Sporting Kansas City crashed out of the playoffs in the knockout stage for a third straight year. Whereas they used to be one of the best teams in MLS, they've fallen off and are now pretty solidly mediocre.
What do they need to do to make the jump back up again?
Get some wingers
Graham Zusi is a fraction of the player he once was, while Brad Davis and Justin Mapp are gone. That leaves Sporting with few wingers and definitely nobody they can really depend on. Adding some players on the outside, and a pacey one or two to boot, is the top priority in KC.
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Find an alternative to Dom Dwyer
Dwyer is one of the best strikers in MLS and Sporting are set with him, but what if he gets hurt? Or needs a rest? At that point, SKC have a major problem. Leaning on Dwyer is one thing, but pinning all of your hopes on him is another.
Winslow TownsonWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Figure out the Matt Besler situation
Besler is on an expensive contract, a deal that looked fine when he was one of the best centerbacks in MLS. But he hasn't been that player for a while and wasn't even a regular starter for Sporting last season. Besler can't hang around as a sub-standard defender, but Sporting also don't have enough quality depth at centerback to let him go. They're in a tough spot.
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Keep developing kids
Sporting took Erik Palmer-Brown from their academy and while they haven't gotten much from him with the first team, he could land them a huge transfer fee from Europe. Meanwhile, they recently promoted Tyler Pasher from their USL team. They need to keep bringing kids through to provide them with necessary depth.
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Land a backup goalkeeper
Alex Kann was picked by Atlanta in the expansion draft and the 21-year-old Adrian Zendejas is probably a better fit for the USL team right now. That leaves them without a backup to Tim Melia.