Now that we are only a few weeks out from the 2016 regular season, I started to think about what exactly I am excited to see this year.
As I said before, I believe Vermes has Sporting KC set up for success this year and for the future. Signing Davis, Mapp, Nuno and Olum is a very good thing for Sporting. Despite the sale of Nemeth, they should be a playoff quality team this year, with little downside potential.
Regardless, as I racked my brain about the upcoming season I realized; I am most excited about getting to see the Swope Park Rangers in action this season. That’s not to say I am not excited about watching Sporting KC. I am looking forward to seeing the new acquisitions and how everyone fits together. However, as a firm believer that Peter Vermes is God-like in the soccer world, it is thrilling to watch what he and Marc dos Santos are putting together at SPR!
Currently the average age of the Rangers web roster is 22.6 years old. With Marc dos Santos telling Jake Yadrich, in an off-season interview, he would like to continue to bring in players around that age, we can see Sporting KC are taking full advantage of SPR being that “middle ground” Vermes has talked about between youth and MLS.
We have seen the development of youth players Sporting and Vermes have had in the past. Players like Besler, Zusi, Espinoza, Dwyer, EPB, etc coming out of the draft or from the youth system have done very well with Sporting. It is within this middle ground that Peter will be able to keep players, that in the past he might have had to sell off.
Players like Kris Tyrpak, Kevin Oliveira, Mark Anthony Gonzalez, Nansel Selbol, etc, would not have had the chance to stay with Sporting KC after the draft or out of the academy. Now they will get a chance to develop over a few years with Vermes watching and coaching them nearly everyday.
This opportunity to have a USL club is huge for all MLS teams. However, for a teams like SKC, FC Dallas or the Redbulls who have a history of developing young talent; this seems like an even bigger opportunity.
Needless to say, come March 6th I will be sitting on the edge of my chair excitedly watching Sporting KC kick Seattle in the butt. Come March 26th I will be avidly watching the bright horizons Peter Vermes and Company are creating for Sporting.