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Blue Notes: Busio transfer “likely to occur this summer,” Sporting KC streaming service, new kits

Plus an uncoupling of Soccer United Marketing and USSF.

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MLS: Austin FC at Sporting Kansas City Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of news and notes around Kansas City soccer, but let’s get straight to the biggest one.

‘Inevitable summer transfer’ or Not Set in Stone?

In a fantastic piece from Sam McDowell at the Kansas City Star, Peter Vermes and Gianluca Busio gave separate, but desperately on message, interviews about Busio’s likely departure from the team, which seems like it’s coming this summer.

“I’m not forcing my way out. It’s not like that,” Busio said. “It’s mutual that we both talked about this from the beginning. This has always been the stepping stone.”

“If you ask me if I want to sell Busio, I’d say no; I want him to be here,” Vermes said. “But I also understand Busio has an ambition to go overseas, and I respect that.”

Probably the most telling phrase was that Vermes pinged back and forth between the “inevitability [of] a summer transfer” and then backing off that language to say nothing is set in stone. There have obviously been a bevy of offers and interest around the 19-year-old and with just about a year left until he can leave for free without a transfer fee, the time was always coming. Sporting Kansas City has been preparing for a while, but the impact will be huge when he’s gone, though hopefully the money from the initial sale (and maybe a future sell-on) will buoy the SKC Academy and future Homegrown signings for years to come.

McDowell reports the transfer fee is “somewhere north of $5 million” and in the past, $10 million has been tossed around as a goal. SKC may look for a sell on fee or incentives tied to national team appearances, goals and appearances with his future team.

The transfer window in most European countries closes on August 31st, so enjoy Busio while he’s still around. You never know, maybe his future team will loan him back for the rest of 2021 for Sporting KC to make a run at some trophies.

Definitely check out Sam’s story as it has numerous more details from the two interviews.

Update on 6/18/21: Add Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) to French and Belgian teams chasing the young midfielder.

$23/month to Watch Sporting KC?!

Our sister site over at Royals Review asks a fantastic question, “would you pay $23 a month to watch the Royals?” Well I wish I would have thought of that title because the same cost could apply to Sporting Kansas City in 2022. They’ve dug up some reporting from the New York Post that Sinclair Broadcasting (the owners of Bally Sports KC and many other regional sports networks) is floating that price for a stand-alone streaming service to investors.

There has already been a lot of reporting on how hard it is to watch Sporting KC and the Royals in 2021, that price tag isn’t going to bode well for 2022 either. Especially when you can buy multiple other packages for that cost, including ESPN+ packaged with Hulu and Disney Plus for less, or swap them around however you like (ESPN+ and Netflix, etc. etc.).

It’s hard to imagine people won’t just get a VPN and buy ESPN+ for $5.99/month and skirt the rules when costs are so high. At least SKC’s deal with Sinclair ends after 2022, the Royals aren’t so lucky.

New Argyle Kits

For UMKC. That was misleading. At least the University of Missouri - Kansas City is embracing the argyle.

US Soccer and SUM Relationship Ending?

The Athletic has a very good piece about USSF ending their relationship with Soccer United Marketing (SUM). It’s somewhat complicated but if you can’t get past the paywall, you could always listen to the Allocation Disorder podcast on it, if you haven’t already. It’s a big deal since buying into MLS has always meant buying into SUM and USMNT and USWNT games. Seems that will no longer be the case.