Orlando City has reportedly renewed their interest in trying to acquire Sporting Kansas City forward, Dom Dwyer. According to Taylor Twellman, Orlando City are “aggressively pursuing” the US national team striker and that Sporting KC have engaged with them in those discussions.
Dwyer is reportedly in the last year of his contract, with an option year in 2018 that would see him get a large raise. He has also reportedly already turned down a DP contract with Sporting earlier this season that would have seen is salary jump to over $1,000,000.
Dwyer spent part of the 2013 season with Orlando when they were in the USL, scoring 15 goals for them before being recalled to Sporting. It’s not the first time that Orlando City has been interested in Dwyer either, the club tried to acquire him in before their 2015 expansion season in MLS. Orlando was also fined for tampering by MLS back in 2015 after then head coach Adrian Heath made comments on his radio show about acquiring Dwyer. Since then, the rumors of Orlando acquiring Dwyer have disappeared, in large part because of the emergence of Cyle Larin for Orlando. But with Larin continuing to draw interest from overseas and Orlando’s scoring issues, they have renewed their interest in trying to bring Dwyer back to his “spiritual home.”
For Kansas City’s part, the club is apparently at least entertaining the offers, which is interesting considering Dwyer has been the club’s leading scorer in each of the last three seasons, is the club’s second all time leading scorer, and at 26 is still in the prime of his career. If KC feels like they can not improve their offer from earlier this season any more, they may well be interested in trying to get something for Dwyer while they still can. Dwyer has also struggled to find the back of the net this season, having scored just five goals in league play and none since May 3rd against the New York Red Bulls.
What could KC get for Dwyer from Orlando? Orlando received a large amount of allocation money from Minnesota United earlier this season when they traded Kevin Molino. They could package that up, potentially adding to it to make the offer more appealing to Sporting and possibly add on a portion of any sell on fee that Orlando gets should they sell Dwyer to Europe. That would seem to be a strong offer to Kansas City. A player for player deal seems unlikely for KC at this point.
For Sporting though, what do they gain this season from trading Dwyer? They’re currently second in the Western Conference and in the US Open Cup semifinals, now doesn’t seem like the time to be selling your only consistently successful forward in MLS. While Gerso Fernandes is the club’s leading scorer he hasn’t scored since June 10th and his six goals are buoyed by his hattrick against Seattle. Behind Dwyer right now is Diego Rubio, who has scored just two goals in just over 450 minutes in his MLS career. KC’s other forward depth, Latif Blessing, Soony Saad, and Daniel Salloi, have had flashes of success in MLS, but have yet to build consistency. A move would either point to Peter Vermes commitment to the forwards he has and their ability to pick up the slack that Dwyer would leave, or that there are other moving pieces here that could see another striker come in.