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MLS offered $7.5 million for Ecuadorian striker, is Sporting KC the team?

Brayan Angulo is a 22-year-old center forward.

River Plate v Emelec - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018
This may or may not be Brayan Angulo (probably not) but the information only identifies the River Plate player.
Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

Let’s just start with this, we have no indication that Sporting Kansas City is the MLS team behind a leaked $7.5 million transfer fee. Unlike other websites, we won’t cite imaginary “sources.” Instead we just want to highlight that statistically, it’s possible. Sporting KC have the ability to buy down one of their current Designated Players, they have an open international roster spot and they have been linked to many strikers around the world over the last year or so.

First, the leak. The first page of a contract from MLS from May 31, 2018 showed that the league (remember MLS operates as a single entity) offered $7.5 million to Club Sport Emelec (a first division Ecuadorian team) for the services of striker Brayan Angulo Tenorio. If nothing, you should read it just for the interesting nuggets of what an MLS transfer offer looks like (e.g. it expressly says they won’t pay training compensation and Emelec is responsible for that). You can click on the tweet (and the others in this story) and get it to translate from Spanish as needed.

If the deal went through (more on that in a minute) then $3.5 million was to be paid out on June 16th, another $2 million on January 31, 2019 and presumably the other $2 million at another date that’s not visible until you get to page two, which wasn’t leaked.

Brayan Angulo is a center forward who is still just 22-years-old. In all competitions in 2018 he’s scored 12 goals and added five assists in just 1,372 minutes of play. That’s good for a 0.92 goals per 90 and 1.31 goals and assists per 90. Beastly numbers, even if they are in a lesser league. It should be noted two of those goals came in the Copa Libertadores, a much more prestigious tournament with teams like River Plate and Boca Juniors among the previous winners.

To get a taste of what Angulo is capable of, here are some highlights.

Clearly he’s fast and can score goals. A lot of those goals appear to have been scored off the counter. Sporting KC are obviously not a countering team for the most part. However, he did show some ability in a few highlights to hold up the ball for others and shoot from distance as well. It’s really hard to know from just an edited highlight package.

The prospect of getting someone that young and exciting would probably be music to many Sporting KC fan’s ears. It’s quite the opposite of the Alvaro Negredo rumor which our own Thad Ball confirmed from Peter Vermes himself was untrue.

Now a quick look at the league’s Designated Players will show that lots of teams have room on their roster for another DP. By my count at least 12 teams, not counting any that could buy down an existing DP (like SKC). The Houston Dynamo are one of those teams, and despite that they have Mauro Manotas, can you imagine Angulo in between Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto?

To throw more cold water on this rumor are numerous reports that this offer from back in May has already been rejected by Emelec.

Translated from Spanish: “The Cuckoo [Angulo’s nickname] is not leaving (yet). Nassib Neme confirms that it rejected MLS offer by $7.5 million per Brayon Angulo. They expect to sell it in December to a more competitive league and a higher value.”

Neme is the Chairman of Emelec. I especially like the part where they say they want to sell to a “more competitive league.” MLS I would say is competitive, just not as high quality as some of the top European leagues. The $7.5 million figure is quite a lot, but strikers tend to have higher fees. Transfermarkt currently has Angulo at just ‎£900K (approximately $1.18 million).

As for the player himself, he seemed to not be in the know if he’s being sold or sticking around.

Translated from Spanish: “Brayan Angulo on his possible departure from Emelec: ‘So far I know nothing. For now focused here on Emelec. I haven’t talked to my employer. I’m very calm to keep scoring goals at Emelec.’”

I’m sure there is something lost in translation there, but he clearly says “I know nothing” and “I haven’t talked to my employer.”

In the past, when deals were said to be dead, information gets leaked to drum up interest again or to raise the price. Neme, the teams Chairman, is even quoted as saying the team isn’t in a hurry but they are negotiating “with a club from Spain and another from Holland.”

The door is open, even if Sporting KC aren’t the team pushing through the door. The MLS Summer Transfer Window opens on July 10th and runs until August 8th. Whether it’s Angulo or someone else, much of the fanbase will be unhappy if SKC stand pat and don’t add to the team. While things have generally looked good for Sporting, they played terrible against the Montreal Impact on Saturday and are heading into a tough part of the schedule. Not to mention they typically collapse late in the season.

Stay glued to our Transfer Rumors page for all the rumors and transactions as silly season really kicks into gear. If nothing, at least Felipe Gutierrez is coming back soon and he’ll be like a huge summer signing.