Sporting KC was busy today announcing that the club had re-signed two players who had played a large role in the 2016 season. The biggest news belonged to the re-signing of Benny Feilhaber. The news, which had been rumored for the last two days was confirmed with the club announcing that they had signed Feilhaber to a new two year deal with the club. Feilhaber confirmed that he had been ready to move on from Sporting KC, setting his sights on a move to Israel and Hapoel Be'er Sheva before Sporting KC came in with an offer.
Plenty can be said about Peter Vermes tradition of not negotiating new contracts during the season as coach and technical director, in this instance it came close to costing the club arguably their best player over the past two years. Feilhaber, being in the last year of his contract had been free in the final six months of his contract to sign a pre-contract with a new team. Feilhaber though stuck around and Kansas City was able to convince him to stay.
While he's getting a raise from his salary from last year, which was reportedly just over $400,000, Feilhaber will not be a designated player, instead the club will use allocation money to pay down his salary to the maximum salary cap hit. His play over the last two years, with 17 goals and 28 assists in league play is certainly deserving of a raise, and the two year contract is the right amount for Sporting KC with Feilhaber turning 32 before the 2017 season kicks off.
The other signing the team announced today was that the club will be bringing back Ike Opara on a one year deal with two option years. Opara's career has been marred by injuries that have limited his time, but in 2016 he set career highs in games, starts, and minutes played. Depending on what goes on with Nuno Coelho, Opara could be penciled in as the projected starter at center back next to Matt Besler.
The pair signing brings KC up to 10 players currently under contract for the 2017 season, joining Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, Roger Espinoza, Tim Melia, Soni Mustivar, Cameron Porter, Diego Rubio, and Graham Zusi.