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Vermes explains Nemeth sale, Palmer-Brown loan

Photo by John Rieger/USA Today Sports
Photo by John Rieger/USA Today Sports

The early parts of the offseason saw Sporting Kansas City make headlines for their additions. The past few days have seen them in the news for their subtractions.

Sporting KC made a pair of surprising moves in the past four days, first transferring talented striker Krisztian Nemeth to Al-Gharafa in Qatar on Friday and then loaning out promising teenage centerback Erik Palmer-Brown to FC Porto on Monday for all of 2016. Both moves came with little notice, and were done while Sporting KC was still in the infant stage of its preseason.

With regards to Nemeth, Sporting KC made the decision to sell him after being unable to come to terms with the Hungarian on a new deal. Sporting KC offered Nemeth a contract that head coach Peter Vermes said would have paid the 27-year-old forward more, but Nemeth turned it down.

Of course, Sporting KC could have held on to Nemeth given that he had three years left on his contract, but decided to part ways after finding an interested club in Al-Gharafa that was willing to hammer out a deal that worked for all parties.

“I can tell you it was an extremely generous offer,” said Vermes of the contract that Sporting KC was willing to give Nemeth. “He just obviously wanted a lot more money, and that’s something that we couldn’t do. At the end, there was some offer that had come in and we had spent time negotiating it and obviously we came to the agreement on his behalf.

“(Nemeth and his advisors) had asked if an offer had come where he was able to make more money. From our perspective it’s no different than what we’ve said with other players in the past that we’ve transferred on, and that is as long as we can make the deal terms work for Sporting KC then we would make it happen.”

Vermes’ statement contradicts that of Nemeth, who wrote that the move to Qatar was not about money on his official Facebook page on Monday. The technical forward, who scored 10 goals and had six assists in his debut MLS season in 2015, also stated he would have stayed in Kansas City for “one-third” of his new salary.

Vermes disagreed with the sentiment that Nemeth’s departure was not about money, but nonetheless is moving on and thinking about what lies ahead.

“We’re still looking to improve our roster and we’ll continue to do that as the season moves on,” said Vermes. “Obviously (the MLS transfer) window is open until May 11, so we’ll continue to try and make some additions that we feel that will fill our team and also fit in from a salary perspective regarding our cap and all the different mechanisms.”

As far as Palmer-Brown, Sporting KC loaned the 18-year-old centerback to FC Porto in an effort to both establish a “great relationship” with the Portuguese powerhouse and expose him to a different way of doing things. The MLS outfit had been discussing sending Palmer-Brown to a foreign team in recent weeks, and finalized terms to do so on Monday.

“The only club that he has known, the only place he has been a part of is Sporting Kansas City,” said Vermes. “I think this is an opportunity for him to go outside Kansas City, spend some time at a (European) club – one of his desires in the future is to go overseas. This wound up being a place that we have a lot of respect for in that the way their model of play is – ours is very similar – and we thought that this would be a good place for him to gain some real experience in that he was in a different country, a different language.

“He’s got a lot of opportunity here to grow as a young man, and we hope that that’s going to be a big part of the experience that he’s going to get while he’s there.”

Sporting KC could have kept Palmer-Brown nearby at USL affiliate Swope Park Rangers and had more of a say in terms of how much playing time he would receive, but the decision was made to let him go abroad for the entire 2016 MLS campaign so as to give him a real chance to learn a lot and break through there.

“We both agreed it would be good for the player to go for the full year,” said Vermes. “They felt with what they do and how long they want to see him and have him try to grow with them a year was better than six months. Gives him the time he needs to get acclimated. It’s the same thing as when foreign players come here. It’s always easier when they come for preseason rather than during the middle of the year in the transfer window.”


  1. “He’s got a lot of opportunity here to grow as a young man, and we hope that that’s going to be a big part of the experience that he’s going to get while he’s there.”

    Do you think this was a shot at his maturity level? I honestly don’t know much about him, but I was surprised when Miazga and CCV beat him out for starting spots at the WC based on how highly touted was. I was also surprised that he didn’t start more games for SKC last year. It seemed like going into last season he was going to get a real shot at grabbing onto their starting CB position and he only ended up starting 9 games.

