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Roster Compliance Day

It’s roster compliance Day in MLS, here’s a look at KC’s roster now with that deadline here.

MLS: Sporting KC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s March 1st, Sporting Kansas City kick off the season in just three days, and with the start of the season comes the need for Sporting to comply with MLS roster rules for the 2018 season. While MLS has not posted this year’s roster rules there don’t appear to be any big changes from last year’s rules. Near the beginning of February, I took at look at Kansas City’s roster at that time, with the compliance deadline here, here’s another look at Sporting’s roster.

MLS rosters can have up to 30 players on them at one time (technically 31 if the 31st player is loaned all season to a USL affiliate) with spots 29 and 30 being reserved specifically for homegrown players. As of this time, with the waiving Wednesday of Kevin Ellis and Zach Wright and today’s waiving of James Musa Sporting currently sit with 27 players under contract.

That list of 27 players includes four homegrown players, Gianluca Busio, Matt Lewis, Jaylin Lindsey, and Daniel Salloi. With four on the roster, KC could technically fill spots 29 and 30 with two of those players and add up to three players to the current roster.

In terms of internationals, earlier this preseason, Kansas City traded one of their international slots to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for $100,000 in GAM putting them down to seven slots they could fill. Before today, Kansas City had those seven slots filled with Emiliano Amor, Yohan Croizet, Felipe Gutierrez, Cristian Lobato, James Musa, Johnny Russell, and Salloi. The waiving of Musa though opens up an international slot for Kansas City, leaving the club with the flexibility to add the striker that the club has talked about adding all offseason.

There was really only one rule that KC was not in compliance with from my post on February 2nd that Sporting needed to fix, and that was their designated player numbers for 2018. At the time KC had four designated players, Croizet, Roger Espinoza, Gerso Fernandes, and Graham Zusi. Since that time, KC added a fifth DP, Gutierrez, to the mix. So KC needed to buy down two of their existing DPs using TAM and GAM. According to Sam McDowell and now the KC roster on their website as well, we know those three DPs to be Croizet, Espinoza, and Gutierrez with the club paying down Fernandes and Zusi below the DP cap hit.

As with the last time I looked at the roster, the break down for the senior roster vs the reserve roster is going to be a key thing to look at. The departure of Musa though again clears things up as he was still on of the big question marks on whether he’d be on the senior roster or the supplemental and reserve roster. As of right now, KC has 17 players on the senior roster: Amor, Matt Besler, Croizet, Espinoza, Brad Evans, Fernandes, Gutierrez, Lobato, Jimmy Medranda, Tim Melia, Ike Opara, Diego Rubio, Russell, Ilie Sanchez, Khiry Shelton, Seth Sinovic and Graham Zusi. Evans and Gutierrez are two additions to this list from the last time I looked at this, while the trade of Andrew Dykstra saw him removed from the list.

The supplemental and reserve roster also looks to be set at this point with four homegrown players, Busio, Lewis, Lindsey, and Salloi counting among those 10 roster spots. The other six sports are filled by Kharlton Belmar, Amer Didic, Colton Storm, Adrian Zendejas and newer signings Eric Dick and Graham Smith.

What this means is that KC still has between one and three senior roster spots open to use if they so choose to. Spots two and three are not required to be filled and the team can choose to spread the salary of potential players two and three among the rest of the 18 players on the senior roster. What is also means is that KC is likely still looking for that starting striker that can come in and be the #9 that fans have been hoping for all offseason. It’d mean that Kansas City wouldn’t have to make a corresponding move to put a guy on the supplemental roster, or waive him to make room if and when they do sign that forward.

Here’s the full roster as it stands now.

Sporting KC Roster

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
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