Just last week backup center forward Erik Hurtado was forced to have knee surgery. Initially it was thought that he’d be out for 2-3 months, though now it looks like he may be able to come back even ahead of the two month mark.
That injury, plus the injury to Daniel Salloi, left us at The Blue Testament wondering if Sporting Kansas City didn’t have a problem at center forward. Krisztian Nemeth is the only healthy CF on the roster and everyone else would be at least mildly out of position if they subbed in for him.
Sam McDowell of the KC Star brought that up to head coach Peter Vermes.
“There’s no doubt we’ve lost some guys who really give you something valuable,” Vermes said. “We’ve obviously become a little more thin up there [at forward] than we were.”
As Sporting KC are set to embark on playing five matches in 16 day starting this Saturday against the Montreal Impact, forward depth is a real concern. Add to the fact that Gerso Fernandes is now nicked up as well. Earlier this week he was held out of practice as a precaution “after a teammate stepped on the back of his leg.” TBT’s own Thad Bell is reporting that Gerso practiced on Friday, so he’ll likely be available for Saturday.
But with a game against Monterrey in Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions League Thursday, a game in Cincinnati against FC Cincinnati the following Sunday, followed by another Thursday game against Monterrey and the New York Red Bulls coming to town the following Sunday, the depth of the team will be spread quite thin.
Just days ago, we at TBT proposed Sporting KC look into signing someone. During McDowell’s interview with Vermes, Tyler Freeman and Yohan Croizet were mentioned as center forward options, but the idea of signing some came up as well.
“I’m thinking through [signing a player],” Vermes said. “What I don’t want to do is panic and sacrifice what I can do long-term. I’d really like to keep that spot [open] because I could do some other things with it that I’m not ready to get into right now. I’m not going to ask [Nemeth] to play every minute just because other guys are out,” Vermes continued. “We’ll have to find a way to make it work. I’ll make it work one way or the other.”
When Vermes says he could “do some other things” it seems to imply they may be looking to add a specific player or players.
McDowell mentioned the potential signing could be a player available in the transfer market or someone available via trade within Major League Soccer. While the transfer window is closed for most of the leagues in the world, the Primary Transfer Window in MLS is wide open. So teams abroad could sell a player to SKC, they just can’t go buy a player to replace him.
It seems almost certain Sporting KC need to add someone on either the wing or more pressingly at center forward. With the recent addition of Gedion Zelalem in the midfield, the team is up to 27 of their 30 players allowed.
According to the league website they have two senior roster spots open and two reserve spots (though that could be wrong because the site doesn’t currently list Jaylin Lindsey at all). It’s possible there is just a single senior roster spot open (though Lindsey as a Homegrown should be allowed on the reserve roster) which could be why Vermes is hesitant to make a move.