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If Dom Dwyer Leaves, Who Should Replace Him?

With all the rumors swirling that Dwyer is on his way to Orlando City, it seems like a replacement is in order.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Minnesota United FC at Sporting KC Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

With Taylor Twellman getting the rumor mill in full tilt, it’s time to look at who could potentially replace Dom Dwyer if he were to leave to Orlando City. Especially since Kristian Dyer is basically reporting the deal is complete.

Cyle Larin

Let’s put this one to bed really quick. Larin has long been rumored to be moving overseas. It simply doesn’t make sense to move to Sporting Kansas City for anything other than a short term move, and I can’t see SKC making that swap unless it’s a long term deal. He actually only has eight goals, just three more than Dwyer. This simply isn’t happening.

Kei Kamara

This feels like a lot more of a possibility. I’m not sure it’s a smart move, but it feels a lot more possible. First, Kei is a fan favorite. That’s not necessarily an important part of the equation, since Soony Saad and Igor Juliao are too and those moves haven’t worked out that well.

Second, Kei is said to be unhappy with the New England Revolution (though where isn’t he unhappy?). Kamara even openly question if he “wasn’t the right piece of the puzzle” after this past weekends game. That’s pretty rough considering he’s only been with the Revs for 14 months. In that time he’s only scored 12 times, with just five of them coming this season.

All of that said, Kamara could be a good fit. He would add needed height but I’m not sure his defensive work rate is up to par. No one is going to replace Dwyer in that regard, but it could be quite an adjustment to bring him in. It also didn’t work out very well for New England last year.

Krisztian Nemeth

Oh wouldn’t it be nice? Nemeth is a bit of a legend in Kansas City. He played a single season in KC where he scored 10 goals, added six assists and helped the club win the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

Well it appears Nemeth may be out of contract with Al-Gharafa of the Qatari Super League. He has already been linked to a return to Europe. Then John Bava III dropped this series of tweets.

The problem with Nemeth coming back to KC is the MLS Allocation Process. Since Nemeth was sold for more than $500,000 (a reported $3 million fee was paid) he would be subject to the Allocation Order, which as of this writing Sporting KC are sitting in 10th. They are behind the Columbus Crew SC (1st) and New England Revolution (2nd). If those clubs are truly interested, SKC would have to trade with those clubs to get into one of those first two spots.

To give an idea what it would take to make that move, D.C. United went from ninth to first in the order for $175,000 in various allocation money (general and targeted) plus an international roster spot. That’s not an amount that would be out of the realm of possibility if Sporting get a haul of TAM and GAM for Dwyer. Orlando City are flush with GAM and TAM after receiving a combined $650,000 for Kevin Molino earlier in the year. Dwyer should command at least that much.

This seems like the move that would be most exciting to fans.

Someone on Sporting KC Already

This isn’t very sexy, but Sporting KC could just stand pat. They have Diego Rubio, Latif Blessing and Soony Saad who all have spent time at center forward this season. Blessing seems like a nice change of pace. Saad seems ill-equipped to play that role. It’s really Rubio that is the real unknown.

Rubio hasn’t really had much of a chance to shine since he’s been in Dwyer shadow (despite Rubio being two inches taller). He has only played 545 minutes and scored two goals (with zero assists). In between the first chunk of minutes and this season he tore his ACL and missed about nine months.

With Peter Vermes’ unwillingness to play midseason acquisitions, this is probably the most likely option.

Someone off Swope Park Rangers

If the “existing SKC player” entry wasn’t sexy, this is downright ugly. Any move from Swope Park would solely be for depth. Cameron Iwasa, who is on a senior team contract, doesn’t even get on the field much for Swope.

The most likely candidate has to be Mark Anthony-Gonzalez. He has only 11 appearances for 583 minutes and in that time he’s scored five goals. That’s promising, but it’s against USL competition. That said, he showed up to Sporting KC preseason in Tucson reportedly out of shape and he rarely gets starts even on SPR. That won’t curry favor with Vermes. Swope Park have even gone as far as to play a false 9 at times over playing MAG.

Another SPR option would be Kharlton Belmar who leads the team with six goals but over 1086 minutes. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Belmar, but he’s spent a good chunk of his time on the wing, despite looking really good as a center forward at the beginning of the season.

Option X - An Unknown

There is always the outside chance Dwyer could be replaced by someone we’ve never heard of. Most of us didn’t know who Nemeth or Rubio were before they joined the club. The possibilities are literally endless with the number of leagues in the world. Also, many players are likely out of contract (and SKC love a free transfer) with it being the summer transfer window in many leagues around the world.


It sounds like we should know something very soon. The rumor is the Dwyer news is coming this week. It’s unclear if a replacement would happen right away, but you would have to think that Vermes has a plan in place.