Brendan Ruiz and Jimmy Medranda, Sporting Kansas City
Courtesy of Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC's Peter Vermes says new signings are projects for the future, need to get "Sporting fit"

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sporting Kansas City ended the summer transfer window by signing a pair of left-footed youngsters, both of whom the club sees as developmental projects.

On Friday, Sporting announced the signing of American center back Brendan Ruiz from Brazilian side Figuerense and a loan for attacking midfielder Jimmy Pedranda from Colombian side Deportivo Pereira.

Pedranda, a product of Pereira's youth system, is on loan through December with an option to purchase at the end of the term. He has two goals across all competitions for the senior squad over the past two seasons, while Ruiz has spent the last two seasons with Figuerense's Under-20 squad.

Both have been on trial in Kansas City this summer.

“Both players have a lot of potential and a lot of talent,” manager Peter Vermes said during the club's weekly news conference. “They're two young players, obviously, but they're players we're going to look to try and develop over the next couple of years.”

But while neither is ready for the game-day squad, Vermes said, he won't hold back any player who makes a quick adjustment to Sporting's system and fitness demands.

“What I don't want to do is, I don't want to put pressure on the player to think that he right away has to be an impact within the group,” he said. “Because there is a transitional phase, trying to acclimate yourself – first off to the league, then all the things that go with it: travel, multiple games in a short period of time.

“Then they've got to get 'Sporting fit' to play the level that we play, and the kind of style that we play,” Vermes added. “The process of development does take time, but that doesn't mean that it can't be hastened, can't be accelerated because of that person's willingness and ability to learn quickly.”

Friday's announcement came a day after negotiations for Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros fell through, an impasse tweeted by Sporting president Robb Heineman.

Vermes said Sporting and Honduran side Motagua were close on transfer fee negotiations, but he did not commit to making another run at Claros during the winter window.

“It just depends on what the situation is,” he said. “What happens is that we could focus on somebody else who catches our eye. So I don't know. It'll remain to be seen as we get closer to that.”

Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for

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