KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes still hasn’t completely wrapped his head around the Re-Entry Draft.
With the first round of the inaugural dispersal draft for tenured veterans scheduled to occur Wednesday afternoon, Vermes and his staff aren’t yet sure what kind of role – if any – Sporting will play in the proceedings.
“We’re still determining whether or not it’s a way we want to go,” Vermes said early Wednesday morning in a phone interview.
That attitude is thought to be widespread among MLS decision-makers as teams weigh the opportunity to bring in new players at their current pay rate after other teams have declined to renew the players’ contracts.
Kansas City have three players up for grabs: veterans Jimmy Conrad (out of contract), Josh Wolff (option declined) and defender Aaron Hohlbein (out of contract), who spent the second half of last season at Miami FC on loan.
Vermes said he expected the majority of the action to come after Wednesday’s draft, when teams can begin to renegotiate with their own players, and during the second round on Dec. 15. It appears more than likely that Kansas City will not make a selection on Wednesday barring further developments.
“It’s sort of some unknown territory as to how this is going to go down,” Vermes said. “Not just the first Re-Entry Draft, but also the days in between and the next round. There are some guys that are interesting on the list. At the same time, some of it has to do with where their salaries are.”
As for Conrad, Wolff and Hohlbein, Vermes said he thinks there is a decent chance any of the trio could be selected if the right team and situation presents itself. Both Conrad's and Wolff’s situations are complicated by their previous wages, but both are experienced veterans who could provide guidance to a young club such as D.C. United or either of the league’s new expansion sides.
“With the advent of the two new expansion teams and their salary cap being wide open, it would be easy for those guys to pick up two experienced players in the league,” Vermes said.
And if not, Vermes said he would certainly attempt to reopen negotiations with both prior to the second installment of the draft in a week’s time.
“If they don’t get picked up, I would think that we would have discussions with both,” he said. “I don’t know where they would go, but we would have discussions in some way, shape or form.”
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