Going into the 2018 season, Guatemalan midfielder Rodrigo Saravia was a new addition to Sporting Kansas City’s USL team, the Swope Park Rangers. Despite that, he was named the team captain for the games in which he started.
His career in Kansas City ended abruptly as the team announced he is being transferred to Comunicaciones F.C. in Guatemala. It will be the first time he has actually played in his native countries top league. Previously he has represented Guatemala as a member of their National team.
For the 2018 season Saravia appeared in 11 games for 810 minutes. He was tied for third on the team with two goals (with Colton Storm and Tyler Blackwood). He also had two assists for SPR this season. He looked brilliant at times but in other situations he disappeared or made bad decisions leading to bad turnovers.
This was Saravia’s second stint in the USL after previously making limited appearances for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. He also made 10 appearances in MLS for the Columbus Crew.
Saravia hasn’t played for the Rangers in several games. It’s unclear when the negotiation for this deal began but it’s possible he’s been sitting out with the transfer looming. In the USL it’s somewhat rare to see a player traded let alone transferred internationally during the season. As the league's quality continues to grow this could become a growing trend. Saravia joined the Rangers before the 2018 season on a free transfer.