Besler became a free agent at season’s end and admitted on 810 WHB this morning that he had several different opportunities to go overseas, including an offer in the EPL. Besler said that there was more money for him in Europe than that offered by Robb Heineman, but the decision came down to the situation here in KC – the stadium, the other players on the team, management, coaching staff, and of course the opportunity to win immediately.
Most of the teams interested in Besler in Europe were bottom feeder types, though they were probably as good or better of a squad than Sporting will field in 2013.
That being said, it’s great to have The Rock back in the middle for the upcoming season. A few seasons ago I wrote about how KC’s biggest need was for Besler to step up, become a “harder” player, and solidify the center defense.
Well, he did all that and more. KC conceded the fewest goals in the MLS, and all four of their backline – and keeper White Puma – are all back next year. My only concern is how long an aging Jimmy Nielsen can keep up his form. If lifelong backup Eric Kronberg isn’t ready for prime time, I’d like to see Sporting go after a legit keeper who can step in for Nielsen without missing a beat.
The second good move?
Vermes snatched USMNT veteran midfielder Benny Feilhaber from the New England Revolution in exchange for cash, their 2014 first-round SuperDraft pick, and their 2015 second-round SuperDraft pick. Seems like a lot to give up, you say?
Maybe. But I like the move.
Feilhaber fell out of favor in Boston, but he’s only 27 and he’s a true box to box guy who can hold the ball, is smart, and can deliver quality passes. Plus, he’s an athletic guy, so fitting into Vermes’ high press system shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Benny spent most of his career in Germany and England before coming to MLS a season and a half ago, and since then KC has had their eye on him. I think he’ll be a perfect complement to Graham Zusi and Oriell Rosell in the midfield. Each of those three are savvy, deft players who can hold the ball and play a possession style that at times was lacking last season with the styles of Roger Espinoza and Paulo Nagamura.
Word on the Twitter is that more news is coming later today – perhaps the signing of a striker? – so tune in to @RobbHeineman to stay up to date.