Sporting Kansas City announced they have signed Nicolas Hasler for the rest of the year. The 27-year-old defender comes from the Chicago Fire where he was recently waived to free up an international slot for Nicolas Gaitan.
The Liechtenstein native is one of his countries top players, having been named the Liechtensteiner Footballer of the Year in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Hasler came to MLS in 2017 when Toronto FC picked him up in the summer. He started 9 of his 10 appearances for Toronto. His three goals and an assist helped the Canadian club to win the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup.
Hasler was a regular starter for Toronto before being traded to Chicago in the middle of 2018 when the Fire were desperate to shore up their defense.
Halser will occupy an international slot on the roster and will wear number 14.
Fortunate timing that Sporting KC also announced that international homegrown forward Daniel Salloi has obtained his green card and no longer occupies an international spot on the club’s roster.
Sporting now has eight international players on its roster: Hasler, Botond Barath, Yohan Croizet, Andreu Fontas, Felipe Gutierrez, Krisztian Nemeth, Johnny Russell and Abdul Rwatubyaye.
Depth was needed to backup Graham Zusi after Jaylin Lindsey had surgery and will miss 4-5 months. Hasler seemingly fell into the lap of manager Peter Vermes. With his release from Chicago, Hasler was available, already knows the league and was a short flight away.
It will remain to be seen how well he fits into Sporting Kansas City’s possession-based style. While he did contribute three goals and assist for Toronto when they were good for a single season, he contributed little for the hapless Chicago Fire while he was there.
Whoscored.com lists no strengths for Hasler, while passing and tackling are in the weakness category but they have been known to be wrong about players as well.
He may be an emergency backup only or Vermes may see potential in him and only time will tell but it is a good, low-risk move that could truly pay off over the rest of the season.