A day after Sporting KC released their top two choices at goalkeeper, the team picked up Dom Dwyer’s contract and four other players as well–Jon Kempin, Ike Opara, C.J. Sapong and Seth Sinovic. The club also declined six players’ contracts–Antonio Dovale, Andy Gruenebaum, Michael Kafari, Eric Kronberg, Victor Munoz and Sal Zizzo.
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Dwyer, his third season in MLS, scored 22 goals in the regular season. He also scored one in the playoffs and one in the CONCACAF Champions League to set a new Kansas City single-season scoring record at 24 goals. On January 12 2012, Dwyer was selected #16 overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by Sporting KC. He made his debut on May 29 2012 in a 3–2 win over Orlando City in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Dwyer has appeared in 64 matches across all competitions for Sporting KC and has scored 27 goals in those appearances.
Sapong has scored 20 regular-season goals in his first four seasons in MLS but made a career-low seven league starts in 2014. Sinovic started at least 30 regular-season games for the third consecutive season in 2014 and contributed two assists. Opara missed almost the entire 2014 MLS season after suffering an ankle injury in March.
I personally like the moves that Sporting KC made. Dwyer is a proven goal scorer in MLS and KC needs just that, a proven MLS goal scorer. Now they just need to get him some help and not rely on Sapong to return to the form he had prior to this year.
I mentioned earlier that Sporting KC also declined contract options on six players. Two of the six were their first two choices at the goalkeeper position. The two goalkeepers as well as Zizzo will be eligible to participate in the Re-Entry process. Phase one of the Re-Entry Draft will take place on December 12th. Phase Two will follow on December 18th.
The club also announced that they parted ways with Olum. They terminated his contract at Olum’s request so that he could join Malaysian side Kedah FA. Sporting KC will retain his rights if he decides to return to MLS.
Head Coach Peter Vermes had this to say regarding the situation with Olum:
"“I think you know me well enough that if you don’t want to be here, I don’t want you here. He thought he had a better opportunity where he went to. I can’t argue because I don’t know what the deal is.”"
I have to agree with Vermes on this one. It is better for the player and more importantly the club, to release the player if he does not want to be there. Olum was part of the 2012 team that won the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup as well as the 2013 team that won MLS Cup.
As an outsider, it’s strange to see all of the changes that have been made in Kansas City. That being said I am not exactly disappointed with the moves their team is making, mainly because Sporting KC will be moving to the Western Conference next year to “balance” the schedule.
What do you think? Are these good moves or bad moves?