Sporting Kansas City continued their work with their roster ahead of the 2017 MLS season. Today the club announced that they had signed three players to new contracts, but then lost one of those three players in the expansion draft.
First today the club announced that they had agreed to new contracts with homegrown defender Kevin Ellis, back up goalkeeper Alec Kann, and midfielder/defender Jimmy Medranda. Ellis, KC's second ever homegrown player, has enjoyed a good run with the team over the past couple years, becoming a regular at center back for Kansas City in the 2015 season after an injury to Ike Opara. This past season, Ellis became a spot starter for Sporting KC, but by the end of the season was Peter Vermes' preferred partner to Matt Besler in KC's back line. He certainly has his share of detractors among fans, but seems to have established himself in Vermes' system as a guy that Vermes feels he can rely on.
Medranda enjoyed a break out season for Kansas City after a position change. In 2015 Medranda had played a couple games at left back, to varying degrees of success, and eventually the idea was scraped. In 2016 though Medranda again found time at left back and seemed to make the position his own becoming a consistent starter, playing in 29 games and starting 22 of them for KC. He did surprisingly well on the defensive side of the ball providing KC with an attack from the left back position as well. The club has said they see his future further up the field, but his ability to play left back is something that Vermes is certain to use from time to time.
The last of the three signed also had the most interesting day as Kann signed his new deal with KC and then was promptly selected by Atlanta United with their final pick of today's expansion draft. Kann had appeared in 10 games for Sporting last season across all competitions, appearing in the league, the Open Cup, and the CCL for Kansas City spelling Tim Melia. He'd shown some good ability in goal and looked to be a decent back up goalkeeper that KC picked up in the re-entry draft last year. His new contract didn't last long in Kansas City though as shortly after KC announced the three signings, the expansion draft started and Kann was selected by Atlanta United with their fifth and final pick, the second goalkeeper they'd taken after Clint Irwin of Toronto. Irwin though has already been traded back to Toronto leaving Kann, as one of two goalkeepers on the roster. The Decatur, Georgia native would right now appear to be the club's starter, but with the rumors of Brad Guzan coming in, Kann looks like a good local product to have as a backup goalkeeper in MLS.