January 1st, 2020 Update: With the MLS SuperDraft coming on January 9th, this story seemed like one worth bringing back up. The full original story is below, but the gist is that SKC don’t won their 2020 1st or 2nd round picks. Those are the 6th pick in each round. The 1st was part of the Nemeth trade and the 2nd is part of the Erik Hurtado trade. Our question is, would you still trade those picks knowing Nemeth is gone and Hurtado is probably 3rd at the CF depth chart with the signings of Alan Pulido and Khiry Shelton. Let us know in the re-opened comments below.
Sporting Kansas City are suffering through their worst season in recent memory. With their loss to the Colorado Rapids at home over the weekend they have now slipped to 11th in the Western Conference, only a single spot above the last place Vancouver Whitecaps.
One good thing about bad seasons is that at least you get high draft picks. Well, someone gets to draft high. It’s not Sporting KC. Unfortunately, they’ve traded away all their top picks in a series of deals.
Now the MLS SuperDraft isn’t a very reliable place to get immediate contributors. In 2019 SKC drafted defender Kamar Marriott with the 21st pick and he didn’t get signed to the team (or to the Swope Park Rangers). Second round pick Camden Riley signed straight to SPR and has had some good moments and played lots of minutes on an up and down USL Championship squad.
The 2018 draft yielded slightly better results. Graham Smith and Eric Dick were taken in the first round. Dick has yet to appear to Sporting KC (edit: he finally appeared in the 6-0 Decision Day loss to FC Dallas) but he’s been in the 18 frequently as the backup goalkeeper to Tim Melia who will rarely leave room for anyone else to play. Dick has also featured for the Rangers.
Smith on the other hand has been a spot starter for the first team until Zlatan Ibrahimovic dismantled him. He still has potential and he’s gotten valuable minutes with SPR over the last two seasons. I secretly hold out hope he’ll be a late bloomer and contributor for years to come.
That brings us to 2020. Sporting’s draft pick will be the highest in pick they’ve had (depending on the last few games) since they missed wildly on drafting Connor Hallisey with the 10th overall pick (their natural pick was 12th that year, which they used on Saad Abdul-Salaam who is still in the league).
2020 MLS SuperDraft
1st Round Pick
This pick was dealt to the New England Revolution as a part of the trade that brought Krisztian Nemeth back to Kansas City. Still probably the right move to make, even if Nemeth might be gone by the end of 2019.
2nd Round Pick
This pick was traded away to the Vancouver Whitecaps in the deal that brought Erik Hurtado to KC. They also included a 2021 first round pick, though hopefully that’ll be the last pick in the draft after Sporting win the 2020 MLS Cup.
2nd Round Pick from Colorado
Back in early 2018, the Colorado Rapids traded their natural second round pick to Sporting KC in exchange for goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Ironically, SKC sent it back to Colorado in the trade that brought Benny Feilhaber back to KC (and sent away young CB Abdul Rwatubyaye).
3rd and 4th Round Picks
Sporting KC still own these picks, but these players never make the team and often teams simply pass on these late picks. These players haven’t even been getting signed to Swope Park, though I’m hoping Sporting have talks with players they hope to put on SPR before they draft them. If they don’t want to come to KC and play for SPR, don’t pick them.
So while the draft is different and no starters are coming out of it for Sporting lately, it’s still a bit sad to see KC losing such a high pick and sitting out most of the draft (barring a trade). There are players at the top of the draft that usually contribute. What is worse is these trades are for players who may not be around in 2020 (outside of maybe Erik Hurtado).
The offseason is going to be very long.