KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sporting Kansas City are looking to add another player soon, with a signing announcement possible later in the week.
“We're close,” manager and technical director Peter Vermes told reporters on Tuesday, shortly after the club waived journeyman fullback Josh Gardner to open up a roster spot.
While Vermes did not name the incoming player, several published reports, including one from Brazilian television network Globo, have linked Sporting with 19-year-old Brazilian defender Igor Julião. If the name sounds familiar, it is because Igor Julião played at right back for the Fluminense U-23 squad in last month's Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, Fla., including a 3-0 Sporting win.
If the signing is completed, it would be the second international acquisition since the start of the regular season for Sporting, who signed former Celta de Vigo midfielder Toni Dovale on March 11. Dovale has not featured yet for his new club, but he was part of the 18-man game-day roster for Sporting's 1-0 league win over the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday.
The March signings represent something of a departure for Sporting KC who, in the past, have brought in players either early in the winter transfer window or during the summer.
“It's all timing,” Vermes said. “We've been working on a few players for quite some time, and it's just that we haven't been able to fit the roster together the way we wanted to in certain situations. The other thing is that with the guys, the negotiations just have crept along slowly. That's what happens sometimes.”
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Sporting and other MLS clubs have the advantage, though, of a transfer window that extends until May 12, well beyond the midseason windows of most other leagues.
“That gives us a chance to work on those guys,” Vermes said. “It sort of takes competitors out of the way, which is a good thing.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.