Sporting Kansas City’s search for an offensive weapon continues. But the search for defensive depth has churned out an acquisition.
Sporting KC obtained 22-year-old Argentine defender Emiliano Amor on a one-year loan Thursday. Amor was playing with Velez Sarsfield in Primera Division, the top-flight soccer league in his home country. Sporting KC will have the option to purchase Amor’s rights and make the loan a permanent transfer at the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Amor will join the club for its preseason regimen in Scottsdale, Ariz., this month.
“Emiliano is a young defender we have watched closely, and his arrival gives us another valuable piece along the backline,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said in a statement.
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Amor recorded 50 first-team appearances with Velez Sarsfield after migrating through the club’s youth system. He made his top division debut at 19. He had played eight games in the 2017-18 season.
Last week, Vermes voiced a desire to add center back depth after the departure of homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown to Europe this offseason.
Given that, Amor figures to slot in behind starters Matt Besler and Ike Opara, both of whom have won MLS defender of the year honors in their career. But much of that will depend on his performance in preseason camp over the ensuing five weeks.
With Amor added, it furthers the likelihood that Kevin Ellis could be traded this offseason.
Opara signed a contract extension earlier this month. Besler will be a free agent after the 2018 season.
MLS SuperDraft set for Friday
Sporting KC holds two first-round picks — Nos. 13 and 18 overall — in the MLS SuperDraft on Friday in Philadelphia.
Vermes and his staff have spent the past week at the MLS combine scouting the college prospects.
“I actually think it’s a draft that has a really good mixture of positions on the field,” Vermes said in a phone interview. “So I think (it comes down to) what’s available when it’s our picks, but I’d say there are some interesting guys in a lot of different positions.”
The No. 13 selection is Sporting KC’s natural pick. It acquired the 18th selection in a trade last February that sent Lawrence Olum to Portland.
Rangers moving home stadiums
The Swope Park Rangers, the USL affiliate of Sporting Kansas City, have found a new home field.
To comply with new U.S. Soccer Division II seating standards, the Rangers will play their home matches at Shawnee Mission South District Stadium in Overland Park, moving from Swope Park, which does not have enough seats for a USL team. Their first match at the recently renovated stadium, which seats 7,500 people, will take place March 24.