Another week, another slew of Kansas City and other soccer stories we’ve got to get caught up on, including the first billion dollar MLS franchise. Let’s get to the news!
Vermes Says a CB is Coming
In Friday’s press conference, Peter Vermes confirmed to The Blue Testament that a center back signing would be likely coming. I asked Peter if we can expect to see an addition at that position and this was his response:
“Yeah, I think you’ll see another person being signed to the team in that position,” said Vermes. “Yes, I can see that. Correct.”
It only makes sense as we’ve beat this idea to death over on For the Glory KC (go subscribe!) with only three on the roster (even if Radoja can play there).
The only rumor we’ve seen recently is the Francisco Reis Ferreira aka Ferro rumor. If not that, then hopefully something will happen soon. Especially because Robert Voloder might be off the pace based on what Louisville City put out (more on that in a bit).
Sporting KC Worth $590 Million
Forbes released their annual list of Major League Soccer team values, and they are on the rise. Since 2019, the average value is up 85 percent to $579 million. Sporting Kansas City remain above average coming in at number 12 with a $590m valuation. They are just behind Inter Miami at $600m, so we have to hate them now (oh, BTW, did you hear this Messi move may still happen).
Los Angeles FC are in the top spot as the first MLS club worth $1 billion. Rounding out the Top five:
- LA Galaxy - $925 million
- Atlanta United - $850 million
- New York City FC - $800 million
- D.C. United - $700 million
I won’t lie, D.C. United surprised me! The leagues least valuable franchise? The Colorado Rapids at $350 million. Serves Stan Kroenke right. St. Louis City SC are of course not on the list yet with the debut season ahead of them.
In terms of revenues, SKC had $59 million in 2022 but recorded a $3 million loss. I thought the methodology was important, as the “loss” doesn’t tell the whole story.
“To rank the most valuable Major League Soccer franchises, Forbes examined recent transaction data, reviewed publicly available financial information and spoke to more than 40 team executives, owners, investment bankers and industry insiders. All published figures are Forbes estimates; team values do not include stadiums, real estate or debt. Revenue and operating income are for the 2022 season, and the latter represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Playoffs, player transfers and shared distributions from MLS were excluded from revenue calculations. Clubs’ ancillary revenue streams, such as non-MLS events, were included.”
More PV Quotes: USMNT Job, his Future, Flores, Team Health
In Friday’s press availability, Vermes also had a few other notable things worth mentioning. First, talk of him getting the United States’ Men’s Team job wasn’t on his mind. He spoke highly of Gregg Berhalter and didn’t want to wade into the nonsense controversy surrounding departures and the Reyna family.
There is bound to be speculation with Vermes’ contract with Sporting KC running out after the season. The KC Star’s Daniel Sperry beat me to the punch to ask him about discussions about extending that deal. It was met with a no comment.
I wouldn't read into it too much. "I'm not going to get into that stuff right now," is not necessarily a hard "no-comment." But it's worth an ask, and something to keep an eye on in the coming months.— Daniel Sperry (@sperrydaniel94) February 3, 2023
Another topic that came up was Danny Flores and if he would have been available in the draft where he would have gone. Of course, he said the first round, and I just hope that’s true and not a poorly worded question from myself! He also noted he sees a solid career ahead of him with Sporting.
Vermes on Danny Flores not being in the draft: "I think he would have been a first round draft pick."— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) February 3, 2023
"He's a really good get for us. If he continues on the path he could have a very solid MLS career." #SportingKC
And last, but certainly not the least, was an update on team health. It was the typical vague caution from Peter that I hope not to need to read too much into.
Vermes on team health: "Always in preseason there are going to be guys with... little pains... all in all, knock on wood, things have been very good." #SportingKC— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) February 3, 2023
He also updated everyone on Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda specifically.
Vermes: "Alan and Gadi, if you just got from their first day of camp until now... things have been great."— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) February 3, 2023
"It's very optimistic."
"They are getting close [to being ready to go]." #SportingKC
I encourage you to watch the whole thing as he also commented on new signing Tim Leibold, though I just couldn’t transcribe that fast!
Leibold Arrived on Thursday
Speaking of Leibold, he also spoke with the media Friday, after arriving on Thursday. He didn’t play and Vermes said he just did some early testing but will be a full participant by this week. The competition for the left back spot should be heating up.
Defensive Lapses in the Preseason Draw
Sporting Kansas City drew Louisville 2-2 on this past Saturday. It’s preseason, so you never want to put too much on it, but on Sunday night I went back and update the game story with video of both goals SKC allowed. That said, I didn’t know if everyone would see them, so I want to put them here.
On the first, you see Graham Zusi (in his first preseason action) do a quick restart into a dangerous area and what appears to be Robert Voloder mishandle it which leads to a bit of a golozo by Louisville forward Jorge Gonzalez.
Then on the second goal, Logan Ndenbe is caught up the field (also in his first preseason action) and Voloder goes to intercept and is beaten for the Wilson Harris goal.
Vermes wasn’t kidding when he said they were poor giveaways. Preseason form for sure. Also, if you missed the rest of the “highlights,” we’ve got those for you. They are quick!
- Sporting KC’s new primary kit will be released February 16th.
- SKC have put out some good content on their social media from preseason. I appreciate the Question of the Day segments. Here is one with some amusing answers.
- The KC Current signed number two overall draft pick Michelle Cooper through the 2025 season. Only seven more draft picks to make decisions on!
Inbox: The KC Current have signed forward Michelle Cooper, the second overall pick from the 2023 NWSL Draft, to a contract through the 2025 season.— Cindy Lara (@cinderL9) February 2, 2023
Cooper is the first player signed by the club from the 2023 draft class. #TealRising
- Despite missing the playoffs in 2022, both the Portland Timbers and SKC sit at the top of the league in returning players (along with MLS Cup Finals losers the Philadelphia Union).
After missing the playoffs last season, Portland and SKC lead the league in returning players from 2022, along with MLS Cup Finalist Philly.— Eliot McKinley (@etmckinley) February 2, 2023
NYCFC have dismantled their 2021 MLS Cup squad this offseason after jettisoning almost 50% of their minutes played last year. https://t.co/q5rNt1Kkyg pic.twitter.com/20u0lVRos6
- ICYMI: Robert had a one-on-one interview with Ben Sweat with lots of good content, but I couldn’t help but notice this quote at the end about adding a third left back.
“It’s a little of a head scratcher because it wasn’t a needed position,” started Sweat. “There is a business side to soccer, so they have to do something… I don’t know what their plan is. I don’t know if maybe they are wanting to push me into center back at times because we do need another center back. We will wait and find out.”
- MLS Season Pass has launched on Apple TV. It’s definitely worth checking out if you plan to subscribe anyways. Some of the content has been very good. I also found these details about what is required of each team to be interesting.
Here are #MLS mandates for regular season - if not submitted there is a club fine:— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) February 2, 2023
-Weekly preview w/ relevant narrative
-Weekly player profile
-All pregame & post-game media pressers
-@MLSNEXTPRO bi-weekly report/feature
-@MLSNEXT monthly report/feature#NYCFC #MLSSeasonPass https://t.co/xvqynn6pZ7