After fulfilling a promise to their fan base to spend on roster upgrades, Sporting Kansas City now must focus on getting to know how best to utilize their new additions.
Take the first of two Designated Player signings, Yohan Croizet, whose intensity has already caught the attention of center back Matt Besler.
“He’s a different player than what we’ve had in years past,” Besler said. “The way that he uses his body, frankly he’s a beast. In three weeks I don’t think I’ve seen anyone knock him off the ball.”
Croizet is one of the players Sporting coach and GM Peter Vermes brought in to provide solutions he didn't see on his roster.
So far, Vermes loves his aggression, but still isn’t quite sure where he’ll end up playing, even if Croizet was given the No. 10 shirt.
“Whether he’s playing [in the midfield], or out on the wing, I don’t know yet,” Vermes said. “But he’ll have a real impact on both sides of the ball.”
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Feb 6, 2018 at 9:05am PST
Kansas City's other addition, Chilean international Felipe Gutierrez, may have an easier transition to Vermes' system.
“We have a lot of similar aspects to our style of play” to the Chilean national team, said Vermes. “So, his roles and responsibilities in that system are very similar to what we require as well.”
Gutierrez's vision and technical ability has impressed his teammates as well.
“If I was an attacking player, I would be very excited to have him,” said Besler. “From what I’ve seen, any time the ball is at his foot, he has the ability to thread the needle and make that pass.”
While neither signing may have been high on MLS fans' radar when the MLS offseason began, Vermes insists that's not indicative of the impact each could have.
“It doesn’t matter what the player’s name is,” Vermes said. “At the end of the day, they’ll make their name based on the way they play for us. And I think they’ll be very well known for us, very quickly.”