A bit of news came on the heels of Sporting Kansas City’s win over Houston in the U.S. Open Cup. First was Robb Heineman tweeting that there was some good player news for Sporting KC.
Good player news coming for @sportingkc....— Robb Heineman (@RobbHeineman) June 29, 2017
That generated a number of questions back to Heineman that were more or less along the same lines. Good news about a new player or an existing player?
New player https://t.co/a6yQiO0vqB— Robb Heineman (@RobbHeineman) June 29, 2017
Good news about a new player. So that rules out signing Erik Palmer-Brown to a new contract, well at least that is not what Heineman was referencing.
The summer transfer window opens July 10th and runs through August 9th so it is not far off before a new player could be signed if they are currently under contract elsewhere. If a player is out of contract they can be signed at any time.
So a new player to Sporting KC... Or a new player that has been with the team before? More info please Robb!
For the record and completely expected, Sporting KC declined to comment on Heineman’s tweets.
The next piece of news was that Brazilian defender Igor Julião was waived by Sporting KC.
#SportingKC has waived defender Igor Juliao, per source: https://t.co/UaCzhju8IJ— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) June 29, 2017
Sporting KC did confirm that it was true, he was waived. Not that we did not trust Sam but we always want to independently verify news when possible.
This move did not come as a major surprise. Julião was not in practice earlier this week and he only started one game this season in which he was pulled after just 45 minutes. Overall that may have been Sporting KC’s worst game all year.
Julião was brought in on loan for a second time for 2017. The young right back had previously been with Sporting KC in 2014 and was meant to be a backup to Chance Myers. An injury to the veteran meant Julião would end up making 26 starts that year.
While his defense was questionable, he was exciting every time he went forward. His defense did improve over the course of the season but was never his strong suit.
There may be several factors to his being waived at this time. It could be an extra right back that is not great on defense is just not needed anymore. Graham Zusi, Saad Abdul-Salaam and Colton Storm are all right backs and all of them stronger defenders. Storm has shown well with the Swope Park Rangers and is already on the roster so can be pulled back at a moments notice if needed.
Sporting KC may need or want the flexibility of an international slot being open. With Julião on the roster, Sporting KC had one more international than allowed to be active. This was not a problem while Diego Rubio was on the injured reserve but he is back and needed on the active roster.
With the above mentioned tweet from Heineman, a new player may need an international slot.
Former Swope Park Ranger defender Tyler Pasher was listed on the MLS roster as the only player on loan and thus not counting as an international. The assumption was he was put on a season loan but SKC staff dispelled that thought. It is no longer necessary to send a player on a season loan to get relief from the international slot limitations. Just being on a normal loan (one where he can be recalled at any time) suffices as long as there is no more than the max number of internationals on Sporting KC’s roster at any point in time.