As we predicted when the news broke he was on trial with Sporting KC, Matshidiso Lebogang "Lebo" Moloto has earned a contract with the Swope Park Rangers. Moloto is a midfielder who previously played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) for the last two seasons. He was actually drafted by the Seattle Sounders but never played for them. Lebo has some familiarity with the Midwest having played for the Des Moines Menace while also attending college.
When the news broke that Lawrence Olum had been traded, it was the first time the team actually had space to add a player since the Soony Saad signing. Ultimately it was probably never in the cards for Moloto to snag that spot. It makes much more sense, as we've been saying, that Colton Storm would get the chance to earn that 28th roster spot.
For his part, Lebo seems excited about this new opportunity:
"I am very happy and thrilled to be a part of the Swope Park Rangers and Sporting Kansas City family," Moloto said. "I just want to thank everyone who made this move possible. I can’t wait to represent my family and Kansas City, and I can’t wait for preseason to begin."
With Kevin Oliveira still recovering from his season ending knee injury in 2016 (though he is expected to be ready for the opener), Lebo could potentially play attacking midfielder or even winger, based on the video I've seen of him. It's unclear from SPR head coach Nikola Popovic's statement where he may line up.
"Lebo has very good vision and he’s a very technical player. He’ll be a very good addition for us and he has the quality to achieve a lot of success in this organization."
For Pittsburgh Lebo has scored seven goals and added eight assists. While at Lindsey Wilson College (Kentucky) he scored 42 times and added another 20 assists. Moloto is already 26-years-old so it would seem he would have to step up his game at the professional level fairly quickly to have a chance to rise above his current status as USL contributor. We'll leave you with his vitals courtesy of SportingKC.com:
Matshidiso Lebogang "Lebo" Moloto
Born: 5/21/90 (26 years old)
Weight: 165 lbs.
Last Club: Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)
College: Lindsey Wilson College
Hometown: Polokwane, South Africa
Birthplace: Polokwane, South Africa
Citizenship: South Africa