KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When it comes to Sporting Kansas City’s potential acquisitions for the upcoming 2011 season, manager Peter Vermes will not loosen his lips.
As he has for most of this offseason, Vermes kept his cards close to his vest in a phone interview late last week, shying away from discussing specifics regarding the team’s ongoing efforts to fill out its newly-expanded roster.
“There are a couple that are closer now,” Vermes said regarding potential acquisitions, preferring not to mention names. “There are also one or two that could take until the end of the month. But, again, we have a lot of time to try to pull those guys together.
“We have a lot of targets and guys that we are looking to sign, but we aren’t going to rush into it. We have to make sure it’s good for us overall.”
[inline_node:323595]Kansas City brought in the majority of their foreign acquisitions last season after training camp had already begun. They signed designated player Omar Bravo midway through 2010.
While the technical staff waits for the intricate mechanisms of the foreign player market to play out, Vermes knows he will at the very least have draft picks to play within the next week.
Furthermore, Vermes said the team remains in negotiations with defender Michael Harrington, who is out of contract after four seasons in Kansas City.
“I would say that we are very close,” Vermes said. “I think we are on one last little thing. The ball is in [Harrington’s] and his agent’s court.”
Vermes also called negotiations with Re-Entry Draft pick Luke Sassano, who figures to give Sporting depth in the midfield and defense once fully recovered from an ankle injury, “just a formality.”
Still, the manager declined to confirm Sassano’s status with the team until all the details were locked in place.
Three players unlikely to be back are Sunil Chhetri, Zoltan Hercegfalvi and Nick Kounenakis.
Vermes said an announcement would be made on Chhetri’s status with the club in the next few weeks and confirmed that Kounenakis, who didn’t make an appearance with the team after signing in July, would not be returning.
Zoltan is also likely to move on after missing 2010 because of an ACL injury, although Vermes said he hasn’t closed the door on bringing back the Hungarian for a look during the preseason, depending on his contract status.
Those departures – assuming Chhetri will not be back – would open up three valuable international spots for the team to accommodate any impending foreign acquisitions. A fourth may become available, as Englishman Ryan Smith is working on acquiring his green card.
Despite the lack of public activity so far, Vermes said he was confident that the right pieces would fall into place in plenty of time for the start of the season.
“We’re basically two-and-a-half months out from our first game,” he said. “I feel good that when that time comes, we’ll have solidified a few of the pieces that we are looking for, but we have a very good foundation to start from.”