned down to Swope Park Rangers (and didn't have a good showing). I think after his last few performances Sporting became frustrated with him and that's why they decided to let him go.
Ponder then the center mid that was brought in after Jordi was let go, Emmanuel Appiah. If you want to try and tell me that you think Appiah has more potential or a better player than Jordi than I will say that you're crazy. If the fact that Jordi spent 5 years between FC Barcelona's academy and their B team doesn't tell you the potential that he has then I don't know what tells you that a player has potential (keep in mind Jordi is only 23-years old, the same age as Appiah).
I believe that Jordi should be brought back in. In my opinion Jordi should be offered a contract with Swope Park Rangers, and allowed to see how it goes. Kevin Oliveira and Ualefi will both be recovering from ACL tears and will likely be in limited roles to begin the 2017 season (I see Oliveira and Ualefi getting moved up to SKC and receiving minutes to spare Benny Feilhaber, Roger Espinoza, and Soni Mustivar). Jordi will have to compete with Ayrton right from the start (if he comes back in 2017), but having all of this competition will only make all four of these players better and new head coach Nikola Popovic a deeper midfield.
The last thing I'll say about this is if you aren't convinced that Jordi deserves one more season, whether it's in a SKC jersey or SPR jersey, then I encourage you to watch this video and still tell me you don't think he's deserving.