By now, most Orlando City fans have heard that Dom Dwyer (he scores when he wants) is a Lion once more, having been acquired yesterday from Sporting Kansas City for a king’s ransom worth of Garber bucks.
Since the Orlando City legend has been playing MLS soccer with Sporting Kansas City since we last saw him helping win the 2013 USL Pro championship for our Lions, he’s scored a lot of goals, married Sydney Leroux, had a child, became a U.S. citizen, and has been capped three times with the USMNT. So he’s clearly been busy.
Why do you think Sporting Kansas City, given the team’s place in the table, was willing to part with Dwyer at this time?
Cody Bradley: That is definitely the part that hurts — the timing. Despite having their eyes on three trophies this year, Vermes and co. decided this was too good of a deal to pass up. This is an absolute gold mine of Garber bucks and the club can do so much with it.
There isn't necessarily a lot to go on here, but I get the sense Dom wanted the move. Not that he wanted out of KC, but he knows Orlando would pay more — perhaps more than he's worth — for him. They had been working on an extension for him but the sides couldn't come to an agreement. Orlando City was willing to break the bank for him and I guess they saw this as the best offer they'd get for him over the next year and a half before his contact expires.
What should Orlando City fans know about Dom Dwyer today that may not have been the case back in 2013 when he last played in purple?
CB: Something he mentioned he put a focus on over the years was getting better at creating for his teammates. I think you'll see him open up a defense every now and then with passing that'll surprise you. But he is very much the same player at heart. He'll grind down center backs every single play for 90 minutes and get on their nerves along the way. While he still doesn't do well faced up with a defender 1-v-1, he can create something out of nothing at any moment. One other thing I would say is that Dom is a bit stronger than he used to be. Although, that seems to have cost him a bit of pace. He is still very quick in tight spaces and a speedy player all around, but his top speed may have dropped slightly.
What’s the overall impression you’re getting about how Sporting Kansas City fans feel about losing Dwyer and about the deal overall (is the record fee any consolation)?
CB: I saw it described very well by somebody else. They likened this Dom Dwyer trade with the "What color is this dress?" picture for SKC nation. There are fans at both ends of the spectrum. Plenty of people (many females...heh) are distraught. But others are very happy to be rolling in the money and excited to see what Vermes can do with all of it. Plus, he has only scored one goal for SKC since the beginning of May and that was the last goal of a 4-0 rout in the Open Cup.
Dom is a streaky player and while he scored the second-most goals of anyone in club history, he could have and really should have had many more. Some fans have been screaming for years now that Dwyer is overrated, but they are crazy. It just really sucks at the moment. This season was looking so bright and now we have a giant hole to worry about with the USOC semifinals coming up.
Most are rational enough to understand it'll take time before we can see if this was a good deal or not. But very sad to see our boy go. You can imagine it is difficult for people here to see this kid that we drafted grow into a man, become an American, and start a family here right in front of our eyes...then go to a team he was with for not even two months and get #WelcomeHomeDom. It's rough. But SKC is set up very nicely going forward.
How has Dom been most effectively deployed in Kansas City and has there been an Achilles’ Heel in his MLS game?
CB: Dom is a true No. 9. Stick him in the center of the attack and he will run for you and work for you all day until he sniffs out a mistake. He is also best as Chief Officer of Pissing Off the Other Guys. When the rest of the team is able to get up the field for him to work with is when he does the best. If he is all alone up the field, you have to hope the ref is calling fouls for him that day. He can be very clever in short moments running down a ball, but having taking on a defender 1-v-1 is not where you want him to be. He is great in hold-up play and can set a teammate up for a goal in the box, but he can't have the ball at his feet for very long.
As for a real Achilles’ Heel, I have to go with offside. That AR is his absolute nemesis. Can't tell you how many times I've thrown my hands up in the air because Dom couldn't stay onside. But I think a lot of fans would tell you that it is missing sitters. I know every single fan base has the same complaint about their striker because it does happen. But you guys — I'm telling you — Dwyer misses some absolute stunners, and a lot of them. He likes to set himself up for it to be a perfect shot when he perhaps should have just put a boot through it and got an attempt on frame. It can be incredibly frustrating.
That being said, the dude scored goals at a rate we haven't seen here in KC and nobody works harder on the field than he does. SKC will never be able to replicate what he brought to the team.
Big thanks to Cody from The Blue Testament for stopping by to share his thoughts on Dom Dwyer with us!