After a tough loss against Houston that ended the Sporting KC season, they were looking for help for the upcoming season. Before going into the MLS market, Sporting KC lost, waived or traded seven players. Roger Espinoza decided to play for Wigan FC, which is a part of the English Premier League. Julio Cesar, Cyprian Hedrick, Neven Markovic Konrad Warzycha and Korede Aiyegbusi were all waived, which means they are released from a team on the team’s terms. Michael Harrington was traded to Portland for allocation money, which is money that is received for future transactions or trades. Even though Sporting KC lost seven good players, they acquired five new players that are possibly as good or better than those who were lost.
The first player Sporting KC acquired was, defense man, Josh Gardner. Gardner was traded, from Montreal, for Sporting KC’s highest second round pick in the 2013 MLS draft. Gardner played in six games last year and does not seem quite ready for the Sporting KC system but we will see how he fits this coming year. Peter Vermes thoughts on Gardner were,
“We are very happy to welcome Josh to the organization and look forward to adding another quality player to compete within our roster,”
The next acquisition Sporting made this offseason was trading to New England two 2013 MLS draft picks and allocation money for mid-fielder Benny Felihaber. Felihaber had an off year this past season, scoring only one goal in 29 appearances. However, he is expected to perform well in the Sporting KC system. Felihabers’ thoughts on coming to KC were,
“I am really excited to come to Sporting Kansas City. It is a top-class organization and team in Major League Soccer. My goal is to help the team however I can. I cannot wait to play in the best stadium in the League and in front of a great fan base. I am already hyped for the first home game.”
Sporting KC traded another 2013 MLS draft pick to San Jose for, defender, Ike Opara. Opara had a mediocre season this past year and is expected to back up the Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to play for Peter (Vermes),” Opara said. “It’s a fantastic club and I think the last two years speaks for itself when you look at how well the team has done. This is an opportunity I couldn’t say no to and I am excited to be joining the club.”
Sporting KC signed, defender, Yann Songo’o, a 21 year old from Cameroon. Songo’o had a short stint with FC Mertz and drew interest from Real Madrid and FC Barcelona but decided to sign with Sporting and here is why:
“I have lot of hope and aspiration that this will be a big experience and opportunity to show what I have as a footballer,” Songo’o said. “I want to thank the club for the chance they are giving me and I want to show my gratitude to them on the playing field.”
The latest move for Sporting KC is signing a designated player to their roster. Claudio Bieler was the player signed. Bieler is a goal-scoring foward from Ecuador and should fit in the Sporting KC system well. Bieler’s thoughts on Sporting KC are,
“I am very happy to be here. I believe I am here on a mission. I am fully aware that it took some organization and some commitment from the group to bring me here. I really appreciate that. I am here to bring my attacking qualities. I know the team is looking for somebody who can provide support up top and put the goals away. I am here to try to suffice that as much as possible. I look forward to a great year. I hope to win as many tournaments as possible with the team.”
Sporting KC will kick off their season against the Philadelphia Union in Philly, then they will travel to Toronto to Toronto FC. Sporting KC’s home opener is schedule for March 16th, where they will play the Chicago Fire.