After a marriage of only seven months, Krisztian Nemeth and the New England Revolution could be nearing a separation.
A report from MLSsoccer.com indicates the Revolution have offered the former Sporting Kansas City forward to “multiple teams over the past two weeks."
Would Sporting KC be interested in a reunion?
The short answer: Unlikely. The reasoning is multifaceted, but nothing is a more significant factor than Nemeth’s $1-million salary in 2018. It’s a large number for a 29-year-old forward who opened the season on New England’s bench last weekend.
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When Nemeth divulged his intentions to return to MLS last summer, Sporting KC tried to acquire his rights by securing the No. 1 pick in the allocation order from Columbus, which instead swung the deal with New England. If Sporting KC had been successful in its initial attempt, it had planned to offer Nemeth a contract for considerably less than $1 million he’s currently earning, sources told The Star at the time.
The past seven months are doubtful to have placed Sporting Kansas City’s front office in a more giving mood. Nemeth scored only one goal in six MLS appearances after joining New England last August.
Now, if the Revolution becomes increasingly motivated to trade Nemeth — keep in mind that coach Brad Friedel insisted to MLSsoccer.com that believes Nemeth is a good player —might it be willing to absorb some of the $1 million he’s owed in 2018? Sure, that’s not unprecedented in the league. But if Sporting KC believes his figure is a significant difference from what it is willing to pay, that would complicate a deal. Teams often eat a portion of a salary in a trade, but it’s rare for that portion to be in the range of, say, $400,000.
Which leads us back to unlikely. Not out of the question — it all depends on how aggressively the Revolution are shopping him and what interest they find within the league. But unlikely nonetheless.
Sporting KC, which was shut out in its season opener Sunday against New York City FC, was indeed interested in Nemeth after it sold Dom Dwyer to Orlando City SC last summer. Nemeth scored 10 goals in Kansas City in 2015. Back then, the team viewed him more as a wing more than a striker, and the depth chart there includes newcomers Johnny Russell and Yohan Croizet, along with Daniel Salloi and Gerso Fernandes.
During Nemeth’s time in Kansas City, there was belief he could transition to striker. Sporting KC's depth chart there is thinner, with only Diego Rubio and Khiry Shelton. Sporting KC is still pursuing a standout at the position in the overseas market, and coach Peter Vermes has expressed his unwillingness to hinder that pursuit by clogging the depth chart beforehand.