Sporting KC has acquired Argentine-born Ecuadorian striker Cladio Bieler, who will be taking a designated player slot.
The worst kept secret in all of the MLS was revealed Tuesday as Sporting KC announced the signing of Claudio Bieler.
Bieler is a central forward from Argentina who has recently been playing in Ecuador with the club LDU Quito, and is on a loan from Racing Club. He has also been called up to play with the Argentine national team under Maradona in 2010, but did not play because of a suspected injury.
Bieler will be a Designated Player for Sporting KC, which means his salary will not be counted against the MLS Salary Cap. Sporting KC will have one designated player slot left after this signing.
This looks to be Sporting's biggest move of the offseason. Bieler has a nose for goal, scoring 20 goals in 32 appearances for LDU Quito so far in this season and could help the lackluster finishing of Sporting KC. Sporting KC took the most number of shots in the league, but finished 12th in goals scored.
Here is a highlight video of him:
Claudio Bieler 2012 Copa Credife.wmv (via Jimmy Ledesma)
This move leaves the issue of what Sporting KC should do at the center forward position. They now have multiple players at the center forward position, and seem to have an excess of forwards all together. I wouldn't be surprised if Bunbury or Saad is dangled as trade bait later in the off-season in order to attain more depth.
More Bieler stats can be found here: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/player/_/id/103948/claudio-bieler?cc=5901