KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Forget about Thierry Henry and Nery Castillo. The Kansas City Wizards may have their own entrant into the Designated-Player market this summer.
Wizards President Robb Heineman confirmed the team is actively pursuing acquiring a Designated Player in a phone interview this week.
“We’re looking for a winner,” Heineman said, “and a winner who can put the ball in the back of the net. Those are probably the two defining characteristics.”
Mexican international Omar Bravo is the most recent player to be linked with the team. Heineman confirmed Kansas City’s interest in the 30-year-old Chivas de Guadalajara midfielder during the team’s television broadcast last weekend. The Wizards have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Eidur Gudjohnsen, but the Icelandic striker is expected to return to the English Premier League.
Manager Peter Vermes said the technical staff has been in talks with a number of parties to improve the team through the Designated Dlayer rule, but they hadn’t been able to nail anything down yet.
“It all comes down to the negotiations,” he said. “I do know that we are committed to finding someone. If we don’t do it now, you can look to the next window or even the summer window.”
Both Heineman and Vermes said any potential DP would almost certainly be someone who can put the ball in the back of the net, something the Wizards have struggled to do regularly this season.
Kansas City have scored the second fewest goals in the league, just 13 in 16 games—and those numbers are skewed by the four goals scored in the season opener.
“We encourage our technical staff to try to play an attractive style of soccer, and at times I think we’ve done that,” Heineman said. “At times, we certainly haven’t. Goal scoring has got to be something that picks up on our team.”
Vermes expects any new player must still fit within the parameters of the team and organization.
“First and foremost, there is no doubt a guy has to fit into our team from a playing perspective,” Vermes said. “Then he has to have incredible character because if we are going to invest that kind of money in that kind of an asset, then we have to make sure that all pieces fit with us.”
“The right fit for us,” Heinemann added, “could manifest itself in a couple different ways.”