Sporting Kansas City unloaded some high-priced players last year and received bundles of allocation money it can use to fill those gaps.
Head coach: Peter Vermes
2017 finish: 12-9-13, 49 points; No. 5 West
Postseason: Lost to Houston in first round of playoffs
Sporting Kansas City had to rely on defensive pressure to help push the club to the 2017 playoffs. SKC scored just 40 goals during the regular season, the second lowest among playoff teams. Benny Feilhaber, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Ike Opara served as leaders for Sporting, but the club didn’t have enough firepower to get past Houston in the first round of the playoffs.
Veteran leader: Coach Peter Vermes brings stability to Sporting Kansas City and is MLS’ longest tenured coach, with his run starting in 2009. Since the start of the 2017 season, seven MLS head coaches left their respective clubs. Vermes, meanwhile, led SKC to an MLS Cup win in 2013, has won four major trophies with the club and owns 115 regular-season victories.
After the late season trade of Dom Dwyer to Orlando City, Sporting was in a position to spend to upgrade its offensive creativity during the offseason. Vermes is looking to balance out the roster and pushing Sporting to get back to the MLS Cup.
Season opener: March 4 vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.
Bye-bye Benny. Sporting Kansas City shocked its most accomplished midfielder by sending him to LAFC. That means some marquee signings should be incoming for 2018.
Signings – M Yohan Croizet (transfer from KV Mechelen).
Trades – D Saad Abdul-Salaam traded to NYCFC for F Khiry Shelton; M Benny Feilhaber traded to LAFC for $200,000 in General Allocation Money and $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
Contract option declined – F Cameron Iwasa, M Soni Mustivar, M Kevin Oliveira and D Tyler Pasher (later traded to Atlanta United FC).
Contract expired – F Cameron Porter, D Erik Palmer-Brown
Other – F Latif Blessing (taken by LAFC in Expansion Draft).