Peter Vermes discusses roster movement, Daniel Salloi and the SuperDraft

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes spoke to media on Wednesday in a conference call ahead of Thursday’s 2016 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore. Vermes discussed the draft, roster movement and new Homegrown Player Daniel Salloi, with a selection of his remarks available below.


On the possibility of further roster movement occurring in the near future…

“There will be a few more players coming down the pike here. There could be a draft pick tomorrow. At the same time, I’m sure you’ll see a few more players acquired and added to the roster here in the short term. We’re trying to get ready for next week when we start preseason.”

On whether Sporting KC will use its No. 11 first-round draft pick or try to trade it elsewhere…

“It always comes down to the same thing: it depends on what kinds of players are available and what kinds of deals might be out there. We’ll consider all of those opportunities. It’s very hard to make a decision unless you know what’s in front of you, but for sure we’ll be open for everything.”

On the crop of players available in the 2016 draft class…

“I think there are a lot more defenders and midfielders in this draft than in the past. There are quite a few wingers as well and maybe not as many center forwards. I would also say there are a lot more foreign players in this draft than there have been in the past.”

On the signing of Homegrown Player Daniel Salloi, a native of Hungary…

“It’s a situation that started with both myself and Istvan Urbanyi, our U-18 Academy coach. He’s Hungarian and we both played together in Hungary. Also on our team was a player named Istvan Salloi. When Istvan Urbanyi came (to the Sporting KC Academy), we were able to talk to Daniel’s father, whom we had played with. We heard his son was a pretty good player, so we wanted him to come over and be a part of our academy. He entered a foreign exchange program and started training and playing with us. We thought that Daniel really progressed as a player (during the 2014-15 Academy season). He had to go back to Hungary, based on the program he was in, to finish up a couple of things in school. So we had the intention to see if we could sign him for the future.

“It’s exciting because it’s a player we have identified. He didn’t spend the amount of time Erik Palmer-Brown did in our Academy, but we have to be able to identify players for the senior team in all different ways. There are different buckets of players all around the world and domestically. We have to be able to fill the roster with all those different buckets, especially with our Academy, because we don’t really have a large population compared to the rest of MLS. So we have to be creative both inside and outside of our marketplace.”

On Salloi’s potential impact with Sporting KC and the Swope Park Rangers…

“He has a lot of potential. One thing I noticed during his time in the Academy is how fast he adapted to the team. At the same time, he was easy to coach and worked well with his teammates. There’s no doubt this is where he wants to be, so I think all those things will help in getting him on the field. A lot of it will depend on how he progresses through the year, but I’m hoping that he—like any player—makes some big strides this year and he winds up getting some opportunities at the (top) level.”

On Vermes’ comfort in seeking Hungarian players like Salloi and Krisztian Nemeth…

“It’s a lot of different things. One obviously is that I’m Hungarian; both of my parents were Hungarian. It’s cultural from the point of view that I think they have good soccer players there. Their culture breeds good soccer players. The other thing is that I have a lot of connections there. There is a trust factor between me and a lot of people in the soccer world there because of my time spent there as a player. The fact that we’ve had a good track record has also been a big help.”

On how Sporting KC’s offseason has progressed thus far…

“I think we’ve made some good acquisitions with Justin (Mapp) and Brad (Davis). They’re probably starters in anyone’s MLS team. To add both of those guys, and they have been very successful players in MLS and they are great additions to the team. We were able to sign a Homegrown Player out of our Academy, which is always a nice added benefit that we can promote to players from within. Then we signed Soni Mustivar and Paulo Nagamura to new contracts. Those guys are important, especially Nagamura with the experience he’s had over the years. To solidify Mustivar’s contract was huge for us because he adapted to our team really quickly last year. Hopefully he can continue where he left off this season. Then there’s a guy like Lawrence Olum who has been here before and has won and knows what it takes.

“I’m excited by how things have gone so far and I’m interested to see how things shake out tomorrow. You’ve got to remember that it’s not just our MLS roster but our USL roster. I’m excited by how that is coming together because we’re gathering players who we hope will someday be in our first team.”

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