Sporting Kansas City SuperDraft Preview: Champs head into 2014 with few real needs
Ahead of the 2014 SuperDraft, MLSsoccer.com is breaking down each team's needs and potential draft targets. Sporting KC finally got to the top of the mountain in 2013, and – yup – that means they're heading into Thursday's draft (noon ET, ESPNEWS) with few needs:
Sporting KC have used the draft to good effect over the past several years, collecting assets and filling holes in the lineup on the cheap. Add in an academy that's getting up to speed, and it's pretty clear that this team won't be too active in Philly.
For all intents and purposes, their big addition is the guy they added in last year's first round – Generation adidas midfielder Mikey Lopez. He didn't play in 2013, but should find minutes spelling Paulo Nagamura this time around.
Sporting KC's SuperDraft Picks: #38 (2nd Rd), #41 (3rd Rd), #57 (3rd Rd), #76 (4th Rd)
Sporting KC's Depth Chart (23 players):
Goalkeepers (3): Eric Kronberg, Andy Gruenebaum, Jon Kempin
Right Backs (3): Sal Zizzo, Mechack Jerome, Kevin Ellis
Left Backs (2): Seth Sinovic, Josh Gardner
Center Backs (3): Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Ike Opara, Erik Palmer-Brown
Center Mids (3): Uri Rosell, Paulo Nagamura, Lawrence Olum, Peterson Joseph, Mikey Lopez, Christian Duke
Attacking Mids (2): Benny Feilhaber, Jimmy Medranda
Left winger (2): C.J. Sapong, Soony Saad
Right winger (2): Graham Zusi, Jacob Peterson
Forwards (3): Dom Dwyer, Claudio Bieler, Teal Bunbury
International slots (4 of 8 remaining): Bieler, Joseph, Rosell, Medranda
Sporting's Primary Need: Right back, maybe?
Like we said, they don’t have a lot of holes to patch. Regardless, Myers is flirting with perennial Champions League participants Rosenborg of Norway, while backups Jerome and Ellis are mostly unproven. Zizzo could fit in theory, but that’s been the story with him for years and years.
If they go with a right back in the draft, it probably means they’ve given up on bringing Myers back. But they'd have to trade up – waaaaay up – to get a difference-maker.
Secondary Need: Wing depth
Zusi is a lockdown starter on one wing, but who’s the man opposite him? Sapong, Saad and Peterson all got looks, and all had their moments. Sapong’s development remains crucial. But if there’s a game-changer available to grab (not gonna happen at No. 38), why not?
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