Whether it be the smell of the morning dew on the brisk spring air (or piles of snow in a frigid arctic wind) or the sounds of whistles blowing and fan chants of “I Believe”, you know that soccer is back.
Coming off an MLS Championship, Sporting Kansas City is at the midway point of their preseason, and with the resigning of Defender Chance Myers ,and additions of Midfielder Sal Zizzo and Overland Park native Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum Sporting look to make a run at another MLS Championship.
The preseason transfer window opens up on February 12th for MLS and don’t be surprised if Sporting make a move or two. It is known that Sporting made a serious run at signing then Roma Midfielder Michael Bradley but were outbid by fellow MLS club Toronto FC.
Sporting CEO Rob Heineman has been public about his desire to sign an Attacking Midfielder and/or Wing player so without further ado here are Sportings potential transfer targets.
Roger Espinoza – Kansas City drafted Espinoza with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2008 MLS Superdraft and he played 4 years with the club before moving on to EPL side Wigan Athletic. Roger Espinoza was and still is a perfect fit for Sporting and head coach Peter Vermes high pessure system.
Espinoza is a Defensive Midfielder or Wingback but is flexible and can move all over the midfield. Espinoza has shown he can be effective in the EPL but with the relegation of Wigan and the lack of consistent play time Espinoza may be looking for a move and where better than the club that helped propel him to the next level?
Giovani Dos Santos – Giovani Dos Santos is a 24 year old Mexican international and current member of club Villarreal CF. Giovani is an Attacking Midfielder that can also play Winger or second Striker. He has been productive since his move to Villarreal notching 21 appearances with 9 goals and 7 assists.
Giovani seems to be a perfect fit to fill Sporting’s needs and Sporting have been rumored to pursue Giovani in the past, the question is if Sporting call will Villarreal pick up the phone?
Chicharito – Javier Hernández Balcázar or more famously known as Chicharito is another Mexican international and is currently playing his club ball with Manchester United. Chicarito has notched 141 appearances with 57 goals in his 4 years with Manchester United.
Chicharito would come in and instantly provide Sporting with a clinical finisher that could strike from anywhere. Vermes has tried playing Bieler in a Attacking mid role in the preseason so maybe Chicharito could play forward and Bieler would play underneath of him.
This is the least likely scenario of all but we provided Mexico with the gift of San Zusi, so Mexico owes us one. I gave you reasons why Chicharito should be playing for Sporting this season check out why he is not leaving Manchester United. Do you think Sporting Kansas City has a chance at signing Chicharito?
Jozy Altidore – With the wave of high profile Americans such as Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey joining MLS its not too crazy to think that Jozy Altidore may do the same. Altidore is currently a member of EPL side Sunderland and has made 26 appearances and only netted 2 goals.
It has been talked about that Altidore doesn’t fit at Sunderland and that he is being misused. Altidore has been effective for the US national team but hasn’t found his form for his club side thus leading to speculation that a move away from Sunderland would be a good idea.
Altidore might not fit Sporting’s system but I believe that a big physical player in the front middle of our attack that can hold up the ball, keep possession, and get a head on the end of all the crosses Sporting sends into the box would be a good addition to the squad.
Chances are if a Altidore to Sporting move is made, Sporting would look to move one of their forwards currently on the roster and the odd man out looks to be Teal Bunbury. Do you think Altidore could fit in with Sporting?
Mix Diskerud – Mikkel Morgenstar Pålssønn Diskerud or better known as Mix Diskerud is a Midfielder and US international playing for club side Rosenborg BK. Mix has made 37 appearances and has netted 3 goals in his time with Rosenborg. Mix is a shot in the dark as there have been no rumors connecting him with Sporting but he fits the theme of US international signing with an MLS squad.
He is also a high energy midfielder that would fill in well in the midfield and would allow Vermes to use Graham Zusi up top as he did in much of the playoffs and in the finals. Mix would also likely come cheaper than any of the other names I have listed and at only 23 years old Sporting would play a big part in his development as they did for Zusi and Espinoza. Would you like to have Mix join Sporting in this transfer window?
A signing is likely to happen sometime in the transfer window but Sporting has been able to keep most of their interest behind closed doors so the first time we hear of a signing will likely be when it is a done deal. For now, just keep an eye on Rob Heineman’s Twitter timeline as he likes to drop hints every once and a while, and share your thoughts on who you would like to see join Sporting Kansas City.