Offseason Underway For Sporting KC

Dec 15, 2016 -- 10:24am

By Nate Bukaty 

 

          After a heartbreaking loss in the first round of the 2016 playoffs, Sporting Kansas City Manager and Technical Director Peter Vermes promised to go charging into the 2016 off-season. It will be an “active” winter, as Vermes put it. Well, the off-season for MLS has only technically begun this week, after Seattle’s victory over Toronto in MLS Cup on Saturday, but Sporting KC didn’t wait around to get their active off-season underway.

            In the weeks since SKC’s controversial loss in the first round of the playoffs, we’ve already seen several key players sign new deals with the club, and another group of players shown the door. We’ve seen players from Swope Park Rangers sign deals with the big club. We’ve seen another player sign a contract with Sporting, only to then be taken in the expansion draft. We’ve seen retirements, and we’ve seen a contract extension for the Manager/Technical Director. Keep in mind, all of this has already happened, and the true off-season is only a few days old.

            Here’s a recap of what’s transpired already, and a preview of what’s still to come in this busy winter for Sporting Kansas City:

            Who’s Staying: The biggest news so far has been the new contract for Manager and Technical Director, Peter Vermes. The contract extension, which runs through 2019, was announced on November 29th. Also on the coaching front, Sporting KC announced that Nikola Popovic would be promoted from his assistant coaching role with Swope Park Rangers, to take over as Manager. Popovic replaces Marc Dos Santos, who was at the helm of the Rangers’ in their inaugural season.

            A couple of weeks before the Vermes contract extension, Sporting KC announced that midfielder Benny Feilhaber and defender Ike Opara have signed new contracts to stay at the club. That news was announced on November 16th. Locking up Feilhaber, one of the top “Number 10’s” in MLS, was a great start to the off-season. That’s one major position of importance that Vermes doesn’t need to worry about addressing now. It was also great to see Opara make it through a full season relatively injury-free for the first time in the past three years.

            On November 23rd, SKC announced that the club had extended the contracts of Saad Abdul-Salam, Benji Joya, Jimmy Medranda, Lawrence Olum, and Seth Sinovic.

Also signing new contracts to stay in Kansas City were Kevin Ellis, Jimmy Medranda, and Alec Kann. Although, as Kann would find out, this off season will contain many more twists and turns before the 2017 season kicks off. More on that in a moment.

            Who’s Going: Also on November 23rd, Sporting KC announced that the club would not exercise contract options for Ever Alvarado, Emmanuel Appiah, Connor Hallisey, Jon Kempin, and Justin Mapp.  There are not many surprises on this list, as none of these players made a major impact for Sporting during the 2016 season. Although Sporting had invested a high draft pick in Hallisey, and a Generation Adidas spot in Kempin, neither player was able to take ahold of his opportunities this year.

            Back to Alec Kann, the goalkeeper who had just recently signed a contract extension with Sporting KC. That extension turned out to be short-lived, as he was taken by Minnesota United in the MLS Expansion Draft on December 13th.

            Also, on December 12th, veteran midfielder Paulo Nagamura announced his retirement after a 12-year MLS career in which he won two MLS Cups and three Lamar Hunt US Open Cups. Nagamura will join the Swope Park Rangers staff as an assistant coach.

            Who’s Joining: While much of this question remains to be answered through free agency, and discovery signings, we do have a couple of names to add to Sporting KC’s roster. On December 2nd, it was announced that SKC had signed midfielder Tyler Pasher and goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas, who had starred in 2016 for Swope Park Rangers, to contracts with Sporting for the 2017 season. Pasher and Zendejas became the first two players to sign MLS contracts from the Rangers, which is an important development in the first year of the USL club’s existence. It’s critical for the long-term health of the Sporting franchise to develop a pipeline of young players through the academy system and the Rangers. Pasher impressed with his pace and work rate on the left side of the Rangers’ formation. Zendejas, meanwhile helped spark the Rangers’ amazing postseason run, as he went 5-0-0 in the regular season, after making his debut in June. He then kept two postseason clean sheets for SPR during their improbable run to the USL Championship game.

            What’s Next: As we’ve covered, despite all of this activity, the post-season has only just begun. Here are some key dates to keep in mind as the off-season kicks in to high gear.

            Friday, December 16 – Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft

Wednesday, December 21 – clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-entry eligible players, starting at 10:00AM Central Time.

Thursday, December 22 – Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft

Friday, January 13 – MLS Superdraft

 

 

Of course, that’s not to mention all of the possibilities as far as discovery signings,

Designated Player acquisitions, and trades are concerned. Sporting currently have 20 players on the rosters, which means that they have eight spots open. Stay tuned. There’s much more to come in this busy off-season for Sporting Kansas City!

