Sporting KC

Sporting KC prepares for busy day at the MLS SuperDraft

Sporting KC acquired the 10th pick from Philadelphia in an offseason trade for C.J. Sapong.
Sporting KC acquired the 10th pick from Philadelphia in an offseason trade for C.J. Sapong. The Kansas City Star

A month after winning the 2013 MLS Cup, Sporting Kansas City technical director Peter Vermes traveled to Philadelphia for the MLS SuperDraft. His club didn’t own a selection until the final pick of the second round — No. 38 overall — prompting Vermes to call the afternoon a relatively relaxing one.

This year? Not so much.

Sporting Kansas City will draft three times in the first round of Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a live broadcast on the MLS website. Sporting KC owns picks No. 10, 12 and 20 in the first round and the 30th overall selection in the second round.

In his nine years as the Sporting KC technical director, Vermes has shown a preference to either draft immediate starters or stockpile positions he thinks could be areas of need down the line.

After a six-day stay in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for the MLS Combine, Vermes determined this year’s crop of talent fits the latter description.

“I think the majority of the players we’ve come across would probably be players that would take some time to develop in our system,” Vermes said. “I don’t see, (based on) where our picks are at the moment, that we would get a full-fledged starter.”

Vermes believes the draft is weighted toward center backs and forwards. Asked for his team needs, Vermes said he is looking to improve everywhere on the field, with the exception of goalkeeper.

“We’ll make that assessment once our pick is getting closer and who’s off the board at that time,” Vermes said. “I pick based on our necessities going forward at all the positions on the field.”

Orlando City SC has the first overall pick Thursday.

Sporting KC acquired the 10th pick from Philadelphia in an offseason trade for C.J. Sapong. It acquired the 20th pick from New England in exchange for Teal Bunbury.

Five of the club’s projected starters for the 2015 season are Sporting KC draft picks — Dom Dwyer (2012), Matt Besler (2009), Graham Zusi (2009), Chance Myers (2008) and Roger Espinoza (2008). Only one of the five was taken in the top seven picks.

To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SamMcDowell11.

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