Sporting Kansas City recently announced that Teal Bunbury will be shipped off to the New England Revolution in exchange for a 2015 first-round pick and some allocation money.
Once a promising young stud who ended his rookie campaign with a strong nine goals, Teal was eclipsed over the past couple seasons by more technical players like Dom Dwyer, Soony Saad, Claudio Bieler, and CJ Sapong. Hell, even Jacob Peterson was chosen in front of Bunbury most of last season.
The move wasn’t a huge surprise, since it was known that Teal wanted to be on a squad where he’d see significant playing time and that wasn’t going to happen in KC.
In short, Teal wanted out. And, honestly, it’s the best deal for both him and Sporting.
The problem is that Teal never really developed his game, something that Peter Vermes and Robb Heineman constantly stress as an organizational ethos, and cite as a major reason why they’re at the top of MLS.
Sure, Bunbury came in with a high ceiling, a big, raw athlete with soccer genes (his dad played professionally and for the Canadian National Team).
He had blazing speed, probably one of the fastest straight line runners in MLS. But his touch, finishing ability, and awareness never caught up with his physical tools.