Just two days before the MLS summer transfer window closed, Sporting Kansas City has finally acquired a forward after being rumored for months to be actively shopping for one. And while that quest involved scouting a number of foreign leagues, it turns out that the club did not have to look very far at all for its newest attacker—Hungarian striker and winger Krisztian Nemeth.
Nemeth, whom most Sporting KC fans will remember for his scintillating 2015 campaign, in which he notched fourteen goals and seven assists across all competitions, is officially headed back to Kansas City. Unlike in 2015, when Nemeth arrived on a free transfer, his acquisition from the New England Revolution cost Sporting Kansas City $250,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, $100,000 in General Allocation Money, and a first-round draft pick in the 2020 SuperDraft. However, New England are reportedly paying half of Nemeth’s remaining wages for the season. Considering his base salary is $900,000/year for 2018, that is not an insignificant sum of money, and makes this a low-risk, high-reward trade for Peter Vermes—especially when taking into account the slowly but steadily declining value of SuperDraft picks.
This is a far smaller price for Nemeth’s services than was originally paid to the club by Qatari side al-Gharafa, who shelled out an estimated $3 million transfer fee for Nemeth, who subsequently carved up the Qatari league to the tune of 13 goals in 26 appearances, but was happy to return to MLS via the Revolution, which paid $200,000 in GAM, $200,000 in TAM, and an international roster spot to the Columbus Crew for the right to move up in the MLS allocation order to sign Nemeth. The $350,000 in combined allocation money paid to the Revolution, then, represents a net loss for the club on a player who scored only once across eighteen appearances for them.
The obvious hope would be that a reunion with Vermes would bring Nemeth back to his goalscoring ways. But Nemeth enjoyed his success with Sporting KC almost entirely at the left wing position that his fellow Hungarian international Daniel Salloi has since made his own, meaning one or the other will likely be expected to play some minutes at center forward. With both Khiry Shelton and Johnny Russell currently shelved, there are likely minutes to go around on the SKC front line, but who moves to which position will be something for fans to watch in the games ahead.