The Oriol Rosell to Sporting Club de Portugal deal is finished, the Spaniard was unveiled as the team's newest player. It's a blow for Sporting KC, who now appear very short in midfield and needing to make moves in this summer's transfer window. Robb Heineman says there's already a verbal agreement in place on one player and another in the works. Rumors earlier today also that KC was looking to bring in either Roger Espinoza or Jorge Claros (a target in last summer's transfer window). Hopefully KC get some of these deals done, or else when everyone is back this season, KC will have just 22 players available (28 rostered players, 3 on IR, 3 on loan).
The deal is reported to be somewhere between $1.6 million and $1.8 million. That would give KC over $1 million of the fee after the league takes their 1/3 cut. They get $650,000 or so of that in allocation money to use, the rest has to be used on other soccer means.
For Rosell, he departs KC having played in 57 games in all competitions, starting 52 of them, 43 league games, 39 starts, and two goals for KC. He was the 7th youngest player at the time of his debut to appear for KC (he's since fallen to 10th) at 20 years, 35 days. He was the 6th youngest player to start a league game for KC (since falling to 9th) at 20 years, 77 days. He's the 3rd youngest goal scorer for KC in league play, 4th in all competitions at 20 years, 56 days) His second goal he scored for KC was the 300th in league play away from home in KC's history. And Last season with Seth Sinovic set a club record for starts (41) and appearances (42) in all competitions in a single season.
In the immediate future, until the transfer window opens for MLS teams in July, the deep midfield role will be filled by Benny Feilhaber and Lawrence Olum. Feilhaber's passing helps to connect the defense to the midfield in the same way that Rosell did. Meanwhile, Olum provides more defensive help than Feilhaber does, but lacks in the passing department.
One thing that has been rampant since the move was even rumored was people's anger over the move, stating how it makes MLS a selling league and asking how the league can improve if it keeps selling it's good young players. And while those arguments are valid in a way, I think they are also short sighted. Yes, it sucks to lose the likes of Rosell, Kei Kamara, and Roger Espinoza to Europe.
Yes it sucks that Sporting can't compete with some clubs wage wise. But this is where KC and MLS is right now as a league. MLS is for lack of a better term a selling league right now. Clubs with bigger pocket books come in and buy players when they really succeed. But KC is playing this process right. They are bringing in young, cheap players who have the talent to be successful, but are either struggling for time at their club, or have run out of options in Europe. KC has proven with the development of Rosell, Kamara, Espinoza, Matt Besler, and Graham Zusi, that they can develop talent into the next level.
Then there's what happened today with Rosell or last year with Kamara, where the team allowed those players (both key parts to the team) to leave for other clubs. That's not something that many clubs are willing to do, let key parts of their team leave. But on the other side, that's another thing that will get a players attention. The fact that the team will not hold the player back from moving on to another team that will allow them to continue to improve their career. These things can help to draw more young players to KC like Rosell, like Igor Juliao, like Toni Dovale. Players where this may be a "stepping stone" but will help build a good solid reputation for the club.
Good luck to Rosell in Portugal.