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Blue Notes: Mewis’ Season Over, Sporting KC Worth Half-Billion, MLS Transfer Roundup

Plus more stories around Kansas City soccer, including Johnny Russell finding a mentor in a childhood villain and some interesting transactions from SKC II.

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Sam Mewis
KC Current | Morgan Tencza

It’s tough to cover every story (impossible?) that touches Kansas City soccer. However, when a news story falls through the crack, we’re here to catch with a segment an article we call Back in Bl... err... Blue Notes.

Sam Mewis Out for the Season

In another blow to Kansas City soccer, news came out last week that USWNT midfielder Sam Mewis was done for the year. That was extra disappointing as she had returned to training in the prior weeks and was said to be a full participant. It seems likely that whatever she was dealing with didn’t respond well and they decided to shut it down.

The team wasn’t specific in what Mewis is dealing with just disclosing that it was a long-standing injury suffered to her right leg prior to coming to Kansas City. So far, the KC Current have been pretty secretive on the whole. It does make me appreciate the transparency we get from Sporting Kansas City.

General Manager Camille Levin Ashton did release the following statement:

“We are understandably disappointed, not just for the club, but for Sam. She has been a valuable leader for this organization since she joined us. Although she won’t be able to contribute on the field for the balance of this season, she is an invaluable asset to this team and contributes daily to our success. We will continue to support her in every way possible.”

Mewis joins her best friend and Snacks Podcast co-host Lynn Williams in missing the entire season. The Current are handling the loss well as neither woman has played a minute in the NWSL season and it could be said they are the equivalent of losing two DPs in MLS for the whole year, just like SKC are dealing with. Despite that, the Current are in 5th place and Sporting are still in last in the West.

Sporting KC’s Franchise Value Explodes

Sportico has released valuations of North American sports franchises. Topping the list are the Dallas Cowboys at a stunning $7.64 billion in total value, followed by the New York Yankees at $7.01B and the New York Knicks at $6.12B. The first NHL franchise shows up with the Toronto Maple Leafs at 61st on the list valued at $2.0B. Not until 106th did an MLS team make the list with LAFC coming in at $860 million.

But this is a Kansas City sports website. Sporting Kansas City jumps onto the list at 129th as the 10th MLS side. They are valued at a respectable $550 million, which is up significantly from the last list I saw from Forbes in 2019 that had SKC valued at just $325M.

The value puts them over several NHL franchise, including my lowly Arizona Coyotes ($410M - 147th).

MLS Transfer Roundup

Instead of me listing articles to individual stories for all the signings, I’ll point you to the MLS Transfer Tracker if you want to dive in. However, if you want a massive breakdown of winners and losers, Tom Bogert and Matt Doyle break down every single team in the league. It’s a good way to catch up on a high level for each team, but as with many of the takes from national pundits, take each move with a grain of salt because they just can’t be as engaged about individual teams as we are with our focus on one MLS side.

That brings me to Doyle’s take on Kansas City. He called the secondary transfer window a “loss.”

“The inability to get meaningful intra-league deals done is brutal, especially when you consider how good Sporting were at that exact thing in building that great side of the 2010s. Musovski, for example, would’ve been a great fit, as would Lletget, as would Shaffelburg, as would Berry.”

I think the intra-league criticism isn’t misplaced. But his suggestions are basically guys in positions KC addressed in the window, with the exception of Shaffelburg, who is only a loan through the rest of the year.

With the hindsight of how good Willy Agada looked this weekend and how good Thommy has looked in his limited minutes, it feels like a win to me. Especially when the “best” signing SKC has ever made in a secondary transfer window was Luis Martins headed into this window.

Interesting Signings for SKC II

Last week, Sporting KC II made a couple signings that seem intriguing to me. Since the season started, they basically had just signed guys who were with their academy (with Kian Alberto being the only exception). But last week, they dug into the international market, signing their third player from the Accra Lions and also adding a transfer from Croatian side NK Istra 1961.

First, the team acquired forward Josip Hmura via permanent transfer from NK Istra 1961. Per coach Benny Feilhaber, he’s already with the team. The other move is a loan (through the end of 2023) for center back Osuman Kassim who joins Rauf Salifu and Joseph Addo Tetteh as players acquired from the Accra Lions in Ghana. However, he won’t join the team for probably a month.

Why these moves interest me is because they are low risk high reward moves. They don’t take up a first team spot, which is particularly important as they are both internationals. They are both also very young, at just 20-years-old. If SKC II can be a proving ground for player like this, they can move them on to the first team, that’d be a win. They can also train with the first team before getting signed.

Looking at SKC II’s roster, they now have seven internationals on the roster, which otherwise is primarily made up of college players, a couple lower division signings and then mostly SKC Academy players. If the team can hit on a couple of those internationals, or even one, that could be a real plus.

Quick Notes