Sporting Kansas City announced today that they have signed free agent Ben Sweat to a two-year contract through 2023 with an option for 2024.
“I’m very excited to be joining Sporting KC,” Sweat said via press release. “This is a winning club and organization that is a top team in the League every year. I want to come to Kansas City, work my hardest for the fans and put some silver on my shelves.”
Sweat is a left back, a spot Sporting KC was sorely needing with no natural left backs on the roster after the post-season roster moves.
Originally drafted by the Columbus Crew in 2014, Sweat has started 89 of 102 MLS matches but has 150 professional matches when including USL and NASL games. While under contract to the Crew, Sweat was loaned out for the majority of his time and waived at the end of his contract. He then signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the NASL where he caught the eye of New York City FC.
The Florida native then trialed with NYCFC and was signed, making most of his MLS appearances before being selected by Inter Miami in the expansion draft. Austin traded for Sweat before their inaugural season, but Sweat’s time was limited with an ACL injury.
Sweat, 30, has one goal and eleven assists, with his most productive year in 2017 where he had the goal and six of the assists while helping NYCFC to second place in the Eastern Conference before falling in the second round of the playoffs.
At 176 lbs and standing 6’ 2”, Sweat brings some size to the outside back spot that Sporting KC has not had in previous years.
Good depth or a possible starter?
Sweat has been highly regarded at times, even being called up and earning a pair of caps with the U.S. National Team. SKC Manager Peter Vermes will always say players can earn their way into a starting spot but the question will be does he see Sweat as the answer at left back or is he penciled in as depth with veteran experience? Another left back is still needed regardless but will they sign a young player from the Academy, an international veteran or maybe even a U-22 initiative player that can make a huge impact. Time will tell but at the very least, SKC now has a left back.
He does seem ready to make his comeback and fight for minutes. He even made a vidoe to tell SKC fans.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs free agent defender Ben Sweat to a two-year contract through 2023 with an option for 2024.
Born: 9/4/1991 (30 years old)
Weight: 176 lbs.
Hometown: Palm Harbor, Florida
Birthplace: Palm Harbor, Florida
Previous Club: Austin FC