What a weird end to 2022 for Sporting Kansas City fans. Cristiano Ronaldo in Sporting Blue. Yeah, it was real. How close it really got is up for debate, but a month was spent on it. Let’s get to that and the other stories of the recent days.
Inside Ronaldo to SKC
The Kansas City Star has a fantastic piece from Sam McDowell that is well worth your full read. McDowell spoke to multiple sources inside of Sporting KC. I won’t spoil the whole story as I want to draw attention to real reporting. But here are some high-level points to draw you in for a deeper read:
- It was called project “Triple Bank Shot” (and the story behind this name)
- The pursuit lasted a month
- Patrick Mahome of the Kansas City Chiefs was involved
Maybe the most important thing for Sporting Kansas City fans that Sam pulled out of Peter Vermes and the others he spoke with was if this pursuit was a one-off.
“Does it mean we’re going to take more chances? The answer is yes,” Vermes said. “But obviously the situations have to make sense for both the on-the-field and the off-the-field aspects of that acquisition.
“In this situation, there’s the soccer side, and there’s the commercial side. When you go after that player, you know he’s going to give you something on the field, and you obviously pay for that, but you also know that off the field, he’s also paying you back. That’s why you can go after a player like that. That’s why each one of these deals is a case-by-case basis. It’s not one wand that covers all.”
“Ronaldo is one of one, in other words. Or perhaps more like one of two, and the other isn’t coming to Kansas City. But there’s an interesting unintended consequence of the Ronaldo pursuit. One source told The Star that Sporting has already been contacted by another European star who expressed interest in such a move.
The interest, I’m told, is mutual.”
Lionel Messi is the implied other “one of two” but let’s all let the speculation begin on who this other European star is! I saw Antoine Griezmann floated out because he apparently is a big Mahomes fan. I talked about that idea on my For the Glory KC podcast. It could definitely work since he can play several spots in the attack.
Again, great reporting from Sam McDowell, go read the full story.
- Tom Bogert breaks down who has already left and who is a good candidate for a winter transfer abroad from Major League Soccer.
- MLS teams could play a lot of games in 2023. All while still having the same restrictive salary budget.
- The Seattle Sounders traded for Brazilian striker Heber from New York City FC for reportedly as little as $400k in GAM.
I'm hearing the Seattle Sounders' deal for Heber will send around $400k GAM to NYCFC.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) December 29, 2022
Seattle get another MLS-proven, MLS Cup-winning forward alongside DP Raul Ruidiaz. NYCFC's 2021 Cup-winning roster continues to be dismantled https://t.co/aOAl1SRyDC
- Speaking of the Sounders, Cristian Roldan is about to sign a five-year extension. I had heard he wanted to be a Designated Player. I wonder if that happened.
I'm told Cristian Roldan is close to signing an extension with #Sounders that would secure him for 5 more years. Source added that there were multiple offers from other clubs on the table, including two outside of #MLS— Niko Moreno (@ELROLONW) December 29, 2022
Great move by Waibel and Seattle keeping the midfielder pic.twitter.com/OGGl6pZsaN
- Rumors of Inter Miami CF going big on one of their U-22 slots have emerged. Or a DP slot if his salary is too large.
Happy New Year. Reports out of Brazil that Inter Miami in talks with 21-yr-old Internacional attacking midfielder Mauricio. Other clubs also in the mix. Transfer fee reportedly in the $15M range. Inter Miami camp opens Jan. 9. @HeraldSports @InterMiamiCF #InterMiamiCF— Michelle Kaufman (@kaufsports) January 1, 2023
- Nashville SC’s Ake Loba, a failed Designated Player, has left the team for Mazatlan FC and gets a cool Black Panther style of intro.
- Four tactical trends across MLS. Is the winger position dead based on 2022? Sporting KC gets a mention, but as rightly pointed out, I think that position will re-emerge for them with steady center forward support.
- Minnesota United’s star midfielder Emmanuel ‘Bebelo’ Reynoso may go on trial in Argentina over an assault he’s accused of.
- NYCFC, as discussed in this space before, are finally getting a stadium. Here are some concepts shots of a previous failed stadium.
Apparently, these were #NYCFC's stadium plans for the Bronx GAL site. I've only seen one of these before. I'm curious as to how many of these concepts, if any, will be used for the Willets Point site. 1/x pic.twitter.com/C0N7c413np— Christian Smith (@ChristianSith) January 1, 2023
- One writer has his list of who MLS should hire for the Apple TV broadcasters. This list is way too short though as they’ll need so many teams of commentators. But no former Sporting KC broadcasters are on the list.
- This is a cool looking table of all the MLS Cup winners, along with the other trophies up for grabs, game MVPs, etc.
- Kevin Lopez puts together a highlight of his streaming channel in year one. I still need to figure out how to do this ‘social media’ thing because the guy is crushing me on followers already. Speaking of, check out all the Sporting KC and KC Current based accounts you should follow on Twitter.