Erik Palmer-Brown. A name that hasn’t been heard from MLS fans in a long time. Once thought to be the most promising defenders MLS and to become the next big defender for the USMNT. The 22-year-old defender is currently owned by Manchester City but played on loan for Eredivisie team NAC Breda. Erik Palmer-Brown had a difficult time adjusting to the Dutch league in the beginning of the season, he wasn’t played as much. But during the second half of the season, he finally earned the starting spot on the team. Yes, the team is currently in relegation zone and will most likely get relegated. This ain’t Erik’s fault though, he only played 16 games for NAC Breda out of 32 games. During his time at NAC Breda, he made 16 appearances, scored 1 goal, and won 59% of his duals, won 50% of his tackles, and finally had an 85% passing accuracy. Did the former MLS homegrown have a successful season in his first season in a European first division?
Sporting KC prospect Gianluca Busio has played a total of 295 minutes for Sporting KC this season so far and has scored 3 goals already. Busio is a 16-year-old American midfielder who showed a lot of promise for Sporting KC youth ranks. He got promoted to the 1st team in 2017. He has shown a lot of promise this current season in MLS scoring 3 goals in 295 minutes which equals to 3.27 90 minute games. He currently has 4 goals in 12 appearances since 2017. Gianluca has been compared to Tyler Adams who went through NY Red Bulls youth ranks all the way to the first team and making an impact for them. He recently got transferred to RB Leipzig and has already earned himself a starting spot for the German team who sits in 3rd place in the Bundesliga. Could Gianluca be the next promising USMNT/MLS youngster?
Sporting KC will officially go through to the next round in the CCL. Sporting KC is the only MLS team left in the tournament. They will go through thanks to an aggregate score of 4-2 in their favor. Sporting KC lost the first leg against Independiente F.C. in Panama. The Panamanian team is the team that is known for eliminating Toronto FC from the CONCACAF Champions League this year. Thanks to a 3-0 win at home, they will go through to the next round against Monterrey who just eliminated Atlanta United from the tournament. Sporting KC won the second leg thanks to goals from Espinoza and Nemeth. Sporting KC is the last team that will represent MLS this year in the CCL.
Official: Sporting KC has officially signed Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem. The German-American midfielder was once known to be one of the most promising midfielders in Arsenal’s academies and was even compared to Xabi Alonso. He although wasn’t able to fulfill his potential throughout the years due to injuries. Gedion Zelalem was born in Berlin, Germany, but was raised in Montgomery County, Maryland throughout his high school years. He is now coming back from England to Kansas City to fulfill his potential. The 22-year-old has played for Arsenal youth academies, Rangers, and VVV-Venlo. He has made a total of 15 appearances for the U.S. youth teams.
Sporting KC lost the first leg against Independiente F.C. in Panama. The Panamanian team is the team that is known for eliminating Toronto FC from the CONCACAF Champions League this year. Sporting KC will be leaving Panama with an away goal advantage. Sporting KC didn’t have their best lineup for some reason and it did cost them the lost. Sporting KC just needs to win 1-0 at home to be able to go through to the next round in the CONCACAF Champions League. Sporting KC is the 3rd MLS team out of 4 to lose the first leg in the Quarter Finals. Next up Atlanta in Monterey.
Sporting KC have officially eliminated the Mexican club, Deportivo Toluca. Sporting KC will be going through to the next round thanks to an aggregate score of 5-0 against Deportivo Toluca. Sporting KC won the first leg at home against the Mexican club 3-0 thanks to goals from Nemeth, Gerso, and Ilie. They also won away in Mexico in the second leg 2-0 thanks to goals from Gerso & a PK from Nemeth. Sporting KC will be going through to the next round within the CONCACAF Champions League eliminating the Mexican club. Could this finally be the year that an MLS club wins a CONCACAF Champions League, it has recently only been only Mexican clubs that have won the tournament throughout the recent years. Toronto FC although made it to the finals last year but lost against Chivas
Sporting KC defeated the Mexican club Toluca FC at home. Sporting KC is the third MLS club to win their first match within the CONCACAF Champions League. Sporting KC scored three goals against the Mexican club thanks to Gerso, Ilie, & Nemeth. They will have to hold the win through the second leg against Toluca FC back in Mexico. 3 out of 4 MLS clubs have won so far in the tournament. Could this finally be the year that an MLS club wins a CONCACAF Champions League, it has recently only been only Mexican clubs that have won the tournament throughout the recent years. Toronto FC although made it to the finals last year but lost against Chivas. Up next Atlanta United.
By Sporting KC News
You’re a wizard, Peter.
SKC traded defender Ike Opara to Minnesota United late Monday night. SKC will receive 900k in Targeted Allocation Money, with an additional 100k if Minnesota makes the playoffs in 2019. The move left many fans shocked and heartbroken, as Opara had become a mainstay and a fan favorite over the course of his six-year stay. However, the move makes perfect sense for Peter Vermes’s club because SKC has received more than enough money for his services.
Peter Vermes's positive return investment on Opara is quite remarkable. SKC acquired Ike Opara from the San Jose Earthquakes in late 2012 for a 2013 2nd Round Draft Pick (the pick was used on a person who never played in MLS). Opara then went on to win three trophies with SKC, and he was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2017. Opara did all of that for SKC even though his salary surpassed 150k just once, according to the MLSPA. It’s easy to see why Vermes let Opara go at 900k because he knew they make a profit off of Opara.
900k in Targeted Allocation Money is a lot by MLS standards. Very few trades have surpassed that number and for good reason-TAM is valuable. In summary, TAM is used to fit expensive players in MLS’s salary cap (the full uses of TAM can be found here). SKC can use the money from the Opara trade to get multiple high-level TAM players or DPs. The influx of this extra TAM allows the club to have more flexibility when dealing with the salary cap.
Furthermore, It’ll be hard for Opara to live up to the 900k that Minnesota paid. He will be 30 years old by the time the season starts, and he has a long history of injuries. Despite this, Opara reached 2700 minutes in each of the past two seasons, and he won MLS Defender of the Year in 2017. However, he appeared to lose a step and regress in 2018, and Ike Opara is not getting any younger or healthier. He’s also not getting any cheaper because Jeff Carlisle revealed in December that Opara wanted a raise. It’s better for SKC to get the extra TAM and spend money on several different players, rather than spending money on just Opara.
In addition, Peter Vermes was able to trade Opara because SKC already has the replacements for him. The club added La Liga veteran Andreu Fontas midway through 2018, and Hungarian international Botond Barath this offseason. Based on their international pedigrees, it seems that both will be solid MLS starters, even though they barely have any MLS experience. Both players will have to prove themselves in MLS, but they will be given every opportunity to do it.
Sporting KC has done very good business regarding Opara, and it appears that the player was content on leaving. Peter Vermes traded one player away in exchange for an extremely large sum of TAM, which can be used to get multiple new players of similar value. Saying goodbye to a player is never easy, but it was the right time and price for SKC. It’s unclear how Opara will perform in Minnesota, but it’s very likely SKC will succeed in spite of and because of this trade.
By Sporting KC News
Sporting KC's attack in 2018 was the best in club history. The team scored 65 regular season league goals, good enough for 4th in the league. However, some players performed better than others.
By Sporting KC News
The 2018 midfield of SKC was an exceptional one, with a few new players. Let's take a look at each player to see how they did.