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Report: Sporting KC make lucrative offer for Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart

RafaelVanderVaartNetherlands1-Japan2013 (Getty)


If the reports are to be believed, Sporting Kansas City have made an offer that most would find hard to turn down.

According to German publication BILD, Sporting KC have offered Hamburg SV and Netherlands international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart a contract of €4.3 million (Approximately $4.82 million) per season. The report states that that’s €800,000 more than what van der Vaart is earning this season with Hamburg.

Sporting KC owner Robb Heinemann confirmed that there is interest from the club in van der Vaart but disputed the figures in the report:

The 32-year-old midfielder’s contract runs out at the end of this season, so he could be tempted for a move to MLS, though the call back home to his boyhood club Ajax is also a possibility.

If van der Vaart did sign for that €4.3 million number, he’d quickly become not only the highest-paid player on Sporting KC, but he’d also become one of MLS’ highest earners overnight.

Only seven players earned more than $4 million last season, and three of them – Thierry Henry, Landon Donovan, and Jermain Defoe – are no longer in the league.

Van der Vaart began his career at Ajax before joining HSV as a 22-year-old in 2005. From there, he played for Real Madrid and Tottenham before returning to HSV. Due to injury issues, mainly with his calves and hamstrings, he’s missed large chunks of matches over the past few seasons, including missing the 2014 World Cup with the Netherlands.


What do you think of this report? Do you see Sporting KC having a good shot at signing van der Vaart? Do you see him fitting in in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I thought the best part was that his wife was coming — but I just googled and found out they divorced, because he hit her.

  2. MLS has enough money to spend $4.82 million dollars on a washed up player but doesn’t have enough to allow free agency. I can’t believe anyone watches this league.

  3. Waste of money. I’m sure you can find 5 quality players willing to play for 1 mill a year instead f spending all of it on a part timer. Let’s remember this when we got bounced out of CONCACAF again by a bunch of players making about 700k a year.

    • BTW, while they’re at HSV they should scout their U21 team. I’m sure they can find a young German player with World Cup and Champions league experience wishing to play first division football.

    • This is why I keep saying that MLS should allow every MlS team to take the money they could use for a DP slot and add it to their salary cap so that they could get 5 good to very good players for the price of 1. They should also double the salary cap, at least, and double the minimum.

  4. I still feel like you can get a better player than this if you’re willing to pay him almost $5m. He was a great player in his day but he’s in steep decline now. I’m sure he could do a job in MLS but I think SKC could do better.

    • yeah, that’s my main problem with it (if indeed the $ estimate is true). he may still offer something in experience and leadership, but that’s a hell of a lot of money to pay for a part-timer.

  5. Definitely an interesting move, the $$$ sounds about right to be able to bring him across the pond, but his role would be interesting, probably would not finish most games, but absolutely has a quality that would be welcomed at SKC…

    but to make more than the entire squad combined….


  6. Well its good to see that Garber’s comments about teams not being happy with finances rings true. You have a team KC, that doesn’t need to sell tickets(every game is a sellout) willing to splash $4.8 million on one player. Times must be tough.

  7. Just doesn’t seem right to be paying almost $5 mil for one player when so many players in the MLS are forced to have off-season jobs to make ends meet.

  8. this offer just screams mls 1.0.

    while vdv is/was a class player, he’s pretty much half-crippled now. he hasn’t made much of an impact for an abysmal team in the bundesliga, can barely play a whole game, and skc wants to offer him *more*?

    • The muscle pulls to me are a warning sign because when the joints start to wear out and you start having to miss games and then when you come back you pull a muscle because you sat around and then you come back and from dis-use you pull or tear something new, it can be an endless loop. Henry had not started that loop when he began here; that’s the sort of player we need. But vdv is in the downward physical spiral that ends many careers. Even if you could coax some individual games or spectacular plays I don’t think he can do something sustained enough to be worth the money or that would accrue to the value of MLS.

    • +1 I wouldn’t pay a dime for this shattered husk of a player. He was good once. But he is a glorified cadaver at this point. Put your head down and keep walking, SKC.

  9. This would be a pretty interesting move. vdV has loads of talent and would be a class addition, but he’s also rarely able to be effective after 60-70 minutes…

    • Indeed. 70 minutes would be fine. While I am not a supporter of 30+ year-old DPs, he would be some addition to the league.

