Sporting Kansas City announced on Friday they have brought back 2015 SuperDraft pick Amadou Dia (26). Left Back Dia has spent the last three season with Phoenix Rising FC in the USL Championship. He helped them to the USL Cup Final in 2018 and to the best record in the league in 2019. He also was their back-to-back Defender of the Year.
The deal is guaranteed for 2020 with options for 2021 and 2022.
Dia was previously with Sporting Kansas City for 2015 and 2016 after being the 20th pick in the 2015 MLS Super Draft (behind Connor Hallisey and Saad Abdul-Salaam who are also first round picks that year). He was traded to the Montreal Impact for Cameron Porter in 2016. In his time with KC he made 32 appearances and 22 starts for 2,134 minutes.
Dia and Peter Vermes weighed in on his return:
“Not many people are blessed with the opportunity to get a second chance at one of the top clubs in the country like I am getting,” Dia said. “We have some unfinished business to take care of and I’m excited to get going again.”
“We are excited to welcome Amadou back to the club as we begin preparations for the 2020 season,” Peter Vermes said.
In his seasons in the USL Championship with Phoenix he made 92 appearances in all competitions for 8,015 minutes (per Transfermarkt). He also added four goals and nine assists.
Dia is also a former youth international having represented the United States at the U-14, U-18 and U-20 levels. Fun fact: in High School he played alongside current Sporting KC center back, and SuperDraft pick, Graham Smith.
Where Does Dia Fit with SKC?
Amadou Dia will be the 26th player on the Sporting KC roster. He will not take up an international spot despite being a dual US/France international. That will leave four open roster spots, including two international slots, for SKC. While many fans and pundits would probably like more signings, this may be it for the time being as all the must have spots are filled.
He should slot in as the backup left back behind Luis Martins, which is a hole that needed filling. I won’t be surprised if Martins struggles and that opens the door for Dia to get a chance to steal the starting job. He was a part of some very stout defenses in 2015 and 2016.
As far as a number though, he’ll have to pick a new one as Gianluca Busio wears the #13 that Dia favored his last time here as well as during his time in Arizona.