Editorial (July 25th, 2017)- The Dom Dwyer trade from Sporting KC to Orlando City has sent shockwaves across the MLS world. Many are still trying to make sense of that. This is a hearty attempt at doing that for both Sporting KC and Orlando City.
Making Sense of the Dwyer Trade for Sporting KC and Orlando City
For Orlando City, it’s pretty straight-forward. They took a significant portion of the money they got for Kevin Molino, and poured it into one of the biggest signings from within MLS that they possibly could have made: Dom Dwyer. Some people have been talking about a significant partnership between both him and Cyle Larin. However, that won’t last long as this signing is virtually the nail in the coffin that Larin is going to leave Orlando, and very likely all of MLS.
Some Orlando fans are quite angry at this though, as they feel Jason Kreis is giving up on signing Larin long term, and significantly overpaid for Dom Dwyer to essentially replace the gaping hole at the striker position that Larin would have left. The move does give Orlando a whole lot of financial restrictions as they gave up such a significant amount of allocation money.
Overall, Orlando City fans should be quite happy actually. They have insurance for when Larin eventually leaves, and they’ll still find ways to get that money back. After all, they essentially flipped Kevin Molino for Dom Dwyer, and that’s a much better outlook to have on it.
For Sporting KC, reality has become a little bit cloudier. They actually have a young squad, but are sacrificing the top of their experienced spine for something relatively unknown. Daniel Salloi has shown signs of coming together as a big time player, and Diego Rubio’s return to health has been a good sign. The question is whether or not either of those two are ready to lead the line for an MLS Cup Contender. So are Sporting KC throwing away their bid for MLS Cup Contention with this move? Not so fast.
They are obviously now flushed with cash and have opened up a $500k hole in their salary budget. There are a few strikers around the league that have been calling for a move out, and two of them have both played for Sporting KC in the past. Kei Kamara and Teal Bunbury have expressed a want-away attitude in recent weeks. Bunbury would likely be the better fit, as I doubt Peter Vermes is ready to deal with the headache that is Kei Kamara.
Of course one option we’ve heard of is working their way to the Top spot of the Allocation order so they can re-acquire Kriztian Nemeth, who left for more cash in Qatar. Recently he’s said he really wants to come back as he felt the money wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Nemeth will likely come back in at around the $500k mark or more (likely more).
The big thing is the question mark of replacing what Dom Dwyer brings on the actual field, and how he slots into the system. If Peter Vermes didn’t have something up his sleeve, or connections to bring someone else in that would fit what they try to do, this deal wouldn’t have been made.
Frankly, Dwyer wasn’t having a good year. His first touch has been Gyasi Zardes level bad for the most part, and he’s only scored five goals, and hadn’t scored a goal in MLS play since May 3rd. That’s almost two full months. He’s also well behind his goalscoring rate which has slowed down each season since 2014.
To see the full picture for Sporting KC in this deal, it’s going to take a little bit longer. You have to see how they choose to replace him. Right now what you can look at is that they virtually got what they paid him in wages the last three years back. They have financial clout now to go get a solid replacement, and even an upgrade. The question is whether or not they can do that in time.
One of Sporting KC’s big wigs, Rob Heineman tweeted that fans should still hold them accountable to win three trophies this season.
Hard 2 lose great players. We believe in a system w🏆expectations. We expected 2 win 3🏆yesterday, we still do 2day. Please hold us to that.
— Robb Heineman (@RobbHeineman) July 25, 2017
It’s exactly what they should do. Sporting KC has only turned up the pressure on themselves quite a bit more with a move like this. But time will tell whether or not this was a good or bad deal. That, and how they fix the hole in their roster.