The Sporting Kansas City back line made another modification Tuesday. And one more may be coming soon.
The club waived veteran defenderJosh Gardner
on Tuesday, ending his 15-month tenure in Kansas City. Gardner, 31, appeared in nine MLS matches since joining the team before last season.
His departure leaves Sporting KC with one open roster spot that counts toward the salary cap, and coachPeter Vermes
plans to waste no time in filling it. Vermes, who also serves as the technical director, said he is close to making a deal with an international defender.
“We’re looking to add some players and needed to make the room — that’s all,” Vermes said. “(The deal) is close, but I wanted to go ahead and get it done. … Hopefully it gets done in the next day or two.”
It could be the first domino to fall in a series of transfers. Vermes said he is working on potential deals with a second defender and one midfielder before the MLS primary transfer window closes May 12.
“In this situation, we found a couple of good opportunities for us moving forward,” Vermes said.
Those options necessitated the release of Gardner, whom the club acquired in a trade with Montreal before the 2013 season. He appeared in only two of the first five matches this season, despite an increased opportunity for playing time.
An injury to right fullbackChance Myers in the preseason, along a yellow card suspension for left fullback Seth Sinovic
, prompted a turnstile along the Sporting KC defensive line in the first two weeks of the year. The club has started five different combinations on its back line in the first five matches.
Gardner started twice.
“He was a great team guy for sure, but this is one of those moves that’s a business move where you have to make the right decision moving forward,” Vermes said. “I think he was a good depth guy for us, but it’s time for us unfortunately to make a move.”
Myers has yet to play in a match this season while nursing a right groin strain, but Vermes says he could be on target to return Saturday when the club travels to Colorado in search of its first road victory of the season. The match starts at 5 p.m.