    Maybe he isn’t panning out as well as they had hoped?

  2. It seems SKC has added some depth at centerback, so hopefully they shouldn’t need to throw EPB in back there. I don’t see him getting first team action at Porto either, but maybe being on their reserves will be better than being on SKC’s reserves? I don’t know.

    The Nemeth move really surprises me. That one’s definitely going to leave a hole to fill. I’m a SKC fan, and wouldn’t begrudge him making a move for more money. It sounds like SKC offered him a raise to try to keep him, and would have been stupid not to. If he got a better offer to play in Qatar, then good for him. It just seems disingenuous to say it wasn’t about money. But whatever… Good luck to him.

  3. I like the loan for Palmer -Brown. The fact that he is so young allows this to be a learning experience at the very least, one that will gain him valuable insight into soccer at the next level. when you turn pro early it affords you these types of opportunities. The risk-reward is in his favor as he is on loan and therefore has the SKC safety net if it goes bad but and if he impresses it will benefit him and SKC. WIN-WIN

  4. Folks,…if you agree to play in Qatar,…it’s about the money! As far as Palmer-Brown is concerned,…he probably watched Miazga’s move to Chelsea unfold and all pissy. He’s a young man. I think Vermes knows what he is doing.

    • Considering he’s two years younger I don’t think he’s that far behind Miazga. Between those two and CCV, hopefully the USMNT will be in good shape at the center back position.

      • Really? I think Miazga is CONSIDERABLY better than EPB. That being said EPB has a lot of potential. However, a lot of powerhouse nations have multiple guys at every age group with that kinda of potential.

        My hope is to have 2/3 of Brooks, Alvarado, Miazga, CCV, EPB develop into quality players to start for Champions league quality starting centerbacks

      • I think Miazga is better now but EPB is probably better than Miazga was when he was 18. Miazga really stepped it up in 2015.

      • As long as they stay healthy the Center Back position will be a strong point of the USMNT for years to come. There are 5 “Blue Chip” CB 23 yrs or younger, 3 of which have already received minutes with the Sr. National team….Brooks (23), Alvarado (23), Miazga (20), CCV (18), EPB (18). Then there are decent depth prospects…Hedges (25), Birnbaum (25), Parker (23), Dean (21), Zimmerman (22), & Donovan (20)…who could grow into quality CBs and provide cover in case of injuries or periods of poor performance.
        Additionally we have 3 veteran CB’s in Cameron (30), Besler (29), & Gonzalez (27) in which we can lean on while the younger players gain experience and mature. They may not be world beaters, but they are good enough to get us at least into the HEX.

        Just look back at the 2009/2010 era. We had Boca & Gooch as our 1st choice pairing. Then there were 3 guys (DeMerit, Goodson, & Calif). Anyway you look at it the options/prospects are much better than at any other point that I can remember.

  5. I still don’t understand these moves. Is Palmer Brown going to get playing time at Porto? I rather doubt it, so if their intent is for him to improve, maybe they should have sent him to an English Championship team or a European second division. As for Nemeth, he was one of their best attackers so I don’t understand why they let him go when he still had years left on his contract. So, who will they get to replace him? When I checked their roster the other day, they don’t have much beyond Dwyer up front. Strange and curious.

    • The loaning of Palmer-Brown is one I’m rather intrigued with. Does SKC believe that:

      A) This raises the value of Palmer-Brown for an eventual transfer fee to a Euro-suitor.
      B) They have a Loan-To-Buy agreement with FC Porto
      C) ??

      Reading statements like, “Sporting KC loaned the 18-year-old centerback to FC Porto in an effort to both establish a “great relationship” with the Portuguese powerhouse” are pretty ambiguous and somewhat puzzling.

      Speaking of puzzling, it’d be nice from a fans perspective to see what time of transfer fee Krisztian Nemeth garnered but I guess being kept in the dark as a fan is good policy for MLS and the fan experience for its supporters. /s

      • 3 million dollar transfer and then SKC gets some of his next transfer when he (SPOILER) gets sold again after Euros.

    • He didnt want to be in KC for what they wanted to play him and SKC doesnt force players to stay in a situation they dont want to be in, its really simple stuff


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