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Who Should be Loaned to the Swope Park Rangers

With Sporting Kansas City's season nearly half over, we look at who needs to get loaned to the Swope Park Rangers.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season started for Sporting KC and the Swope Park Rangers I had a few categories of players who could or should be loaned to the Rangers from SKC. From the categories "Definitely Should be Loaned" and "Very Likely to be Loaned" all the players went out on loan. That includes Jon Kempin, Daniel Salloi and Jimmy Medranda.

My last category was "Should be Loaned if Minutes are Lacking" and none of those players have gone out on loan. That includes Saad Abdul-Salaam, Amadou Dia, Connor Hallisey and Kevin Ellis. There are players I didn't anticipate, who did go out on loan. Jordi Quintilla went on loan but made only one appearance and has since been recalled and Alec Kann was just loaned down this week, but will likely return ahead of Sporting's US Open match-up with Minnesota United.

I'll break down categories again, but we are skipping the "Definite" department because I don't have that level of confidence about my ability to process Peter Vermes' thoughts.

Should Be Loaned

Amadou Dia - Left Back

Dia is one of three players selected in the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He was the 20th overall pick behind teammates Connor Hallisey (10th) and Saad Abdul-Salaam (12th). It's arguable he has been the most valuable player of the bunch. He has 10 appearances with nine starts already in 2016 (and he had 22 appearances with 13 starts in 2015).

You may be asking how a player who has played 10 of a total of 16 games could land in the "Should Be Loaned" category. I contend with the emergence of Jimmy Medranda at left back Dia is better served getting actual minutes on the Rangers (who have struggled at left back -- sorry Christian Duke fans) than sitting on the bench behind Medranda. Seth Sinovic is also available at left back and he can serve as the primary backup. If Medranda were to get hurt or be moved back to forward, it's arguable that Dia should be recalled to start at left back over Sinovic.

Kevin Ellis - Center Back

I'm labeling Ellis as a CB although I will keep beating the drum for him to return to right back. He is a dynamic attacking defender and is an asset on set pieces. That said, he's a liability in central defense. I admire that he has stepped up and done what his team needed (27 appearances and 26 starts in 2015). However, once the Copa America Centenario is over, Matt Besler will return and Ellis will be the 4th or 5th option at center back (Lawrence Olum played well there last game).

Kevin Ellis is still very young (just 24-years-old) and would really be well served continuing to get minutes (assuming he's fully recovered from his groin injury, he wasn't even in the 18 for the last SKC game). As I said, I think he should be a right back. Jimmy Mulligan currently starts there but is a loanee from the New York Cosmos. I'd rather develop our own players than another teams. At center back on SPR I actually prefer Tommy Meyer and Amer Didic.

Connor Hallisey - Winger

Hallisey is from the same draft class as Dia but he simply isn't getting onto the field enough lately. He is buried on the depth chart behind Brad Davis, Graham Zusi, Justin Mapp, Jimmy Medranda and Diego Rubio (and I guess Jacob Peterson) as attacking options. I realize Rubio is a center forward but he can (and has) played on the wing. Hallisey actually has eight appearances (with seven starts) this season, but that was when the team was dealing with injuries.

Before his start against Los Angeles, he hadn't appeared since May 11th when he only got 22 minutes off the bench. In fact, since May 1st, he's only gotten 112 minutes out of a possible 630 (90 of those were against LA). The possibility for him to develop in the USL alongside Daniel Salloi and Mark Gonzalez could show Sporting what their future looks like.

Anyone Recovering from Injury

This is a little broad, but many of the other MLS teams with USL teams send their players down for recovery minutes. The USL is unique in that they have five substitutes per game. That's perfect for a player only looking to get 20-30 minutes of game time. Justin Mapp and Paulo Nagamura are veterans but they had to rehab a long time from injury this season. A few minutes off the bench may have accelerated that process (heck, I'm still not sure Mapp is 100%). Vermes seems to support this as well:

"We are going to use some guys in the upcoming games for Swope Park Rangers for sure. Probably see a little more of that with Open Cup coming and those guys need to get their minutes up so they can last."

Though Vermes was referring to tune ups for the US Open (tomorrow is the last chance for that) the same could (and should) apply to injury recovery.

Depends on Minutes

Saad Abdul-Salaam - Right Back

As of right now, it appears SAS is the starter at right back. Obviously Chance Myers is supposed to be the starter but he's had trouble with injuries, consistency and it seems Vermes believes he is one of the players that has lacked effort. If Abdul-Salaam remains the starter then obviously he wouldn't need to be loaned. However if his minutes wane, he most definitely should get some time on the pitch, even if it's just for the Rangers.

Jordi Quintilla - Midfielder

Quintilla has already been out on loan once this season but has since been recalled. He only got one appearance and it could be for a number of reasons. I heard that he mainly continued to practice with Sporting KC, so possibly he didn't get a chance to gel with his new SPR teammates. The second option could be that he plays the same spot at Kevin Oliveira who had a bit of a coming out party this week. He had three assists and a goal against the Rio Grande Valley Toros (Houston Dynamo affiliate).

No need to bench Oliveira who appears to be a future first team star when Jordi is likely the 4th midfielder on the depth chart, meaning he could replace any of the three starters at any time. That said, if Lawrence Olum and Paulo Nagamura continue to get minutes over him, loan him out and try him next to Oliveira instead of Tomas Granitto or Christian Duke (who can't seem to find a place he fits).