The initial phase of Sporting Kansas City’s two-part training camp came to a close Monday with a 4-2 exhibition victory against FC Tucson.
Hungarian forward Krisztian Nemeth left a lasting first impression. He scored a hat trick in the second half of the preseason win in Tucson, Ariz. — a fitting conclusion to his first camp with his new club.
“The same stuff we’ve seen all along,” manager Peter Vermes said of Nemeth’s performance. “He moves very well off the ball. He’s got a nose for the goal. His movement was good, and he was very clinical around the goal.”
Jimmy Medranda also scored a goal in the 4-2 win, but Nemeth stole the day with his hat trick, which he completed in extra time.
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Sporting KC signed Nemeth in December after Vermes said he had scouted the Hungarian national team forward for nearly six years.
It certainly hasn’t taken him long to stand out in camp.
“He’s a very intelligent player. He reads the game really well, holds the ball really well,” defender Seth Sinovic said. “He’s a very smooth finisher.”
In that sense, Nemeth will provide quality depth behind Dom Dwyer after the team allowed top backup Claudio Bieler to leave for an opportunity in his home Argentina.
But Nemeth can also play either wing position in Sporting Kansas City’s 4-3-3 formation, Vermes said, and he will see time there over the second phase of preseason, which begins Sunday in Tucson.
Captain Matt Besler will re-join the club for the second wave of preseason.
Vermes said defender Ike Opara and midfielder Graham Zusi will see time in exhibition matches after they skipped the first two preseason games as they work their way back from injuries.
Vermes said defender Chance Myers will also begin to cycle into the team’s training program, but he is likely eight weeks from returning to full health.