July 1st is a weird day in Major League Soccer. The date isn’t officially anywhere in the MLS Roster Rules and Regulations but it’s the Contract Guarantee Date. Here is the official wording from the league:
“Clubs may waive players based on performance at any time during the MLS season. A club may waive a Semi-Guaranteed Player at any time during the regular season until 48 hours prior to the Contract Guarantee Date. A club may waive a Guaranteed or Semi-Guaranteed Player after the Contract Guarantee Date only with League approval. Clubs may not waive a player between the Roster Freeze Date and MLS Cup.
Semi-Guaranteed Players waived on or after the Contract Guarantee Date of any League Year and Guaranteed Players waived anytime, and who clear waivers (i.e., not picked up by another club), will continue to have their Salary Budget Charge count against the Club Salary Budget. The club waiving the player will not receive a replacement player.”
For seven straight seasons Sporting Kansas City have waived a player just before July 1st. In 2018 that player was Homegrown Matt Lewis. Lewis ended up immediately re-signing with the Swope Park Rangers before being released from the second team at the end of the season.
Players before Lewis weren’t even that lucky (not that getting demoted and just cut later is that lucky). In 2017, Igor Juliao was the player let go. In 2016, Jordi Quintilla (pictured above) was let go to the surprise of many (this writer included). And the list goes on and on:
- 2015: James Ansu Rogers
- 2014: Alex Martinez
- 2013: Yann Songo’o
- 2012: Luke Sassano
So Why No One This Year?
The Blue Testament reached out for the team to comment and they confirmed that no one was released as of yesterday. So why not? Your guess is as good as ours. I would suspect that the injuries are a big part of it. Last weekend’s game against Real Salt Lake was the first time Sporting KC fielded a full 18 in about two months. It’s hard to release semi-guaranteed players if there is no one that can step in to fill that roll.
Most of those players listed above weren’t getting too many minutes (if any minutes at all). Currently SKC have three open roster spots so they don’t need to make a cut and that could have also factored into the decision to keep everyone.
The roster turnover may not have started yet but it’s definitely going to kick into full gear after the season. More so if they don’t start winning some games and quick. There are already fans calling to blow up the roster and start the rebuild. For now, that shouldn’t get started until after the season ends, though the secondary transfer window could create some opportunities in that area as it opens in a week.
The Blue Testament will have more coverage on the transfer window as it approaches and throughout the month it’s open.