Sporting KC

Sporting KC takes three players on final day of MLS draft

Updated: 2014-01-22T05:36:17Z

By SAM McDOWELL

The Kansas City Star

Sporting Kansas City opted for diversity as it filled out its 2014 draft class Tuesday. The club selected one defender, one midfielder and one forward in the final two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft.

Sporting KC added defender Peter Schmetz with the 41st overall pick, midfielder Alex Martinez at No. 57 and forward Reinaldo Brenes at No. 76.

The three players will be expected to supply depth rather than provide an immediate impact, Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said.

“It’s going to be hard for anyone to make our team at this point,” Vermes said. “I don’t mean that in a negative way for these guys. We started to look for positions we can fill in depth over time. That’s what we went after.”

Schmetz, who was born in Germany, anchored the back line for California-Santa Barbara before his 2013 season was cut short because of a knee injury. He started 16 games for Santa Barbara, which allowed 0.89 goals per game.

Schmetz is more noted for his size (6 feet 6, 205 pounds) than his speed.

“He’s a big guy with pretty good feet,” Vermes said. “We’re just trying to see if he can translate into the way we play, but obviously his size is an important aspect.”

Martinez played his final two college seasons at North Carolina State after transferring from High Point. He started 17 games as a midfielder last fall and ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with eight assists. He had 11 goals and 10 assists as a junior in 2012, when he was chosen to the All-ACC first team.

“Probably a bit of of (Paulo) Nagamura type in that he’s a little more compact in stature,” Vermes said. “He’s a bit of a pit bull in the midfield, can go box to box and has the aggressive mind-set to go to goal.”

Brenes scored a team-best eight goals for Akron while starting 18 games in 2013. He previously played with the Costa Rican under-18 national team.

“We see him as an attacking midfielder in our system,” Vermes said. “He covers a lot of ground and has the (hunger) to go to goal.”

• Former Rockhurst High School forward Alex Sweetin was drafted by the Philadelphia Union with the 46th overall pick.

Sweetin was The Star’s All-Metro player of the year in 2008 after scoring 26 goals and leading the Hawklets to a second consecutive state championship before attending Saint Louis University.

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