Back in 2008, Chance Myers was the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft coming out of UCLA. Ironically, it may be the first round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft that officially puts an end to Myers playing for Sporting Kansas City ever again.
Just yesterday, Colton Storm, a defender from the University of North Carolina, was drafted with the 14th overall pick by Sporting KC. In college, Storm lined up as a defender. Sometimes he was a center back, but that was usually in a situation where there were only three defenders in the back. Other times he was a fullback, mostly lining up on the right. Most analysts believe see him as a right back in Major League Soccer. As for Peter Vermes, he sees Storm as someone that can play either fullback spot.
But it’s not just Storm that is pushing Chance Myers out at right back. Arguably it all started when Myers went down with a severe Achilles injury early in the 2014 season. That led to 19-year-old Fluminense loanee, Igor Juliao, getting 23 starts in league play. He didn’t always look good, but he showed flashes of brilliance. Juliao returned to Brazil after that loan but just recently rejoined Sporting KC, again from Fluminense, on loan for all of 2017.
Likely due to to Myers still being down with injury, Sporting went on to draft two fullbacks in the first round of a 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Saad Abdul-Salaam was taken 12th and Amadou Dia was taken 20th. Despite Dia likely having the better rookie season, he was later traded to the Montreal Impact for Cameron Porter. Abdul-Salaam would make 22 appearances, including 10 starts, in his rookie season for a banged up Myers.
Then, in 2016, Saad really took over the right back job, making the position his own. Myers again dealt with injuries off and on throughout the year. SAS found his opening and asserted himself as the right back of Sporting Kansas City. He would make 30 appearances in league play (of a possible 34), including 26 starts. He also had six assists, which Myers has only topped once in his career (seven in 2012).
With the emergence of Abdul-Salaam, Myers time in Kansas City appears to have come to an end. Myers was out of contract following the 2016 season. Obviously part of the reason has to be his injury concerns but another is likely the $225,000 in guaranteed compensation he got last season (for comparison, SAS made $76,750). That was for 11 games played and just six starts for a mere 559 minutes. That’s about $402.50 a minute. Sign me up for that (it should be noted, the per minute stat is ridiculous since so much time is spent training, rehab, etc. but it doesn’t stop us from using it).
Now many fans out there were holding out hope that Myers would be brought back on a smaller contract. There is always still a possibility that happens, but it seems increasingly unlikely. Even if Myers wanted to play for the league minimum, SKC currently have 27 players signed and just drafted a 28th player. The league roster maximum is 28. There is simply no room for Myers, even if he wants to stay.
It will be interesting to see where Myers ends up from here. He is still just 29-years-old. His best days may be behind him due to injuries, but I have no doubt if he can stay healthy, he’d be a force to reckon with on another MLS club (or overseas even).
If this is how it ends in Kansas City, he had quite a run. He would finish with 147 appearances in league play (114 starts), 10,519 minutes, two goals and 16 assists. He was part of three trophy winning teams: the MLS Cup in 2013 and two US Open Cups (2012, 2015). He was at the peak of his dominance for those 2012 and 2013 trophies.
There is sure to be news about Myers in the coming weeks. He is currently off on some lovely beach on his honeymoon after recently getting married (and getting a hair cut — can we agree it looks better short). Good luck to Chance. You will be missed in Kansas City. We leave you with some Instagram pictures showing that he’ll be just fine.