Have Sporting Kansas City turned the corner in their season? I'm not ready to say yet after just two wins. Could Sporting use a little shake up in the squad to give them a little extra boost? I think so, and with the transfer window opening on July 4th, I see it as a perfect opportunity for Peter Vermes to do just that. Here are my three trades that could really help Sporting.
Pass on Diego Rubio, buy Jack McBean
I don't think anybody would argue that the Diego Rubio move hasn't worked out. This isn't any offense to him it's just the truth. Until the Open Cup game Vermes would just as soon leave an exhausted Dwyer out on the field, rather than bring on Rubio. Yes he scored a couple key goals, but as a whole the deal has been a dud. Also why would you continue to use a designated player spot on a guy that has only played 177 minutes in eight appearances. Now why Jack McBean? How does 12 goals in 14 appearances in USL sound? Sounds kind of familiar... cough, cough 2013 Dom Dwyer. McBean is a Galaxy homegrown player, but appears to be an after thought for them. McBean wouldn't require a international spot, and at 21 has a long career ahead of him.
Bernardo Añor to NYCFC for Kwadwo Poku
Añor is a player that Sporting KC aren't even using right now. Since being acquired from the Columbus Crew last season he has started just four times for SKC. Sporting were so convinced they didn't need him this year that they sent the 28 year old out on loan with Minnesota United this season, and when a player is at 28 that's just not a move you make for development. I've been a big Poku fan since watching him play last year in the Open Cup with NYCFC when they took on the New York Cosmos for the first time ever. Poku is big and physical, speedy, and also very skillful on the ball. Right now Sporting lacks a player with some playmaking ability other than Benny Feilhaber. Poku would be a good option off the bench or to give Feilhaber a rest, considering last season the 31 year old clocked in over 2700 minutes in 32 games. My only fear is Poku's work rate and fitness, but Vermes has a history of dealing with that with certain players (Benny Feilhaber). The last thing that might trouble this move would be Añor's recently broken ankle. Moreover Patrick Vieira's lack of usage of Poku would mean that there's a dollar amount, or player, that could make him willing to trade the Ghanian.
Ike Opara to Portland Timbers for Nick Besler
I can't take credit for this idea, but I do agree with it a lot. I got this idea from MLSsoccer.com's Matthew Doyle, and although it would cause a bit of an uproar, it could be a very good move for Sporting. Think about how good Nuno Coelho was at the beginning of this season. Now consider how bad Sporting KC are when they play with Lawrence Olum as a defensive mid. While I get what a luxury it is to have such a good third center back in Opara waiting in the wing, I also think it is a huge need for Sporting to find a back up defensive mid. Matt Bester's little brother, Nick, plays for Portland Timbers 2 right now and is playing very well. He does a great job of shielding the backline and organizing the midfield as well. Like I've said I'm not a big fan of Kevin Ellis becoming the number three center back for SKC, but let's not forget that Sporting do have a MLS Cup winning center back in Tommy Meyer playing with Swope Park Rangers.
One last thought, consider that first trade of passing on Diego Rubio. That would open up a designated player slot for Sporting, and if there is something that Vermes and his team do well it's scouting for talent. Could we see Sporting make some moves in the transfer window? I sure hope so. This team could use a bit of a shake up, but I'm sure whatever Vermes has cooking up nobody will see coming and will be smart just as always.