    • As a Sporting KC fan, I have mixed feelings about the move. I mean, he’d be our first huge DP signing and brings an envious resume that will garner publicity and attention for the team, possibly making it easier to lure other quality DP’s in the future. I know other Sporting fans are enamored with the need for another winger, but I don’t see it as much of an issue as our lack of forwards is, so this move helps us in that regard. But his injury history leaves me weary, as does signing a 32-year old guy to a large contract like that.

      But the Marcel de Jong signing along with the other signings this offseason like Nemeth and Anor have me amped for Saturday.

    • I don’t think that is too much to ask. If you think about it, MLS alone has MUCH more interesting story lines than the NHL does, and it’s not far off from the story lines that the NBA and MLB create. When you consider international soccer and Euro leagues, it should not be hard for the media to do a better job covering the sport. I blame it on the personalities on channels like ESPN who grew up not taking soccer seriously. I hope the day comes soon where if a member of the sports media does not understand/cover soccer, that person is marginalized for their ignorance.

      • My biggest pet peeve is when Sportscenter shows soccer highlights, half the time it’s done in this ironic, wink-wink kind of way. Like, hey isn’t it funny we’re covering soccer and some of these guys have funny names, lolol! It’s pretty annoying. But most of the time you don’t even get that because even in the middle of March it’s more important to talk about some random NFL team’s offseason mini-camp or whatever Johnny Football got up to last night.

      • +1 Nothing makes me more insanely angry than when SC hosts pretend to have trouble pronouncing a soccer player’s name.

        Half the time they are tripping over names they say 100 times a day when covering latin-american baseball players. Garbage. Even Bretos does it sometimes now. What a punk he has become.

      • I didn’t know someone could butcher David Villa or Carlos Tevez’ name for example until I watched SportsCenter. Quite embarrassing really.

      • Exactly! I love how that N-guppy-bubble-momma-dong Suh guy (whatever his name is) just rolls off the tongue yet they can’t figure out how not to butcher Thierry Henry!

      • You disrespectfully butchering his name negates your point about them butchering soccer names. Stay Classy!

        While ESPN World Cup coverage is great, they do not care that much about soccer. In general, I appreciate the score updates on the ticker, but I get my full coverage from Bein Sports Xtra and ESPNfc (I DVR both). They clearly speak down to the fans with regards soccer.

      • You shut your mouth about Bretos lol. I remember the days on Fox Sports World when he would give his international soccer update and it looked like he was broadcasting from his car at night.

      • I listen to ESPN radio a lot and those guys are lost when they can’t talk about about football. They either talk about one of the other big sports briefly or just resort to “entertaining” the listeners with topics unrelated to sports. It really would not be that hard to work in a couple of soccer topics here and there.

      • It has little to do with the personalities not liking or understanding soccer, its money. The NFL, NBA, MLB are still more popular than MLS so they get more coverage. ESPN FC runs on Sundays and days with Champions League or International Fixtures and gives pretty good analysis and transfer speculation. The only way in the foreseeable future ESPN can give more coverage would be to start a soccer based channel a la Fox Soccer, which would not be on basic cable packages and thus cost prohibitive for many anyway.

      • I think SportsCenter a feedback loop for the sports ESPN wants to promote. Part news part commercial.

        Seattle is attended better than most baseball or basketball games, second only to NFL. MLS is probably as well or better attended than hockey, basketball, and some baseball teams. But there is more TV and money around those others so SC shows the ones on TV more.

        I don’t think they are really more popular, except maybe football.

      • Sportcenter is just like the mainstream network and cable news – gotta tow the corporate line.

      • Imperative,

        I don’t know what you are looking at, but all the sports (except arguably hockey) are MORE popular than MLS soccer. Game attendance doesn’t really matter a great deal, because outside football, these major leagues don’t have black-out requirements and most viewership is on tv.

        Compared to soccer, MLB & NBA have orders of magnitude better tv viewership. That is how ESPN makes money, by selling commercial slots during highly rated program. They don’t care about game attendance. My buddy’s friend works for ESPN and even he says outside World Cup, soccer does not have the ratings to demand better coverage. Even NHL gets better TV numbers and ESPN let them go.

