Monday, November 24, 2014

Olum Looks Headed to Malaysia

Looks like the Sporting KC roster turnover that many were expecting has started. A licensed FIFA player agent, Arvind Narayan, announced today on Twitter that he had helped to close a deal between Sporting KC and Kedah FA in the Malaysian league for Sporting KC midfielder, Lawrence Olum. The Tweet has since been deleted, but I did get a screen shot of it.
The Kenyan had become a starter for Sporting KC this past season in the team's deep lying midfield role after the sale of Oriol Rosell to Sporting Portugal in Lisbon. Olum did okay in the position, but the drop in talent level was apparent. KC struggled with distribution with Olum sitting in the deep role. Used to Rosell being there to start the attack and string passes together, KC was forced to have Benny Feilhaber drop further back on the field to play the distribution role. This took Feilhaber out of the attack more, limiting the influence that he'd had in the early part of the season when Rosell was there.
Late in the season, Olum split time with Honduran, Jorge Claros, until Claros was suspended for three games, that combined with national team call ups was the rest of the regular season. His last appearance for the club came in the regular season finale against the New York Red Bulls, when he was subbed after 30 minutes in favor of Mikey Lopez.
Since signing with Kansas City in the middle of the 2011 season, Olum appeared in 67 games for KC, 40 of those starts. Over half those starts (21) came in the 2014 season. He also scored three goals for KC in his time here, including the one in the 2013 regular season finale against Philadelphia that allowed Kansas City to host MLS Cup 2013 against Real Salt Lake. The 30 year old also made his debut for his national team this year, playing for Kenya in their unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
While the move hasn't been announced by the team, Olum does appear in photographs on his new team's Facebook page. So this move seems to be happening. It'll be a bit of a blow for Kansas City's depth, but the position on the field I think is one that most KC fans would say needed to be upgraded from the 2014 season.

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