SKC Has Become a Club For Sustaining, Not Selling

Over the last 4 years, Sporting have proven not to be a 'one and done' for players
by Skylar Rolstad   |   Tuesday, June 10, 2014

State of SKC - column on Sporting KC (SKC) & the Kansas City soccer scene.

Upon the selling of Uri Rosell to Sporting Clube de Portugal, both Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes and President Robb Heineman insisted that their organization should not be labeling a “selling club.”

A return on their investments, however, is never a bad thing. 

Rosell’s departure is just another success story among a few players to leave Sporting in recent years.  These players include Omar Bravo, Roger Espinoza and Kei Kamara. Espinoza was let go for free, but his transfer to Wigan elevated SKC’s status as a club that produces great players. Selling Kamara at 29 years old enabled the team to move on and collect a nice amount of cash around $1 million.

Perhaps Kansas City is ripping a page out of the books of revolutionary managers across history like Nottingham Forest’s Brian Clough or Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson, whose transfer policies brought their clubs stability for several years. Clough, especially, was best known for buying low and selling high. Ferguson for scouting well and making tactical personnel decisions.

Still the team faces difficult contract extension talks with its remaining stars Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, but both players are committed to staying with the club. Besler could have left Sporting last year for Queens Park Rangers, and Zusi may have been able to leave for a number of teams including West Ham, but both players opted to stay. The mutual faith that both parties showed is part of the reason why Besler and Zusi will likely start in most World Cup games for the US.

On top of this, Sporting brought KC native Seth Sinovic from New England Revolution reject to one of the best left backs in the league. Having lost a few players, Sporting made moves like acquiring Sal Zizzo at winger and a recent standout fullback Igor Juliao at only 19 years of age. Late-round draft pick Alex Martinez has recently been reminiscent of Espinoza.

Success in buying, selling, and keeping haven’t been without mistakes. Sporting’s signing of Jeferson in the 2011 season proved to be a disaster, with the Brazilian midfielder only recording 1 assist and battling injuries during his short tenure as a Sporting KC player.

With Heineman and Vermes, Sporting have found an excellent balance between consistently fielding a championship-winning team and getting value for players they have invested time and money in. Putting together an exceptional team is difficult enough, but for the best clubs and managers in the world, stability is key, a model that Sporting have exemplified.

NEXT UP: May 23 — US Open Cup: Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas. 8:30 p.m. EST, USSoccer.com.

Skylar ROLSTAD

Nationality:
USA
College:
Univ. of Kansas
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
AC Milan
A student at the University of Kansas. He writes for the Sporting Kansas City club column for Soccer Newsday and is a regular at Sporting Park. His passion for soccer can best be described as unhealthy.
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