The sound you hear are Sporting KC fans in the fetal position in the corner softly crying. Today on Twitter, CNN's Senior Sports Producer, John Sinnott, posted that Sporting KC midfielder, Oriol Rosell would be leaving the club to join Sporting Lisbon in Portugal. In later responses, Sinnott said that Rosell would move ahead of the 2014/2015 season for Lisbon. This would mean a summer departure for the Spanish midfielder.
Lisbon finished second in the recently completed Portuguese season behind Benfica and has qualified for the group stage of the 2014-2015 UEFA Champions League. It's also the club of former Seattle Sounders designated player, Fredy Montero, who impressed enough on a loan move that the club purchased his contract from MLS and the Sounders.
Losing Rosell would be a big blow for Kansas City's midfield. Since becoming the full time starter at the beginning of last season, Rosell has been very solid sitting deep in KC's midfield. He's shown great vision and good passing skills that are seen in the Opta stats each week (he completed 160 of 166 last week in Montreal). Lawrence Olum, Roseel's primary back up can play the position well enough, but doesn't have the vision or passing that Rosell has. After him, the duty would fall to Paulo Nagamura, who does better when he's further up the field.
Rosell had originally come to the US and Kansas City to continue his education. He's been attending classes at UMKC since signing with the team. But the expectation (or at least mine) was that he would always return to Europe sooner than later.
Rosell is a great player, which is obvious coming through Barcelona's youth system, and he's definitely able to play at bigger leagues than MLS. The chance to play for a team that is regularly in the Champions League is too much to pass up if there is in fact a deal, in my opinion. It'll be hard to replace him, but Robb Heineman and Peter Vermes have shown that they're not ones to hold a player back from moving on. That fact may be one that will help Vermes to bring in the next Rosell. He can point to the development that Rosell, or Kei Kamara, or Roger Espinoza have made here that have allowed them to move on to other opportunities. Similar things can be said about Matt Besler and Graham Zusi even though they've stayed here.
The team won't be able to just replace Rosell, and that will cause plenty of gnashing of teeth in KC, but if a move does happen I can't fault Rosell and I will cheer him on in Portugal.