 

 

         

 

  After a heartbreaking loss in the first round of the 2016 playoffs, Sporting Kansas City Manager and Technical Director Peter Vermes promised to go charging into the 2016 off-season. It will be an “active” winter, as Vermes put it. Well, the off-season for MLS has only technically begun this week, after Seattle’s victory over Toronto in MLS Cup on Saturday, but Sporting KC didn’t wait around to get their active off-season underway.

            In the weeks since SKC’s controversial loss in the first round of the playoffs, we’ve already seen several key players sign new deals with the club, and another group of players shown the door. We’ve seen players from Swope Park Rangers sign deals with the big club. We’ve seen another player sign a contract with Sporting, only to then be taken in the expansion draft. We’ve seen retirements, and we’ve seen a contract extension for the Manager/Technical Director. Keep in mind, all of this has already happened, and the true off-season is only a few days old.

            Here’s a recap of what’s transpired already, and a preview of what’s still to come in this busy winter for Sporting Kansas City:

            Who’s Staying: The biggest news so far has been the new contract for Manager and Technical Director, Peter Vermes. The contract extension, which runs through 2019, was announced on November 29th. Also on the coaching front, Sporting KC announced that Nikola Popovic would be promoted from his assistant coaching role with Swope Park Rangers, to take over as Manager. Popovic replaces Marc Dos Santos, who was at the helm of the Rangers’ in their inaugural season.

            A couple of weeks before the Vermes contract extension, Sporting KC announced that midfielder Benny Feilhaber and defender Ike Opara have signed new contracts to stay at the club. That news was announced on November 16th. Locking up Feilhaber, one of the top “Number 10’s” in MLS, was a great start to the off-season. That’s one major position of importance that Vermes doesn’t need to worry about addressing now. It was also great to see Opara make it through a full season relatively injury-free for the first time in the past three years.

            On November 23rd, SKC announced that the club had extended the contracts of Saad Abdul-Salam, Benji Joya, Jimmy Medranda, Lawrence Olum, and Seth Sinovic.

Also signing new contracts to stay in Kansas City were Kevin Ellis, Jimmy Medranda, and Alec Kann. Although, as Kann would find out, this off season will contain many more twists and turns before the 2017 season kicks off. More on that in a moment.

            Who’s Going: Also on November 23rd, Sporting KC announced that the club would not exercise contract options for Ever Alvarado, Emmanuel Appiah, Connor Hallisey, Jon Kempin, and Justin Mapp.  There are not many surprises on this list, as none of these players made a major impact for Sporting during the 2016 season. Although Sporting had invested a high draft pick in Hallisey, and a Generation Adidas spot in Kempin, neither player was able to take ahold of his opportunities this year.

            Back to Alec Kann, the goalkeeper who had just recently signed a contract extension with Sporting KC. That extension turned out to be short-lived, as he was taken by Minnesota United in the MLS Expansion Draft on December 13th.

            Also, on December 12th, veteran midfielder Paulo Nagamura announced his retirement after a 12-year MLS career in which he won two MLS Cups and three Lamar Hunt US Open Cups. Nagamura will join the Swope Park Rangers staff as an assistant coach.

            Who’s Joining: While much of this question remains to be answered through free agency, and discovery signings, we do have a couple of names to add to Sporting KC’s roster. On December 2nd, it was announced that SKC had signed midfielder Tyler Pasher and goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas, who had starred in 2016 for Swope Park Rangers, to contracts with Sporting for the 2017 season. Pasher and Zendejas became the first two players to sign MLS contracts from the Rangers, which is an important development in the first year of the USL club’s existence. It’s critical for the long-term health of the Sporting franchise to develop a pipeline of young players through the academy system and the Rangers. Pasher impressed with his pace and work rate on the left side of the Rangers’ formation. Zendejas, meanwhile helped spark the Rangers’ amazing postseason run, as he went 5-0-0 in the regular season, after making his debut in June. He then kept two postseason clean sheets for SPR during their improbable run to the USL Championship game.

            What’s Next: As we’ve covered, despite all of this activity, the post-season has only just begun. Here are some key dates to keep in mind as the off-season kicks in to high gear.

            Friday, December 16 – Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft

Wednesday, December 21 – clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-entry eligible players, starting at 10:00AM Central Time.

Thursday, December 22 – Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft

Friday, January 13 – MLS Superdraft

 

 

Of course, that’s not to mention all of the possibilities as far as discovery signings,

Designated Player acquisitions, and trades are concerned. Sporting currently have 20 players on the rosters, which means that they have eight spots open. Stay tuned. There’s much more to come in this busy off-season for Sporting Kansas City!

 

 

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