        While I really like the fact that MLS numbers are increasing, you have to keep in mind that although the league average attendance is higher than NHL and NBA, tickets are MUCH cheaper than NBA or NHL on average. Additionally, the stadiums have a greater game day capacity used than MLS.

      • If it’s about money, they would do well to work soccer more into the mainstream conversation (at least as much as the NHL). ESPN is showing soccer games and has for a long time. If they want to grow the ratings for those games, they should not have their personalities being so ignorant about the game. It does not have to jump into the spotlight over night, but they should at least take the sport seriously and report some of the big news — there’s plenty of it including big name transfers, CBA talk, good games, controversial/polarizing topics…

        Plus, the demographics suggest that the sport is popular among young people. How long before the demographic gets taken seriously as consumers?

      • Don’t kid yourself. ESPN will take soccer as seriously as the ratings suggest they should.

        When the ratings get to that point,they will find more pundits to people like you. It is all about money.

        You don’t think they would report on NASCAR willingly do you?

      • They have some influence to grow ratings too. If they have a little bit of vision/foresight, they can do this. I think the network is trying to do that based on it’s programming, but the personalities on the broad spectrum shows like sports center, Around the Horn, etc. are too old school and ignorant to participate in these discussions and growth. It’s too bad, really.

      • I would not hold my breathe waiting for ESPN to be enlightened.

        Absent ESPN FC, their coverage is slanted towards, in no particular order, USWNT, ( and that never would have happened if Brandi had not de-shirted herself), USMNT, World Cup, EPL, Champion’s League, Barca, Real, Bayern and that’s about it.

        I could be wrong but I do not remember ever seeing mention of anything in the rest of the New World,Africa, Asia or the smaller leagues in Europe, college, or minor leagues, etc.

    • I am not saying I am happy with soccer coverage.

      But you want MLS transfer rumors on Sports Center ? Dont you get enough of it already ?

      If not hang around. Another guy who used to play with a team that won in a top Euro league will be rumored soon…very soon. And by another guy I mean 10, 20, 30 and counting.
      I realize this is a little bit more, as something was offered….but it is too much. I will be happy if SC just lets me know AFTER it happens ( ps don’t actually watch SC, but if I did…lol )

      • I don’t want more soccer coverage for the people who come to SBI. I want it for the people who don’t. Sprinkle some MLS/soccer talk (not just top 10 highlights) in with other sports coverage, and people will become more educated about the game even if they think they hate it. They will learn more and more, bit by bit and could very well become fans down the road when something really catches their attention. But having a base knowledge of teams and players and some big story lines is key for broadening the fan base.

    • You all should come down to S. America, it´s like espn in bizarro world,… no nfl, no mlb, almost no nba, just soccer/futbol, 24/7…jajaja.

  10. Anyone remember when this site used to break hard news almost every day instead of just
    pilfering links from other web sites?

    I remember it. And it was awesome and groundbreaking. Now it’s literally just headlines and
    links to other web sites that broke the news. Fantastic.

    • That’s because it’s usually not Ives, an actual soccer news reporter with sources, it’s a bunch of no-name blogger types who can regurgitate news broken elsewhere.

    • kpugs, haven’t seen you in a while. I remember those days, when a few of us were the capos of the SBI Mafia…

      The site and the internet have grown a lot since then. It’s not exactly the direction I would have preferred either, but Ives has to keep pace and generate clicks, and this is how it’s done, so I get it, even though I wish more of it was Ives’ news and analysis and less of it was a staff of youngsters aggregating news from other places and relinking it in awkwardly written, typo-filled posts…

    • @kpugs @joamiq

      those halcyon days never existed. ives was rarely ever the one to “break” the news, but the resultant analysis and commentary that he provided from an american pov was second to none (partly because he was pretty much the only one doing it).

      • Kinda strange, too, to see the next comment below be about wanting to see MLS transfer rumors on Sports Night. Soccer is pretty much the only sport I follow so I’m not keyed into mainstream sports culture in the US – and that’s the way I like it. Whenever the storyline is about how soccer is gaining popularity I feel two ways about it: good, because it means more money flowing which will mean better players and more access to the game; and badly because I don’t like sharing my favorite sport with the mainstream.

        I feel like there were good old days with breaking news – not every day but almost weekly. I come here mostly for the discussion but that has gotten watered down in recent years too. The failure of success.

      • +1

        I was ondering where the alway positive kpugs has been.

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