Sporting Kansas City officially made their first signing of 2017 when they inked a deal, with a transfer fee, for Gerso Fernandes. The deal, likely because of the rumored 1.5 million transfer fee, will make Fernandes a Designated Player and require that the club buy down one of their existing DPs (Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza or Diego Rubio).
The deal for Gerso won’t (hopefully) be the last of the offseason. Of course there is the rumored Latif Blessing signing. Though there are several indications that more moves are in the works. During the conference call for the Fernandes announcement, Vermes said:
“Couple other players we’re working on [signing] in different positions on the field. Hopefully we’ll have some announcements in the next couple of weeks.”
This isn’t the first time Vermes has mentioned plans to make additional signings. In what seemed to have flown under the radar, Vermes was talking to Nate Bukaty for the SKC offseason special and he dropped some more information.
“We're looking for another attacking player," Vermes said. "We're also looking for another guy in the central midfield." Vermes went on to say, "it's two important areas we need to have more production from that we don't have today. If we add one or two more attacking players on top of that, at least another player in the central midfield that's going to have a major impact. I think that will help us going forward."
Obviously, Blessing would appear to be the other attacking option (17 goals last season). The news that seems to be getting zero attention is adding “another guy in the central midfield.” Then that brings us to the news that Sporting KC apparently traded a fourth round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft to the Portland Timbers for something that should be announced next week.
So @SportingKC has traded 4th round 2017 Superdraft pick to @TimbersFC for something that will be announced next week— Thad (@TheBackpost) January 6, 2017
That something is apparently the rights to a player. That immediately brought speculation on Twitter that the Besler boys are getting back together again. SKC’s Matt Besler has a brother, Nick Besler, who was drafted by the Timbers but has only appeared for their USL team, T2. Of course, if Sporting wanted little Besler they could have just drafted him in the Waiver Draft, where no selections were made this season [Update: Not to mention he signed with the Real Monarchs Monday].
As for who that pick is for, apparently it’s Christian Volesky. A player who was drafted by Portland, but never played for them. He actually played for the USL’s Rochester Rhinos in 2015, led the team in goals with eight.
As for who could be the midfielder in question, there have been lots of rumors over the last year. It could be former Juventus midfielder, Fausto Rossi, who was on trial with the club in September (probably not based on this). Or perhaps the former Arsenal midfielder, Emmanuel Frimpong, who also had a trial with the team last summer. Or what about the recently released fan favorite, Jordi Quintilla? We’re always campaigning to bring him back.
Let us not forget all those out of contract Swope Park Rangers players. Ayrton had a fantastic debut for SPR and inexplicably hasn’t been re-signed. Maybe he’s angling for a senior team contract. He would take up an international roster spot. With the Blessing signing looming and six other slots taken, that would fill the eight that SKC had last year (unless they trade for more). [Update: After going live with the story, an SPR team official confirmed Ayrton won’t be back.]I
An SPR team official confirmed Ayrton won't be back in 2017. He has returned to Brazil. Bummer.— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) January 7, 2017
The likelihood is it’s someone who isn’t even on anyone’s radar. Since it’s still the first week of January, we are firmly in silly season (didn’t see those Lucas Gamba and Yasin Oztekin to SKC rumors). Stay firmly planted to TheBlueTestament.com and we promise to have you covered.