The final pieces to Marc Dos Santos' squad are officially in place.
The Swope Park Rangers have announced the loans of Jon Kempin, Jimmy Medranda, and Daniel Salloi from Sporting KC. Kempin and Medranda have both seen time with the Rangers since Tuscon, but Salloi just joined about a week ago. All three SKC prospects are available for selection in Saturday's inaugural match against Portland Timbers 2 at Children's Mercy Park.
Now that we can see the whole team ready for the season, there is a lot to like. Once again, Sporting Kansas City have done it right. From getting a respected, ambitious coach in Marc Dos Santos, to making another KC kid captain in Christian Duke, to bringing in guys like Oliveira and Salloi, as well as USL tested talent like Typrak and Kelly; this team is ready to make an impact it's first season.
Since the rumors began to swirl about a Sporting KC USL team, it has been pretty clear that it would be a home for Jon Kempin. The lack of playing time for him has been really unfortunate and this is his chance to come into his own. But another great thing about this move is that Zac Lubin, the number two, is actually really good as well. Kempin will have no chance to become lackadaisical this season as Lubin will be pushing him at every step to keep his position.
It has been really fun to watch Jimmy Medranda playing with the Rangers. I know that after watching him fire shots way off target from 40 yards out a few times with Sporting KC, you can begin to forget his real ability. He has never been timid with SKC, but a swagger comes out as he plays among USL talent. Jimmy has the talent to win MVP of the league this season (Oliveira is another guy who could be in that discussion) and I think he is ready to prove he is that good. This is going to be great for Medranda as he can build up confidence playing competitive minutes, while within arms reach of Vermes and the first team.
Salloi was probably always going to see time with Swope Park this season, but the signing of Diego Rubio probably expedited the process. Although he needs to bulk up, he definitely looks like he belongs with the first team. He has a powerful shot and is pretty crafty. But it will be good for him to be able to get playing time in stead of sitting on the bench with SKC. It will be interesting how Dos Santos balances playing time between Salloi and Dane Kelly, who has 21 goals in USL the past two seasons. Daniel has only been with SPR for about the last week or so, so he most likely will not start on Saturday. But look for him to play quite a bit and I see him racking up several goals this season.
Head Coach Marc Dos Santos on the three loans..
It's not a big surprise for people that those three players are with us. Kempin was an obvious choice. Right from the start he's been training with us so it’s just normal. In the beginning of the year Peter gave me two names that would be playing with us a little bit more during the USL season. That was Daniel (Salloi) and Jimmy Medranda. Jimmy came in very well, he had a great preseason with us and he did well with the first team and this is why he came on in games against Seattle and Vancouver. Jimmy is now at an age in his career where he needs to play a lot of games and Swope Park Rangers is going to give him that possibility to play those games. The same thing with Daniel, he is a young player who needs that development and he is going to have an opportunity to play and get minutes.
On his expectations for them..
We just hope that they come in and they bring everything they have. They represent the club, they rep teammates of the first team when they come down. They just have to make sure that by coming down, there is nothing is guaranteed. We always told them you can't come down from the first team expecting that you'll start in the reserve team. Its going to depend on what they do and how they approach everything. They know that. I think its good for the club and good for them developing as players.
On Jimmy Medranda and how he fits into the squad
Very well! I felt that by being with us (in Arizona) and by participating much more than he does in the first team, we saw a little bit of growth there. And I think after that, it was easier for Peter to have him come off the bench in those MLS games.
So he fit in very well and that is because Jimmy is a very humble kid. There is a couple of Spanish speaking players on the team too... so he gets along with them fast. Jimmy is very good at adapting to places and hes a very humble kid that works hard. I told him yesterday, 'look we're going to use you in this spot... or this one.' And he told me 'no problem wherever you need me that's where I'm going to give my best. So his mentality is good and that's important.
It all begins tomorrow at Children's Mercy Park at 7:30p against Portland Timbers 2.