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Sporting KC re-signed Salloi, Ellis and Wright Cut

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Plus the Melia and Opara contract extensions are official.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Sporting KC Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of the season just a few days away, Sporting Kansas City made it official today on the contract extensions for Ike Opara and Tim Melia, which we had reported on back in January. What we didn’t know was that Daniel Salloi was given a new contract as well.

Melia’s deal will run through 2020 and have no option year (unlike what was previously reported) and Opara’s deal runs through 2019 with an option for 2020. Salloi is also signed through 2019 with options for both 2020 and 2021. No word on the salaries but that information will likely come out in April when the MLS Players Union releases their first set of data for 2018.

While it was good news for some, it was bad news for others. Sporting KC announced the releases of Kevin Ellis and Zach Wright. Both players were Homegrown signings but with far different career paths up to this point.

Ellis signed all the way back on February 18, 2011. A whopping seven years ago. He was the second Homegrown player in club history. Over his career with SKC he would make 68 regular season appearances (58 starts) for 5,389 minutes and would add five goals and five assists, primarily playing at center back. The only current players on the team longer than Ellis were Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

Back in January it was reported that both Ellis and Soony Saad were being shopped (Saad has also since been waived). Ellis was even training with FC Dallas at one point. One assumes Sporting couldn’t find a trade partner and were forced to cut their losses since the teams had agreed to let him step away from the team (since the CBA prevents teams from suspending players). It’s being reported he’s now on trial with the Chicago Fire (I tried to look on Twitter but then remembered Ellis blocked me). Our own Ben Gartland lives in Chicago and will promptly be dispatched to Toyota Park to investigate.

Zach Wright is a far different story than Ellis. He had just signed his Homegrown contract (Sporting KC’s seventh ever) on January 17th of this year! After just over a month with the team he was released. Many fans assumed he would spend the season on loan with the Swope Park Rangers. It’s always possible he re-signs with SPR, but that seems unlikely. The eighth Homegrown signing was Matt Lewis and he has already spent time with SPR during the preseason.

Wright spent the first leg of preseason with Sporting KC making three appearances for 135 minutes but wasn’t featured at all during the second leg. There have been two preseason games for Swope since then, a 2-2 draw to the Tulsa Roughnecks and a 1-1 draw with Creighton University in which Wright did not appear in either while Lewis appeared in both.

Wright just finished college at the University of North Carolina and was set to join former teammate Colton Storm for the 2018 season. Now with Wright gone and Storm’s spot on the depth chart in question, it’s possible neither player makes it through the season. Storm sent this ominous tweet just the other day.

Robert Rusert from TBT is going to training tomorrow and will see if the team has any further information on the two releases. The two cuts brings the roster down to 28 players. Community member Chzbro (so insightful but a terrible username) threw out the possibility that all the Reserve and Supplemental roster spots were taken and the Wright move could free one of those up. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, Mike Kuhn does a nice breakdown of that.

Here is the full roster as of today.

Sporting KC Roster 2/27/18

Name Position Status Joined Contract Expiration Option Years
Name Position Status Joined Contract Expiration Option Years
Matt Besler CB 1/15/2009 2018 None
Graham Zusi RB 1/15/2009 2018 None
Seth Sinovic LB 11/28/2011 2018 None
Ike Opara CB 12/12/2012 2019 2020
Jimmy Medranda CM 8/9/2013 2019 2020
Tim Melia GK 12/23/2014 2020 None
Roger Espinoza CM DP 1/6/2015 2018 None
Daniel Salloi LW INT-HG 1/13/2016 2019 2020, 2021
Diego Rubio CF 3/8/2016 2018 2019
Adrian Zendejas GK 12/2/2016 2018 2019, 2020
Gerso Fernandes RW 1/4/2017 2019 2020
Ilie Sanchez CDM 1/13/2017 2018 2019
Colton Storm RB 1/13/2017 2018 2019, 2020
Amer Didic CB 5/31/2017 2018 2019, 2020
Cristian Lobato LB INT 6/29/2017 2018 2019
James Musa CDM INT 8/11/2017 2018 2019, 2020
Gianluca Busio FWD HG 8/25/2017 2020 2021, 2022
Kharlton Belmar FWD 9/15/2017 2018 2019, 2020
Khiry Shelton FWD 12/14/2017 2018 Unknown
Yohan Croizet CAM INT-DP 12/15/2017 2020 2021
Jaylin Lindsey RB HG 1/1/2018 2021 2022
Emiliano Amor CB INT 1/18/2018 2018 Option to Buy
Matt Lewis CB HG 1/22/2018 2018 2019, 2020, 2021
Johnny Russell LW INT 1/31/2018 2020 2021
Felipe Gutierrez CM INT-DP 2/6/2018 2020 2021
Eric Dick GK 2/15/2018 2018 2019, 2020, 2021
Graham Smith CB 2/15/2018 2018 2019, 2020, 2021
Brad Evans RB 2/20/2018 2018 2019