This is part two of a 31 part series that will look at 31 different narratives from the 2016 year in Kansas City soccer. Each day in December will have a new article. For day one, read about Brad Davis and Justin Mapp joining SKC.
Sporting Kansas City aren’t known to make huge waves with their midseason signings. That doesn’t stop everyone from getting excited during the summer transfer window. This season was no different but the signings failed to excite. Vermes chimed in that they were trying but weren’t going to overpay.
Vermes: We were very active in the summer window but we are not going to overpay for players #SportingKC— Thad (@TheBackpost) November 29, 2016
This season there were four (well technically five) acquisitions over the summer. We’ll go over them one-by-one.
June 24th: Ever Alvarado
Alvarado joined the club a day after Sporting KC released Jordi Quintilla (to the dismay of many—including myself). He played on the Honduras National Team with new teammate Roger Espinoza. Ever was viewed as a player who could potentially step in as a starting left back. That never came to fruition as Jimmy Medranda made that spot his own.
Alvarado would only end up with one league appearance for a mere 29 minutes. He also appeared in the CONCACAF Champions League but spent a majority of his time with the Swope Park Rangers. He had 10 appearances, 878 minutes and two assists from the back line. Sporting chose not to exercise his contract option before Thanksgiving but there is always a chance he ends up back with SKC or SPR later in the offseason.
July 12th: Emmanual Appiah
Appiah would be the next to join the club, really filling that midfield gap left by the Quintilla release a few weeks before. Much like Alvarado, Appiah only made one appearance (though for 90 minutes) in league play. He also spent much of his time on the Swope Park Rangers (six appearances for 296 minutes). Appiah was quite creative on the ball but often took bad touches that led to turnovers. He too had his option declined but it was initially rumored he would be an SPR signing, so it’s possible he ends up back there next year.
July 12th: Cameron Porter
On the same day as the Appiah signing a bit of a bigger shock took place. Amadou Dia, who had been the starting left back for a chunk of the season, was traded to the Montreal Impact in exchange for Cameron Porter. Dia was excessive depth at left back with Medranda, Seth Sinovic and the Alvarado signing and SKC was thin at forward with their constant injuries.
Unlike the previously mentioned players, Porter will actually be back in 2017 (at least as it stands now). He is under contract and has a very reasonable salary as just a second round pick. Porter also had limited time in regular season games getting two appearances for 32 minutes. He did feature during the CCL games and even notched a goal against Central FC. As it stands now he is the most likely depth for Dom Dwyer at center forward with Diego Rubio out with a torn ACL (pending a Daniel Salloi recall from loan).
*September 1st: Diego Rubio
I put an asterisk since he was already on the team, but on September 1st his loan was made permanent. It could be argued he was the best signing but some would say the worst. The reason being he’s a backup that is using up one of the teams three Designated Player spots. He does have the best stats (but was on the team basically all year). He had 15 appearances (three starts) with a single goal in league play. He also became the first player to also score a goal during the CCL, MLS and USL seasons.
September 15th: Benji Joya
Joya joined the club at the last possible moment coming in at the roster freeze deadline. We probably know the least about Joya since he never made it on the field during the regular season. Joya has played extensively for the United States U-20 National Team but that was several years ago. He also had some CCL minutes this season and looked like a good box-to-box option to backup Roger Espinoza, but those minutes came in a meaningless game. It’ll be interesting to see if that progress continues.
As you can see, no earth shattering deals. No Nicolas Lodeiro to turn the season around. That simply doesn’t seem like something Sporting KC will ever do. Midseason acquisitions tend to contribute more in their second season (if at all). With Rubio’s torn ACL and Alvarado and Appiah having their options not picked up, only Joya and Porter look like they may have a chance to contribute in 2017 and they both look like backups. There is always that January transfer window.