MLS 2023 season is at a close with Columbus Crew lifting the MLS Cup trophy over LAFC. That means we are finally in the offseason and lots of teams have a lot of work to do including Sporting Kansas City. Let’s be honest, at the end of the Houston Dynamo game we got hard done, but we should all be so proud of this team. Lots of players have left including two legends. Tom Bogert dropped in the SKC Show and has reports the Gadi Kinda is unlikely to sign a new contract meaning he will potentially be moving on from Kansas City.
The trade window in MLS is opening tomorrow starting at 8 am CT. MLS Superdraft is also next week, December 19th 2 pm CT. MLS free agents are also out to be signed in the coming weeks as well and there are some good and decent depth options to pick up. Here’s a few realistic options that caught my eyes and Vermes and Co. should try to bring in.
Donovan Pines – CB
Pines last played for DC United and he’s a solid defender. A 25-year-old in free agency who is good enough to start for a lot of MLS teams could be beneficial for a Sporting KC side who has struggled with center backs for a while now. Rosero was a great emergency signing. Fontas is getting older and is a rollercoaster making him a liability. Kortne Ford, who is in talks to return, is very injury prone, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he does come back. Pines is a right footed center back which isn’t what the team needs unless Vermes wants to play with two right-footed center backs. He is an interesting choice and could certainly be a good pick up.
Wil Trapp – CDM
Longtime MLS midfielder Wil Trapp who is 30 is still going through negotiations with Minnesota to return, but if he doesn’t, he should really look south and travel the 440 miles. The club could use a solid backup/rotating starter for Radoja who was a great conductor on the ball when healthy. Trapp has 294 games under his belt in the league picking up three goals and 23 assists whilst playing for Columbus, Inter Miami, and Minnesota United.
What I’ve always liked about Trapp is his destroyer mentality and we could use someone like that with Espinoza leaving. 51 yellow cards and two reds means he’s a troublesome player on the field. Reckless? Yes, but so was Espinoza and he was a fan favorite since he joined and rejoined the club. Trapp would be a great addition if he decides to not return to Minnesota.
Corey Baird – ST/Winger
Okay, this dude is controversial in my eyes mostly because he’s played for Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo. Corey would be a decent backup to Salloi and maybe even challenge Russell for a starting spot. He can also play in the striker role if Pulido or Agada go down, which the only backup we have at that position is Shelton or Stephen Afrifa.
It isn’t unusual for Sporting to go after a rival team’s player after going out of contract, thinking back to Brad Davis. Baird has 28G/24A in 164 games in the league. An RSL product, traded to Houston in 2021 then immediately traded to LAFC that year and then going back to Houston. He just came off a good season with the Dynamo who won the US Open Cup and got to the Western Conference finals. He’s worth keeping an eye on.
Diego Rubio – ST
Ah, the memories. Remember when Rubio scored goals FOR us? Yeah, it’s hard to look past all the times he scored against us while playing for the Colorado Rapids. He’s a nightmare to play against and he scores goals. Lots, of goals. Rubio is also controversial for us to sign as he would require high wages which Sporting really shouldn’t be doing for a 3rd striker, because they have Willy Agada, unless he’s traded away. Rubio seems set to move though as he already said goodbye to Colorado on social media a couple months ago. He’s not totally unrealistic for Sporting as anything can happen in the offseason. I’ll be honest though, kind of tired seeing former players coming back to the club as they never actually work out.
Any of the backup LB’s
Sporting KC are without Logan Ndenbe for possibly most of next season, after tearing his ACL against St Louis. Which leaves Sporting with just veteran left back Tim Leibold in the position. Kayden Pierre, once he heals up his hamstrings again, could try to play on the left if needed, but it is harder since he’s right footed. There are a few good backup depth options on the free agents list in Adam Lundqvist, John Nelson (yes, I know, former St Louis player and not necessarily a FA) and Taylor Washington (he’s on the free agents list, but Nashville don’t have a report of him on their end of the year roster decisions).
Those are seven players I think Sporting should look at and possibly sign this offseason. If there are names you think Sporting should go for around the league drop your thoughts and what you want to see below!