Two of the biggest concerns for Sporting Kansas City in the off season was re-signing defensive mid Soni Mustivar and veteran Paulo Nagamura. Sporting KC announced both of those were signed Monday afternoon
2015 was Mustivar's first season with Sporting KC and he proved how valuable he was as a defensive mid and ended up winning 2015 Co-Defender of the Year honors. The defensive midfielder had a 15-5-6 record as a starter in all competitions and led Major League Soccer during the regular season with more than six interceptions per 90 minutes played.
The Haitian midfielder came to Sporting KC directly from FC Petrolul Ploiesti which did lead to a little fatigue and injury late in the season but when Mustivar and Roger Espinoza were both active in the midfield it was very difficult for opponents to generate a coordinated attack.
Paulo Nagamura is the definition of experienced veteran for Sporting KC. The 12-year MLS veteran has been with Sporting Kansas City since 2012 and has played a key role in each championship in the last few years.
Clutch performances in the 2012 Open Cup, the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2015 Open Cup show how key Nagamura has been for Sporting KC. While he has been injured and missed part of the last three seasons, he has come back from injury right at the key time to contribute to another piece of hardware.
An example of Nagamura never giving up was his two-goal, game tying and game winning goals in the 87th and 94th minutes against Vancouver last August. Another is when he subbed in the match in the 65th and ten minutes later headed a cross from Jalil Anibaba in for the game winner.
It may be hard for Nagamura to find the a spot in the starting 11 with so many veterans on the team now but do not be surprised if he finds the field in the biggest matches.
Naga's goals of 2015
Off the bench header for a win