Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sporting Lose Peterson to Atlanta

Sporting Kansas City continued the makeover of their wings today as 2016's second leading scorer, Jacob Peterson is leaving the club to join expansion side, Atlanta United. Peterson was a free agent in MLS terms being over 28 with eight years of experience in the league, meaning he was free to sign with any club in the league. He chose the expansion Atlanta side who is putting together a fairly strong attacking front. Peterson will likely be a utility player for the club slotting in where needed to provide a spark and energy.

Peterson played in 108 league games for KC over his five seasons with Sporting Kansas City, scoring 13 goals, including a career high six goals in 2016. He also added seven assists for Sporting KC. In 2016 he became an invaluable part of the KC attack after the departure of Krisztian Nemeth, the injuries to Brad Davis and Justin Mapp, and the ineffectiveness of Connor Hallisey. He's not a player that's probably shouldn't be an every day starter, but became one for Kansas City and returned Peter Vermes' faith in him by having a career year.

This is actually probably the best move for both Kansas City and Peterson. While Peterson is a "Vermes' guy" with his hustle and his willingness to play anywhere on the field, he's also set to turn 31 early in 2017 and should predominately be a backup. While he had a career high 18 starts for Kansas City in 2017, his hustle and work ethic really shouldn't make him a starter any more for KC. Kansas City should be to the point where if they need a Peterson it's as a bench player. KC has shown that they're ready to get younger on the wings, with four of the six to seven wingers from last season (six if you don't count Jimmy Medranda as one, seven if you do) already gone, and an eighth (Anor) also not coming back in 2017, KC is going to be doing a lot of rebuilding on the wing over the winter. For Peterson it gives him a chance to go somewhere and continue to contribute. I'm one of those that has grown to respect Peterson more over the course of his time in Kansas City for his style of play and how he seemed to leave it all on the field, while I'm happy for him, if the role here had been right I would have liked him to stay.

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