Sporting KC: Departures of Gerso and Gutierrez are no surprise

Sporting KC (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Sporting KC (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

Sporting KC has moved on from winger Gerso Fernandes and it looks like they will do the same with midfielder Felipe Gutierrez. Gerso joined SKC ahead of the 2017 season, leaving Portugal for the first time in his professional career to play for Peter Vermes’s side. Gerso announced his departure via Instagram, saying:

"“Has been 4 years in a great great club, with amazing staff, incredible teammates and the best fans!! In the meantime I found the love of my life and met her family, they opened the door since day one and they love me so much that I can’t even be thankful enough for it!! @emmyfern GJ, (Mila on the way 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦) and a cup in my pocket, I couldn’t ask for better!! Kansas City is home and @sportingkc my club. I’m very thankful for everyone that somehow crossed paths and became good friends outside of soccer!! I just had to trust in God through the process and it turned out better than I could have ever imagined (as always when we trust Him😉) I am beyond blessed and so thankful for all I have been afforded and looking forward to what lies ahead. We love you and are going to miss you all! We will be back!!Much love KC,Gerso 💙”"

Gerso’s departure isn’t a surprise because he declined SKC’s bona fide offer at the end of the 2020 season and Peter Vermes hadn’t spoken to him since. Sporting KC will retain his MLS rights. A native of Guinea-Bissau, Gerso is headed to the K-League in South Korea to join newly-promoted top tier side Jeju United FC.

The departure of Gutierrez isn’t as certain as Gerso’s. The Chilean international is coming off a long-term injury, which made Peter Vermes was very weary about re-signing him with other options already available. Gutierrez is reportedly set to make his Club Deportivo Universidad Católica return.

Both player departures are no surprise for Sporting KC

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Gutierrez is set to depart Sporting KC after a three-year stint with the club, signing on a free transfer from Real Betis in 2018.

The departure of Gutierrez isn’t surprising because of his injury history at SKC, especially coming off a long-term injury and the fact that SKC has five other capable midfielders already under contract.

Both of these moves make sense for SKC. It wouldn’t have made sense to sign Gerso for more than he was previously making considering he won’t be in the first choice starting lineup.

Gerso has great skill and is a fan favorite, but his final product is what has held him back from reaching the next level of his game.

It is also understandable that SKC was tentative to bring back Gutierrez. He adds some good quality, but it would be a big gamble to bring him back on a heavy contract after missing all of 2020 through injury.

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Sporting KC will turn to Khiry Shelton and Johnny Russell to carry the load on the wings, but they will also need others to step up, such as the newly signed Academy products and some midfielders to help out up top as well. Since SKC played without Gutierrez for all of 2020, his departure will be much easier to deal with. Sporting will also be helped by the addition of French midfielder Remi Walter.