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Peak MLS: Sporting KC Trade for Retired Player

A draft pick, four out of contract players and a player who retired. MLS Expansion Draft shenanigans?

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In a very MLS move Sporting Kansas City has completed a trade with Atlanta United that is leaving many quite puzzled.

Sporting KC will received forward Kenwyne Jones and goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis and a fourth round pick in the 2021 MLS Super Draft.

Atlanta will receive midfielder Kevin Oliveira, defender/winger Tyler Pasher and SKC’s second round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft (36th overall selection).

The weird part is none of those players are under contract to their respective teams. All four had their options declined over the past few weeks. Not to mention Kenwyne Jones has retired!

Whatever is going on likely has something to do with the MLS Expansion Draft that is going on Tuesday. The protected player lists are due today. Basically this move is likely about moving around international roster spots. SKC traded away two internationals and received none back.

Now it’s entirely possible that these teams could re-sign the players they’ve traded for. It would really sting to see Kevin Oliveira thrive in Atlanta when many people believe he should still be on Sporting KC. But he has some complicated things happening with SKC, so maybe this is an effort to fully move on from that.

And if you were hoping a move to KC is all Jones needs to reconsider retirement, think again.

In the end this could be a move that is just about the MLS Expansion Draft. Maybe SKC keeps Tambakis instead of say Dykstra, but I don’t even think that’ll happen. Adrian Zendejas seems like the keeper of the future. The other keeper on the roster should have experience. Tambakis has a single MLS appearance for 28 minutes.

We’ll have more on this when it becomes available. Likely later today when the Expansion Draft protected lists come out.