MLS’ Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 10th and as always fans are chomping at the bit to know who could be coming to town. According to the Kansas City Star, “the club’s front office is more optimistic about this transfer window.” And on top of that, “ownership has approved the funds to make an impact addition at the position.” The position in question — as always — is a striker.
The quest for new player apparently doesn’t end at the center forward position. The Star goes on to say “Sporting KC is also shopping for a midfielder and a left back, per sources” [emphasis mine]. Sam does usually have good sources. Conveniently, Sporting KC have at least two, and likely three roster spots open. The third would come from any player staying on loan with the Swope Park Rangers for the full season, of which Graham Smith and Matt Lewis have done so far. There is also the possibility that more spots could be freed up with the usual pre-July 1st cuts.
Striker is an obvious need with Diego Rubio barely getting on the pitch and Khiry Shelton — for all his effort — only finding the back of the net a single time. Daniel Salloi and Kharlton Belmar have played some center forward but they predominantly line up on the wing.
The additional midfield acquisition is also hardly a surprise. Injuries have led to recent starts by 19-year-old Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal — who while holding his own quite nicely — probably could use some more seasoning with the Swope Park Rangers.
The position some may be surprised to hear is that a left back search is underway. Entering the season it could be looked at as one of the deepest positions with veteran starter Seth Sinovic, as well as Jimmy Medranda and Cristian Lobato. All three however were hurt in recent weeks causing backup right back, 18-year-old Jaylin Lindsey to get minutes at that spot. This morning, before the story in the Star, MLSsoccer.com had randomly put up a story about Honduran left back Emilio Izaguirre. It doesn’t seem like a likely target considering he’s already 32-years-old, but he does have the Honduras connection with Roger Espinoza.
Based on his age it seems unlikely, but Sporting KC suddenly have a bunch of injured left backs and there is the Espinoza connection. https://t.co/ND3tb1CIW6— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) June 21, 2018
Someone else that could almost be looked at as a summer transfer is midfield Designated Player Felipe Gutierrez. He was signed to the largest contract in Sporting Kansas City history and he came out on fire. He average a goal for every start — the only problem being is he only got five starts before picking up an injury. Way back on May 1st the team announced his sports hernia like injury would sideline him for two to three months.
Three months is August 1st but the Star had good news on that front too. While Felipe hasn’t fully returned to practice, he’s been spotted on the sidelines doing conditioning work. Peter Vermes hasn’t indicated exactly when Felipe will take the field again but the goal is August 1st and he could very well beat that. With Sporting at the top of the table, there is no need to rush it though.