Sporting KC announced a roster move today, the team waived midfielder Jordi Quintilla. A bit of a surprising move as the 22 year old was brought in less than a year ago and had some bright movements for the club since being brought in. No brighter than tell Jacob Peterson "Jake I go" at the US Open Cup final and scoring the winning penalty kick that saw Sporting KC lift the trophy. He also endeared himself to the fans by selecting the number 96 when he arrived at the club last year, 96 being the year that the club first began playing. So the move as a whole came as a surprise to many fans and brought sadness to others that understood the reasons why he was waived.
Quintilla made 15 appearances across all competitions for Kansas City, 14 of those coming in league play and recorded one assist. He'd made six appearances this season for Sporting, all six of them starts, but just one came after the first six games of the season and that was after injuries, suspensions, and call ups left KC with basically no one left in the midfield. He'd started the season in place of the injured Benny Feilhaber but lost his spot upon Feilhaber's return. Slowly it seemed Quintilla started to fall down the depth chart for Kansas City until late April when Quintilla was loaned to Sporting's USL affiliate the Swope Park Rangers. He started for the Rangers the very next day on April 27th in their 2-1 loss to Vancouver where he was subbed out in second half stoppage time. That was the only time he was in the 18 for the Rangers, not appearing in their next three games before being recalled by Sporting KC ahead of their May 27th game against DC United, his last appearance for the club.
People have made a big deal about his opening up an international roster spot for Kansas City heading into the summer transfer window, but as of right now, Kansas City is only using four of their international roster spots on Nuno Coelho, Jimmy Medranda, Soni Mustivar, and Diego Rubio, while Bernardo Anor and Daniel Salloi don't count against Kansas City's international count because the pair are out on season long loans, freeing up their international spots. Even with the impending arrival of Ever Alvarado, KC has spots open.
The real reason for waiving Quintilla at this time likely comes down to the fact that the contract guarantee date for MLS is coming up. According to the recent CBA that date is July 1 (although the date can be extended past that, but not beyond a week past the secondary transfer window closing), a week from tomorrow. So given the timing this appears to be a move to get Quintilla off the books before that date hits.
While it's disappointing because at times Quintilla showed plenty of promise, there were still gaps showing in his consistency to fulfill that promise. He was not physically able to handle a lot of the play in MLS. He may go on and be quite successful elsewhere but as his time in KC wore on it seemed it wouldn't be here.