Sporting Kansas City "always trying to improve," which might mean a slow summer ahead
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If there's a high-profile acquisition ahead for Sporting Kansas City in the summer transfer window, nobody's saying anything about it.
“We're looking at players,” manager and technical director Peter Vermes told MLSsoccer.com after Tuesday's training session, “but nothing is close enough yet that I could talk about.”
That's the standard response from Vermes, who prefers to keep his negotiations under wraps until a deal is done. Then again, there's another reason for Sporting's low “silly season” profile: Their roster isn't as easy to crack as it might have been four to five years ago.
“When you're building it in the beginning, and when you're trying to turn things around, the doors are wide open,” Vermes said. “You'll take anybody that can help you. As time goes on, those doors get more and more closed, and then you become very selective of who you let in the door. I think we're at a place where we're very selective about who we let in.”
Sporting, who have finished atop the regular-season Eastern Conference standings in each of their past two seasons, are unbeaten in four matches and currently sit in second place as they prepare for Saturday's meeting with Toronto FC.
So while he's always looking for talent, Vermes also must be mindful of not doing anything to throw off that momentum and his team's chemistry.
“We're always trying to improve the team, and if there's a good option out there, a good opportunity, then we're going to consider it very seriously,” he said. “But at the same time, and I think you know this, we try to never do anything that's going to disrupt the team. That's what we're very careful of.”
And even if Sporting do make a move during this window, Vermes said, there's no guarantee of that player making an immediate impact.
“I always think the summer window's a tough window to add players to your team,” he said. “I really do, because it takes players time to adapt. Sometimes, though, you do it strategically.”
Midfielder Uri Rosell, signed in the middle of 2012 and now a regular in the midfield, fits into that category.
“We gave him the benefit of seeing the team for a while, seeing the league, building up his strength, all of those things, to eventually become 'The Guy,'” Vermes said. “It worked out at the end of the day that those six months paid huge dividends, because he's one of the starters. But starting preseason is easier, for sure, than coming in at the midpoint of the year.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.