Thursday, February 25, 2016

Robb Heineman and the "Young DP"

A week and a half ago Robb Heineman did another one of his Q&A sessions as he flew down to Tucson for part of Sporting KC's preseason. While Heineman was candid, answering many questions that fans had. Looking back on it in the time since though it seems like some of the answers have been combined into something that I don't think is actually happen. Specifically regarding Kansas City going after a young DP.

MLS actually has three designated player levels, each with a different cap hit. Designated players over the age of 23 have a cap hit of $436,250, ones between the ages of 21 and 23 cost $200,000 against the cap while those 20 or younger cost only $150,000.

During the Q&A, Heineman was asked if the team was "looking for international talent, unclaimed talent, or another homegrown for the roster?" Heineman responded that he "would like a young foreign DP."

Earlier Heineman had said that the team was looking for another #9 to back up Dom Dwyer and that the club was negotiating a contract at the time. Late in the Q&A he said that the team was in talks with several DPs and that they were looking to use that DP slot on a forward.

All of that combined to lead some fans to believe that Kansas City was on the verge of a young foreign DP joining Kansas City. And this has led to more questions from fans over the past week and a half what was going on with the young DP. Asking what the hold up is, if the player was still coming, and comments that his silence speaks volumes.

While you could connect some dots to see where they could be coming from, based on my experience in the past with Heineman's Q&As I'm just not buying that the player that the team was negotiating the contract with as a #9 to back up Dwyer and the young, foreign DP are the same player. Heineman's response to what type of talent the team was looking for comes off more as wishful thinking that they can get a young, foreign DP, not that they were on the verge of signing one. While I'm certain that at least a few of the "several" DPs that KC is currently talking to would be classified as young DPs, that doesn't mean any are close to being done.

In MLS today if you're not actively looking at multiple designated players as potential targets then you are not a competent front office. With three designated player spots for each team and Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) available to help pay down other players that would be DPs, you better be looking to exploit those mechanisms or you're leaving funds on the table that could help your team compete. So while I don't doubt that Heineman and KC are talking with potential designated players, those talks could be at any stage of negotiations right now, it doesn't mean that one is close to happening at all.

So while it may be exciting to get your hopes up about a potential "young, foreign DP" joining Kansas City in the near future, I would probably ease back on that excitement or else you're likely to be disappointed when the "young, foreign DP" turns out to not be young, or foreign, or possibly even a DP. The way the whole Q&A went with Heineman I just didn't connect the "young, foreign DP to the contract negotiations currently on going. That said, if it does happen, I'll certainly be excited.

And through it all you also need to remember my one rule with Heineman Q&As, take it all with a grain of salt.


Dr. Jim Martin said...

Mike...I enjoy your blog, but you never know with Robb. He said we might have the young DP by the 12th and that's still two weeks out. He's responded earlier this week to a negative tweet to the effect that the deal is not dead, so I'll give him space. I like the fact he's willing to interact with us and you can't argue much with a front office that has given its fan base more trophies over the last four years than any other in the MLS. Well, I guess you can, but from my vantage point it seems a bit hollow.

Mike said...

Actually he didn't say we might have the young DP by the 12th, he just said we'd probably have another forward by then, no mention of young DP in it.

Unknown said...

Peter Vermes on 810 was asked a question about his expectations of winning for SPR and the Academy teams. His answer was that if he told those coaches their jobs were to develop players for SKC, it would let them off the hook for winning and getting results, and would allow them to relax. I think the same applies to SKC ownership and PV. It's not good enough to try to sign a DP or young DP. It's not good enough to try to score goals by committee to make up for Nemeth leaving. SKC has a good team that can probably make the playoffs with the current roster, although maybe not. But to live up to Robb's comments after the playoff loss that the only thing he cares about for 2016 is winning MLS Cup, they need to sign goal scorers. I agree the DP and the #9 backup may be different players. That would be great. But if this is another Marko Marin, Van Der Vaart, Michael Bradley..."well we tried, but the player wouldn't come or was too expensive", I'm not going to believe that winning MLS Cup is their top priority. And I just got my season tickets in the mail and really want to believe that winning MLS Cup is SKC's top priority.

Dr. Jim Martin said...

Sean...I understand your logic, nothing is good enough but winning the MLS Cup. That's what all us of want...especially PV, Robb, and everyone who wears the SKC kit. I watched my son play college soccer and live and die with each bounce of the ball. I came to the conclusion that the closer you are to the soccer ball the more winning that cup means to you. So, while I follow everything the club does pretty closely, I believe that in the end it probably impacts them more than me. My friends tell me I eat and breathe Sporting, but I try to have a healthy respect for those who have put a very high quality product on the field over the past few years...not saying I haven't thrown a few expletives at a stinker or two we've laid at CMP...but overall we have been a lucky fan base as I look around the league. Do we have to continue to expect quality for the money we invest in the team as STMs...of course...but I think we have a far better club right now than you do based on your written assessment. I'm convinced they're a playoff club, but with a possible chink in their armor just behind Dom Dwyer. Fill that gap and I think we're in good shape. I admit sometimes I think Robb might share too much too just raises expectations that are later dashed...if we hadn't known about Marin or Van de Vaart we might not have the frustration of the " young DP".