KANSAS CITY, Kan. – After Dom Dwyer was traded to Orlando City SC midway through the 2017 MLS season, Sporting KC were left shorthanded at the striker position. More than a year later, SKC believe they’ve finally addressed their need for a premier option up top with the re-acquisition of Krisztian Nemeth via a trade with the New England Revolution on Monday evening.
Nemeth was excited the moment he heard he was going back to Kansas City.
“Two days ago I heard about it [the trade], that it was going to happen, and since then I’ve been really happy,” Nemeth told reporters in a re-introductory press conference on Tuesday.
As it turns out, the move to bring Nemeth back to KC was more than a year in the making. Peter Vermes had tried to make Nemeth an immediate replacement for Dwyer last season, but was unsuccessful.
“When we were doing the Dom Dwyer trade, we tried really hard to get Krisztian as part of a three-way deal in that. It kind of fell through,” Vermes said Tuesday.
Columbus Crew SC held the top spot in the Allocation Order, which was required for Nemeth to re-enter the league since SKC had received a transfer fee when he left the club in 2016. Columbus’ price was a little too much for Sporting, and Crew SC eventually traded the spot to New England.
Nemeth experienced most of his success with Sporting KC while playing predominately as a winger in 2015, scoring 16 goals to go along with seven assists in 33 games across all competitions. But in his return, he’ll be expected to play as the central striker. Both Nemeth and Vermes believe it’s his best position on the field.
“It’s a good chance for me,” Nemeth said. “When I grew up, I was a No. 9. Since then I’ve learned all the positions in the front. So if I play on the left or the right, up front, I can repeat the level. But my best qualities for sure are at the No. 9 position. So I’m happy about that.”
As for how it will look going forward with Nemeth there, Vermes still wasn’t ready to say. Khiry Shelton was the one player who somewhat locked down the position this season, and his qualities are different than what Nemeth brings to the table.
“I just know the imagination that he has as a player on the field,” Vermes said. “And he can back it up through the technical aspect – like he can actually do what his mind is thinking on the field. So it’s just going to add to the other quality players that we have up there.
“Make no mistake about it, he is going to bring different qualities than what we currently have,” he added. “And I think once that familiarity gets understood between the current players we have, I think you’re going to see some very special moments on the field from our club.”