Reports tonight should bring some good news to Sporting Kansas City fans as Jeff Carlisle is reporting that Benny Feilhaber is set to spurn offers from abroad and return to Kansas City in 2017. Carlisle reports that while the length of the deal is not known, sources tell him that Feilhaber is set to get a raise to somewhere in the $500,000 to $600,000 range.
That raise in salary would see Feilhaber jump into the designated player range for Kansas City. Sporting at the moment have all three of their designated player spots filled with Roger Espinoza, Diego Rubio, and Graham Zusi. The club also has Matt Besler and Dom Dwyer making over the designated player threshold according to the MLS player union numbers. Obviously if the salary is correct, that means Kansas City is going to likely be paying down someone's salary with GAM/TAM to make room for Feilhaber's new salary or they'll be moving one of their designated players to make room.
To re-sign with Sporting, Feilhaber looks set to turn down an offer from Israel Premier League side, Hapoel Be'er Sheva, the same club that had been interested in acquiring Feilhaber at the European transfer deadline back in September, but Sporting rejected the deal. According to Carlisle, Feilhaber and Be'er Sheva had a verbal agreement on a contract, but a significant raise by Kansas City in their offer convinced Feilhaber to stay in Kansas City.
At the same time, Sam McDowell with the KC Star is throwing a little bit of cold water on the rumor tonight, saying that there is no deal in place or signed.
Feilhaber has enjoyed probably the most successful stretch of his club career with Kansas City, recording 38 assists and 24 goals over his four years in KC. Twenty eight of those assists and 17 of those goals have come in the last two years alone and fueled calls by many fans for Feilhaber's return to the national team.
The big question with any deal for Feilhaber will be the length of the contract. While Feilhaber doesn't have a ton of miles on his legs due to minimal playing time earlier in his career, he still turns 32 before the 2017 season kicks off. The worry has to be about a drop off in production, but given his play over the last two years most of those concerns should be put at ease. This is at least a start to getting KC to be a competitor in 2017, maintaining your best players like Feilhaber his key.