Sporting KC: Central midfield dart throw no bad thing

Sporting KC, Felipe Gutierrez (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Sporting KC, Felipe Gutierrez (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Sporting KC have been named as a potential landing spot for Argentine midfielder Emanuel Maciel. While little is known about the 22-year-old, another central midfield dart throw for Peter Vermes to experiment with is no bad thing.

With preseason starting this month, Sporting Kansas City could still be looking to add another player in the midfield.

22-year-old Emanuel Maciel currently plays for Argentine Superliga side San Lorenzo. Reportedly, Maciel has three teams racing to sign the midfielder: Sporting KC, the Colorado Rapids, and Godoy Cruz of Argentina.

The left-footed Argentine said the original plan was to stay and fight his way into the team at San Lorenzo, but with these new options, he will make his decision in the coming weeks.

Also loosely linked with Inter Miami, if Maciel is looking at coming to MLS, he would be more likely to win trophies and better training facilities with Sporting, although he would find it more difficult to break into the starting XI.

The Rapids would perhaps him give him a better chance of breaking into the starting XI, but not much else from a playing perspective. Inter Miami might be the best place for him, especially with the city’s Latin culture and the club’s first year of play allowing him to fight for a starting spot right off the bat.

Sporting KC has added just three players this offseason (Alan Pulido, Roberto Puncec, and Khiry Shelton) after cutting ties with six players after the 2019 season (Seth Sinovic, Benny Feilhaber, Gedion Zelalem, Krisztian Nemeth, Nico Hasler, and Rodney Wallace).

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With much still to be determined about Maciel, it is unclear exactly what roll he would be expected to play, but adding another body to the midfield area is never a bad thing.

Signing for San Lorenzo’s senior squad in June of 2019, he made just one appearance. In those 90 minutes, SofaScore gave Maciel a 7.6 player rating, which was the second-highest from either team as San Lorenzo dominated Godoy Cruz in a 3-2 win. Maciel was also an unused substitute for three other Superliga matches and a Copa Argentina match. You can watch highlights of the match with the following link.

From the little that is known publicly about Maciel, it suggests that he could be a bit of a project for Peter Vermes and his staff. He will likely float between both Sporting KC and Sporting KC II, similar to what Gedion Zelalem did in 2019. He can play both the attacking and holding role in the midfield, which could provide some depth behind Ilie Sanchez. He seems to be a promising player if given the correct platform, which I believe Sporting KC can provide with their USL affiliate.

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Ultimately, this is throwing a dart at the midfield. And given the importance of the central midfield in Vermes’ Sporting KC system, that can hardly be a bad thing.