All offseason, we at The Blue Testament toyed with the idea of writing an article about who Sporting Kansas City should use their one buyout on. However, the only logical answer was Oriol “Uri” Rosell (despite some arguments for Alan Pulido, but that should have been a buyout last year if it was going to happen), so we never wrote it. Plus, I personally didn’t really expect it to happen for Rosell or anyone else.
News came down today that Sporting KC have waived Rosell. The press release makes no mention of the one offseason buyout each team has access to for salary budget relief, but hopefully that’s something we’ll discover during media availability with Peter Vermes later today.
Uri had two stints with SKC. Originally, he played in KC from 2012 through the summer of 2014 when he left to join Sporting CP in Portugal. He returned to the club ahead of the 2022 season. During last year, he made 20 appearances, of which 13 of those were starts.
Why this move makes sense for SKC
It’s always harsh when a player is released, but soccer is a business, so it doesn’t always come down to feelings or attachment. Rosell seems like a great guy, but his contributions on the field in 2022 were nowhere near the level he brought in his first stint with the club. Based on his performance the years away from Kansas City, perhaps this is something that should have been expected. Sometimes nostalgia gets the best of us.
However, there are other reasons this move makes a ton of sense. Because Rosell wasn’t performing, he had fallen down the depth chart. He hadn’t started a game since July 17th of 2022. Remi Walter had supplanted him in the starting defensive midfielder role.
With the new signing of Nemanja Radoja, I’d project that Rosell was perhaps only third on the depth chart at that spot. It could be argued with the signing of Danny Flores last week and Vermes announcing he has qualities like Gianluca Busio, maybe Flores plays that spot too. Danny has only been in camp for about a week, but maybe they saw enough to know that Rosell would even be behind him.
This move also makes sense from a roster construction perspective. Sporting KC only get 20 senior roster spots and while there is no official count at this point, it looked like they were out of spots. This will clear one for that center back signing that we all keep assuming is forthcoming. The move leaves Sporting with 27 of 30 roster spots filled overall, so it opens a little wiggle room.
Finally, Rosell had made $475,000 in compensation in 2022 and it’s just bad business for your third (or fourth) player at a position to have such a high salary in a league like MLS with complicated salary budgets.
We here at The Blue Testament wish the best for Uri in his future endeavors and will keep you updated on all things Sporting Kansas City as the season rapidly approaches.