Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Sporting KC and De Jong Agree to Terminate Contract

Sporting Kansas City cut their roster down to 25 today with the announcement that the team had agreed to terminate the contract of Canadian outside back, Marcel de Jong. De Jong was one of three players, along with Bernardo Anor and Amobi Okugo who did not join Sporting KC for the second phase of preseason in Tucson, Arizona. Anor was sent on loan to Minnesota United for the 2016 season while Okugo was waived. Now Anor is gone as well, as Sporting trims some excess cap space off their roster for players that weren't likely to contribute much in 2016.

De Jong had appeared in 13 league games for Kansas City, starting 11 of them while also making a pair of substitute appearances in the US Open Cup. The Canadian international had been brought in to provide competition for Seth Sinovic at the left back position for Kansas City and also had the ability to play on the left wing. With a history of playing in the Netherlands and Germany the thought had been he'd either push Sinovic out or push him to a higher level. In the end though de Jong made only four league appearances after the beginning of July, starting three times, two of those starts though were on the left wing, not at the left back position. Instead de Jong lost minutes to Sporting KC rookie Amadou Dia who acclimated himself quite well to MLS in his rookie year. Even when Sinovic was out with a concussion, de Jong was only able to make four league appearances for KC.

As the season wore on it became apparent that de Jong was surplus goods and a return in 2016 was always unlikely. The question became whether KC could get anything for him. The obvious suggestion would be to try to trade him to a Canadian team, where he wouldn't take up an international spot, but with his salary being $180,000 and all three Canadian clubs already having starters at the left back position (Toronto Justin Morrow, Montreal Donny Toia, and Vancouver Jordan Harvey) a trade seemed unlikely. Getting other clubs to utilize an international spot was probably a draw back for American clubs.

Sporting now have three roster spots available to them as they head into the 2016 season, but have cut out some of the "excess fat" to probably make them a stronger team in the end.

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