Sporting Kansas City announced on Friday that they have signed midfielder James Musa from their USL affiliate Swope Park Rangers. Musa signed an MLS contract for the rest of the 2017 season with options for 2018, 2019 and 2020 and will occupy an international roster spot.
"We brought him here for two purposes," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes told The Blue Testament Friday. "One was as a central defender and the other was defensive midfielder. We wanted to see if he would adapt to our model of play and I think he had a great introduction with the team and has progressed tremendously through the course of the year with the Swope Park Rangers. That is exactly why we have put that team in place, so we could continue to develop players from within.”
“We are excited about him coming into the team, we think he is ready,” Vermes continued. “He has been playing regularly so his fitness is good, it’s not like we are spending the next two, three or four weeks getting the guy fit.”
"It was one of my goals in signing for Swope Park Rangers to progress to the first team," Musa said via press release. "I've done that and am very happy. I just want to thank Peter Vermes, Mike Jacobs and the entire organization for giving me this opportunity to represent Kansas City and play for Sporting KC. I can't wait to get started and play in front of this amazing fan base."
Musa is the fourth Swope Park Ranger to be signed with the first team. Goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas and defender/winger Tyler Pasher were signed in the off season and center back Amer Didic was added during the 2017 season.
“First off, his decision making on the field is very good in both positions,” Vermes explained. “He reads the game really well, he’s a very god passer of the ball, he’s good in tight spaces and at the same time he is a very good 1-v-1 defender and he’s also good in the air. He brings a lot of really good qualities and the fact he has already trained with our team quite a bit over the year is good.”
Musa has played well with Swope Park and has played all 90 minutes in 18 starts and been a key part of the Rangers’ success this season. Mostly playing defensive mid but occasionally sliding to center back when needed and will give Vermes extra options in selecting his 18 for game day.
With an overall passing accuracy of 86.5% and a 92.8% in his own half, Musa has taken care of the ball well on the field and that fits in well with Sporting KC’s possession style.