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Blue Notes: Inside Sporting KC’s Ronaldo Pursuit, MLS Transfer Round-up

Perhaps the biggest news of the failed Ronaldo signing is that it’s opened doors for others to inquire and Sporting Kansas City don’t look at it as a one-off.


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.”

Sam continued:

“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.

Quick Notes

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.