Multiple reports out of Brazil have former Sporting Kansas City fullback, Igor Juliao, set for a return in 2017. Both Lance! and O Dia have confirmation from Juliao’s club, Fluminense FC, that he is being loaned to Sporting KC for the entire 2017 season.
For those that don’t recall, Juliao was loaned to SKC back in April of 2014 when he was just 19-years-old. Due to a Chance Myers ruptured Achilles injury, Juliao played far more than anyone probably thought he would. He would end up making 23 appearances (all starts) and amassing 1,992 minutes and two assists.
Juliao was known for his dynamic ability on the ball, his speed getting forward and his sometime suspect defense.
My best guess is he’ll be the primary backup at right back behind Saad Abdul-Salaam, who actually stole the job from Myers when he was dealing with yet another injury to start 2016. Assuming SAS can stay healthy, and he has so far in his career, Juliao again can be the backup that he likely should be.
That said, imagine a back line that includes both Juliao and Jimmy Medranda. They would be very dangerous going forward but potentially suspect on defense (though Medranda may prove otherwise, and Juliao is three years older and wiser).
Since Juliao’s loan to SKC in 2014 he’s actually been on loan with three other clubs: ABC Futebol Clube, Macaé Esporte Futebol Clube and Associação Ferroviária de Esportes. Recently he’s returned to Fluminense and actually made it into the game day 18.
When our Site Manager, Thad Bell, reached out for comment from SKC they were able to confirm that Juliao is a target. They also confirmed that Gerso Fernandes and Latif Blessing are also targets (learn about Latif and Gerso).
If indeed the club can secure any or all of these guys, the team will definitely be much younger and much faster in 2017, which is something Peter Vermes has indicated was a goal for this offseason.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see all three of these guys get signed and if the minutes aren’t there with the first team, there is always a loan to the Swope Park Rangers waiting in the wings.
UPDATE (like seconds after we published this): Igor himself confirmed he’s coming back.
December 22, 2016
Stay with The Blue Testament as news continues to break during the busy and short MLS offseason.