The defensive midfielder is headed from one Sporting to another, moving from MLS to Portugal's top division.Defensive midfielder Oriol Rosell will trade the light blue of Sporting Kansas City for the green-and-white of Sporting CP in Lisbon after the MLS club announced an agreement Tuesday.
Per league policy, terms of the deal were not announced. But sources within MLS confirmed to Goal USA that the transfer fee is just more than $1.5 million, meaning Sporting KC will be given a little more than $1 million in allocation money to spend on new players and salary cap relief. Sources have also confirmed to Goal that Sporting KC has already lined up new central midfield reinforcements, with the club expected to be busy in the international market this summer. One potential arrival is Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros, who has been linked with the club in the past and is currently unattached.
Rosell came up in the Barcelona youth system and arrived on the Plains from Barcelona B in August 2012. The 21-year-old joins former MLS All-Star Fredy Montero at the Portugese giant, which will participate in the UEFA Champions League in 2014-15 after a second-place finish in Portugal's top divison.
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Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman wished the player success in a news release and attempted to allay any worries fans might have about losing a player during the season.
"The perception from the outside might be that the timing is not great, but from the inside we believe that the timing is perfect," he said. "It opens the door for Uri and for us. Uri came from Barcelona B to Sporting Kansas City, won an MLS Cup and furthered his development on the field. This transfer helps enable us to retain our core players while adding pieces to the team."
When the move was initally rumored in mid-May, Heineman told his club's TV broadcast that Rosell was "not a player that we want to move along,” but noted the club would listen to offers for the midfielder as it had done with Roger Espinoza, who moved from Sporting Kansas City to Wigan, and Kei Kamara, who jumped from the club to Middlesbrough.
“As we’ve done historically around guys like Roger or Kei, we entertain all offers, we talk to the player, we have a very open dialogue around what their intentions are, what their long-term plan is, and we’ve done the same thing with Uri.”