Sporting KC fans may soon be getting a late Christmas present if Felipe Gutierrez has his way.
Ever since joining the club in February, 2018, the 29-year-old midfielder has cemented himself as a fan-favorite and one of the most talented, impactful players on the Sporting Kansas City roster. He’s appeared in all three midfield spots in Peter Vermes’ 4-3-3 system, and though his natural position is more of a box-to-box central midfielder, the Chilean has been unquestionable Sporting KC’s best No. 10 attacking midfielder during his two seasons with Sporting KC.
The Chilean enters 2020 in a contract year, with his current contract set to expire on December 31, 2020 (there is an option year for 2021). Though there have been periodic rumors about how long Felpie would remain with Sporting KC, a recent interview he gave to DirecTV Chile seems to indicate he’d like to remain in Kansas City for the long haul.
Felipe Gutiérrez, jugador de @SportingKC: "Me queda un año de contrato. Quiero quedarme cuatro o cinco años más en el club. He tenido años muy positivos y estoy muy contento" #DFSHAChile pic.twitter.com/O11fSigoR1— DIRECTV Chile (@DIRECTVChile) December 30, 2019
“I have one year left on my contract. I want to stay four or five more years at the club. I have had very positive years and I am very happy,” Felipe told DirecTV (roughly translated using the Twitter translate tool).
Given the importance of Gutierrez to Sporting KC’s on field success—he has 19 goals and five assists in MLS competition over his two seasons to go along with his high defensive work rate—keeping a quality designated player like Felipe would be a major boost for Sporting KC’s rebuilding efforts.
Felipe continued saying that he had a “very positive season” and that he has “felt very at home in the city,” and praised the continued improving quality and showmanship of MLS.
“MLS is growing a lot and is becoming more competitive. Every game is a show, with stadiums full.”
Of course, Felipe did have praise for his former club Universidad Católica, saying “I will thank you forever. I will always wish the best for the club,” even leaving open the potential for a return one day.
“I would love to go back to Católica, but in conditions to be contributing. For now, I have a contract and will continue with Sporting KC.”
Felipe also touched on his international career. Under former Chile National Team manager Jorge Sampaoli, the midfielder made appearances both in the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Copa América. However, Gutierrez has struggled to earn caps under new coach Reinaldo Rueda.
“Reinaldo Rueda is in a replacement process, and maybe I am not a player he expects for his system.”
Though Felipe is unsure of his national team future, he still holds out hope for a future call-up, saying “Every player wants to represent his team. I will continue fighting for that option.”
Even if he never earns another cap for Chile, Felipe will always have a place in the hearts of Sporting KC fans. If the club is able to extend his contract for an additional four or five years and he continues to play at the high level he has over the past two seasons, he has a chance to go down as one of the all-time Sporting KC greats, and we may one day be honoring “Sporting Legend” Felipe Gutierrez.