A few hours ago, former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber sent out an innocuous tweet. Just an emoji of a plane taking off.
— Benny Feilhaber (@b_feilhaber22) January 10, 2019
His good friend (best friend?) Ike Opara, had to follow it up and ask “where is the plan landing?”
The question is: where is that plane landing? https://t.co/uQz6zOcI8H— Ike Opara (@ikeopara) January 11, 2019
Then Benny responded, “And the other question is: are you on the plane with me?”
And the other question is: are you on the plane with me? https://t.co/Raas8qG8aJ— Benny Feilhaber (@b_feilhaber22) January 11, 2019
The thread and other tweets around that time immediately started irrational speculation that Benny was coming back to Kansas City or Opara was headed to Los Angeles Football Club. All unsubstantiated. A few fans got their hopes up further when Benny tweeted two more emojis. A packed bag and a scarf.
— Benny Feilhaber (@b_feilhaber22) January 11, 2019
But the return to the (sometimes) cold climate of Kansas City wasn’t what was on the radar. Instead, it was a trip to another Western Conference foe, the Colorado Rapids. Sam Stejskal then reported that Feilhaber, who was kind of a free agent (more on that in a moment), had agreed to join the Rapids on a one year deal with a club option for 2020.
His salary will reportedly be for just under the league max budget charge of $530,000. In 2018 he made $625,000 while playing for LAFC. He played in all 34 games for Bob Bradley’s club who had just sent $400,000 in allocation money to SKC a year ago to acquire Benny. The reason for the pay cut is likely because, stunningly, league rules require it. Based on some excellent reporting from The Athletic, the only team that could pay Feilhaber more was LAFC and it would seem they weren’t interested in doing so and obviously were under no obligation to do so either.
Feilhaber will join a pair of former Sporting KC players in Colorado as Kei Kamara was traded there in an Expansion Draft day deal (via FC Cincinnati who had just picked him from the Vancouver Whitecaps) and Diego Rubio who was stunningly traded there in a three team trade with the New England Revolution that involved Kelyn Rowe and Edgar Castillo and a bucket of allocation money.
Sporting KC head to Colorado for a cold Roaddron on March 17th and the Rapids return to Children’s Mercy Park late in the season on September 21st (remember the season ends Oct 6th now). The Rapids should be a much improved team with the additions of Feilhaber, Rubio, Kamara, Kellyn Acosta (late last year), Keegan Rosenberry and Nicolas Mezquida.