Sporting KC announced today the official return of both Erik Palmer-Brown and Daniel Salloi from their European loans. Both players will be back with Sporting KC for preseason in 2017.
Palmer-Brown had been the first to go on loan, leaving Sporting KC for Portuguese power, Porto. Palmer-Brown quickly slotted himself into Porto's reserve team in the Portuguese second division and made 11 appearances for them as they won the second division championship. Palmer-Brown missed the start of the 2016-2017 season though with a foot injury. Palmer-Brown returned to play six games in league play as well as playing in the Premier League International Cup before another injury ended his time on the field with Porto with three games left in 2016.
Most fans thought that Palmer-Brown had been seen for the last time as a Sporting KC player as they expected Porto to come in with an offer to purchase the US youth international, especially after made the bench for the first team in the Portuguese Cup. Unfortunately Porto and Sporting never got to the final stages of negotiating his loan into a permanent transfer. There will be quick arguments to be made that Sporting KC got greedy with the proposed transfer fee as well as those that Porto were trying to get a cut rate deal from the MLS side, but the truth of the negotiations isn't known.
Palmer-Brown will now return to KC, for what may still be his final year in KC as he's reportedly on the last year of his contract. Even though he's return though Palmer-Brown may not spend a lot of time in KC, as the US U20 team will begin qualifying for this summer's U20 World Cup in February. Palmer-Brown is expected to feature for Tab Ramos' U20 team both in qualifying and in the World Cup this summer in South Korea should the US advance. This would see him miss plenty of time with the club and would certainly put him up in the shop window for a potential summer move to Europe if nothing comes up this winter.
Salloi returns to Kansas City after being loaned back to his home country of Hungary where he was first loaned to Vasas SC and eventually newly promoted Gyirmot SE, who are coached by former academy coach Istvan Urbanyi. Salloi struggled with a back injury during his time in Hungary, but still managed to appear in 13 games for Gyirmot. Unfortunately the newly promoted team struggled and by the winter break was rooted to the foot of the table. Salloi left the club as their leading scorer, having scored two goals in his 13 games with the club.
It will be interesting to see what happens with both players in preseason, Palmer-Brown certainly has the physical tools to challenge for a spot in KC's starting 11, but the question may be whether Peter Vermes gives him the chance to win it. Also whether Palmer-Brown checks out upon his return looking for a move to Euope. Salloi is also in an interesting position, especially with the injury in October last year to Diego Rubio. With a torn ACL, Rubio is likely out until at least the summer, which would mean that Salloi is once again in the position of likely being Dom Dwyer's back up. Salloi could get the chance to play meaningful minutes for KC if Sporting don't bring in another attacker.