Unless there's a big trade in the works, Sporting Kansas City will have a lot of waiting and watching during today's MLS SuperDraft.
The Kansas City Star
Kansas City traded away its natural first-round pick (#19) to New England as part of the Benny Feilhaber trade last season. Which leaves Sporting KC with just one pick in today's portion of the draft, the very last pick of the second round: #38.
The draft, held in Philadelphia this year, begins at 11 a.m. on ESPNews. The third and fourth rounds will be held via conference call on Jan. 21. (Kansas City has three picks that day: #41, #57 and #76.)
With only the one pick, it's hard to predict what direction Kansas City might go. Head coach and technical director Peter Vermes told The Star's Sam McDowell KC has a plan but will have to wait and see.
"I don't want to tip my hand," Vermes said. "I do know that what we're looking for is difficult to find. Have we seen it? I'd say yes. But I'm not sure if it will be available when it gets to our pick."
It's even harder to predict what the pick might be with many of the team's roster already fairly loaded. There are, right now, only a few open spots on the team's 30-man roster.
Players current under contract with Sporting KC:
Goalkeepers (3): Eric Kronberg, Andy Gruenebaum*, Jon Kempin
Defenders (8): Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic, Ike Opara, Kevin Ellis, Mechack Jerome, Josh Gardner, Eric Palmer-Brown
Midfielders (10): Oriol Rosell, Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi, Sal Zizzo*, Lawrence Olum, Peterson Joseph, Christian Duke, Mikey Lopez, Jimmy Medranda**
Forwards (6): Claudio Bieler, C.J. Sapong, Teal Bunbury, Dom Dwyer, Soony Saad, Jacob Peterson
*New signing for 2014
** Was on loan last season from Deportivo Pereira
The one name you don't see on that list? Chance Myers. He's currently out of contract with KC. His status i hard to read, but according to Sporting KC owner Robb Heineman, who was responding on Twitter to a blog I wrote last week about, Myers will be back, "If he wants to."
If Kansas City grabs a fullback with its pick today, it might tell you everything you needed to know about how those contract negotiations are going.
Historically, the second round hasn't been a straight pipeline into the Sporting KC squad with Vermes in charge.
Of course, there was the one really big second-round pick: Graham Zusi (#23 in 2009). He worked out pretty well.
But after that the results have been mixed. There have been a few players who made the roster and stuck around: Jonathan Leathers (#25 in '08), Korede Aiyegbusi* (#20 in '10) and Cyprian Hedrick (#30, '12). None are currently with the team.
*The pick before Aiyegbusi was Michael Thomas (who briefly played for Kansas City in 2012/13) and a few picks later in that same draft, current Sporting KC left back Seth Sinovic was drafted by New England.
The rest of the second round picks have mostly fizzled: Yomby William (#23, '08), Doug DeMartin (#22, '09) and J.T. Murray (#32, '11).
A successful pick for KC after #30 (regardless of round) is even harder to find: Kurt Morsink (#42, '07), Matt Marquess (#39, '08), Rauwshan McKenzie (#53, '08) and Konrad Warzycha (#46, '11) all made appearances for Kansas City. Though, Marquess, McKenzie and Warzycha combined to play just a dozen games.
The supplemental drafts have netted two players (both local products) who made the roster: Kyle Miller (2012) and Christian Duke (2013). Neither have made an MLS appearance; Miller was waived at the end of last year.
No matter who KC drafts today and next week, thanks to Kansas City's success on the field and in previous drafts, it's probably going to be an uphill battle for them to even crack the roster.