Sporting KC officially today announced that Claudio Bieler would not be back with the club in 2015. The team announced today that they had come to a mutual agreement with Bieler to terminate his contract. The move allows Bieler to officially join Quilmes in Argentina, who Bieler had signed a contract with yesterday.
This is actually the third time this offseason that the mutual termination of a contract has led to a player leaving or coming to Kansas City. Earlier in the offseason, the club and midfielder, Lawrence Olum mutually terminated his deal so he could go play in Malaysia. Then earlier this month, Wigan Athletic agreed with Roger Espinoza to mutually terminate his contract on the Honduran could return to Kansas City.
Plenty of arguments will take place over the next few weeks and months regarding where things went wrong and whether Bieler was a bust for Kansas City. I think Bieler showed early in the 2013 season that he could be a successful forward in MLS, he'd scored nine goals by mid-July and looked to be a nice addition to the team. But shortly before his goal in mid-July, the team brought Kei Kamara back from his loan to Norwich. Kamara's return really seemed to coincide with the decline of Bieler's form. After Kamara left again, this time permanently for Middlesbrough, Dom Dwyer was back from his loan spell with Orlando City and over the course of the rest of the season established himself in Sporting's lineup. Bieler still played an important role for KC, scoring the series winner against the New England Revolution in extra time and scoring the first PK in the shootout against Real Salt Lake on the way to MLS Cup.
In the 2014 season though Bieler's time fell even further with Dwyer on his way to a record setting goal scoring year. Bieler was limited to just four starts and only scored two goals in league play for KC. Bieler finished his career with 12 league goals for KC, adding another goal in the playoffs, and US Open Cup, and two in the CONCACAF Champions League, making him one of only a handful of players to score in all four competitions for Kansas City.