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Heineman: Palmer-Brown to Juventus ’80-20′ chance to happen

Erik Palmer-Brown

Photo by Casey Saplo/USA Today Sports Images


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The odds look increasingly likely that 17-year-old Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown will make the jump to European soccer with Italian giant Juventus.

In fact, Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman said Wednesday that there is an “80-20” chance that the homegrown defender joins Juventus, and that the two clubs have “kind of agreed” on terms of a deal.

While Heineman offered no timetable on a transfer, Palmer-Brown turns 18 on April 24, which would make him eligible for an overseas transfer in accordance with FIFA regulations.

“I’d say it’s an 80-20 thing that it will happen,” Heineman said at Sporting KC media day on Wednesday. “I think (Juventus is) interested, I think the player is interested in going there. I think the way that it would work out, there’s probably pretty good likelihood that we would retain him as a player even if they have ownership of his card.”

Heineman later clarified the latter part of that statement, confirming that a transfer would be permanent and that Juventus would retain Palmer-Brown’s rights, but that the Italian club would likely loan him back to Sporting KC “for some period of time.”

“It’s not really a money issue, it’s kind of more finalizing it,” Heineman said. “It’s weird to say that, but we’ve just got to go get it done. We’ve kind of agreed to everything. It’s just a matter of are we going to push it across the end line.”

Palmer-Brown told SBI on Wednesday that he’s been told little about the situation throughout the last year of talks and that’s he’s focused solely on the upcoming MLS season with Sporting KC.

“I have no idea what’s going on,” Palmer-Brown said. “I just kind of go day-by-day and see what’s on Twitter. That’s what I see. That’s the most I know.”

He later said that despite not knowing the ins and outs of the situation, he regularly talks with Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes about his future in professional soccer.

“Just talking to Peter about my goals and what he sees from me is the kind of talks we have,” Palmer-Brown said. “He understands what I want, and I understand what he wants, so it’s a great relationship.”

Palmer-Brown is the fourth-youngest player under contract in MLS. He became a Homegrown player in 2013 at the age of 16, making his first appearance at the senior level a year later. In 2014, he appeared in six matches across all competitions.

This isn’t the first time Palmer-Brown has been linked with a move to Juventus. The Serie A heavyweights made a $1 million offer for him in January 2014, but Kansas City turned it down.


What do you make of the latest Palmer-Brown to Juventus news? Would it be a good move for all parties involved?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. why is there even a conversation about EPB being a DP?!

    cool to see this finally working out for him and glad to see he will be loaned back to SKC for the season. hopefully he can have a good season and get himself ready for playing for a team like Juve.

  2. Thanks to soccer god for ruining a perfectly good story/comments with his mindless jibberish.

    It would be great to see the kid be a success story here in the US but it’s looking more and more like he wants to get his legs in Europe. Hopefully he can deal with the mental aspect of not playing on his club’s top team for a few years if ever.

    • Not many starting defenders his age in any league, never-mind top leagues. There’s good reason for sure. By all accounts this kid has the tools. What an opportunity- Italy is a pretty good place for a hardworking, determined kid to learn the art of defense. Good for him and good luck, hoping to see him reappear on the radar a few years down the line an all growed-sed up wily beyond his years defending beast.

  3. I don’t think EPB should be a DP because he’s barely played and he’s not even 18 yet but I don’t see what’s wrong with DP defenders. Defenders are pretty damn important. I sure wish RBNY would sign a DP defender (well they tried with Marquez but come on).

  4. That guy… You are asking soccer god / El Paso NASL / expansion geek not to make stupid claims…. He wouldn’t have anything to write otherwise.

  5. Thanks for the answer but why make a defender a DP is the real question. Let’s be honest, if my team and MLS are willing to pay me DP money, I probably would never leave MLS and wouldn’t be afraid of loosing my spot,since there is no real competition when it comes to defense in MLS. Look at Gonzalez and Besler, they didn’t have the guts to go to Europe since they are making sweet money in MLS and facing weak offense and players.
    However, MLS teams should be getting top defenders and goalkeepers from other leagues.
    I actually think by the next CBA in 2020, MLS should make some unique DP rules.
    For example, make a goalkeeper DP spot, a defender DP spot besides the 3 dp spots they have now. You can argue about having an American DP spot as well but that’s pointless, I think.
    If MLS would steal top goalkeepers from all over the world and defenders, that would make the league very interesting, adding the other 3 DP spots you can get a forward or mid fielder.
    I just think, Gonzalez and Besler are stealing money from their team and league. If you’re that good and young, and getting paid DP money, go try your luck in Europe. From what I seen, Europe loves American defenders and goalkeepers.
    Im also pretty sure, a goalkeeper like Howard, casillas, petr cech, Guillermo Ochoa, Julio Cesar, would be in MLS, if MLS would pay them DP money. There’s nothing like having a top goalkeeper and central defender in your team.

    • “Look at Gonzalez and Besler, they didn’t have the guts to go to Europe since they are making sweet money in MLS and facing weak offense and players.”

      Gonzalez went to Europe and snapped his ACL (or some other serious injury) when training with Nuremberg. Actually pretty sure the tackler was Chandler. He has stated multiple times he was looking abroad. Just dont think the right people were interested in him.

      I hate when people make stupid claims so just wanted to point this out. Would be nice for people to try and not throw the USA players under the bus with stupid claims.

    • 1) Besler isnt really young and was groomed to the player he is now by the team who is paying him, and likely making less money than he would if he would have transferred.

      2) DP keepers are a complete waste of money.

      3) soccer god? lol

      • I agree with most of what you said. However, Besler would be making more money had he gone to a cellar dwelling EPL team. He’s on $800K. EPL defenders make low 7 figures unless you are one of the teams in the European spots. Even for relegation fodder, he might have made about $1.5million-2.

        Money isn’t everything (it’s a BIG thing, though).

  6. So skc makes Suzy, Besler, DPs but this young gun can’t be a DP.
    I thought skc loved making their defense dps 🙂 and they still have an open DP spot right.
    Fast question. How many defenders are dps in MLS? 4, 5.


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