Sporting Kansas City pulled the trigger on the richest MLS trade in history Tuesday, a deal that sent all-star striker Dom Dwyer to Orlando City SC in exchange for up to $1.6 million in allocation funds.
The original trade proposal was actually even bigger.
Sporting KC was set to acquire the rights to forward Krisztian Nemeth in the same trade Tuesday before a snag squashed it, sources told The Star. That deal would have necessitated the inclusion of a third team.
Nemeth, who spent 2015 in Kansas City, is engaged in ongoing discussions with his current club, Qatar’s Al-Gharafa, about his buyout clause, the source said.
Until that situation is settled, Nemeth cannot return to MLS.
Sporting KC remains interested in the addition. Nemeth, 28, would help offset the loss of Dwyer, the second leading scorer in Sporting KC history. Nemeth scored 10 goals in 28 MLS games in 2015, his only season in Kansas City before he moved to Qatar on a transfer.
Because Sporting KC received a transfer fee in return for Nemeth, he must go through the MLS allocation process before returning to the league. Columbus holds the top spot in the allocation rankings and therefore the first right of refusal for Nemeth’s services.
Originally, the trade that sent Dwyer to Orlando City SC on Tuesday would’ve also included Sporting KC acquiring Columbus’ coveted spot in the allocation order, the sources said. Sporting KC planned to use it to attempt to sign Nemeth.
The clock is ticking toward a deadline to resolve Nemeth’s contract with Al-Gharafa. The MLS summer transfer window closes on Aug. 9, the final chance for MLS teams to make outside acquisitions this season.
On Tuesday, after Sporting KC dealt Dwyer to Orlando, coach Peter Vermes said the club is scouting several players to supplement the front line, Nemeth included. If Nemeth is the solution, Sporting KC would still need to swing a trade with Columbus to obtain the allocation spot. Other MLS teams remain interested in making the same deal with Columbus to secure Nemeth’s rights.
“That player and many others — all the above — are in play,” Vermes said Tuesday. “The question is going to be whether or not we’re going to get a deal done with another player in the short term, or is it going to be in the next window?”