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Sporting KC’s Contract Options as of the End of 2021

A look at who is under contract currently and for how long, including who could be gone after the 2022 season.

MLS: Playoffs- Round One-Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

With 2021 coming to a close, it felt like a good time to analyze Sporting Kansas City’s roster situation after looking at the depth chart yesterday. There are just 22 players currently under contract, so this will need an update before the 2022 season starts as the signings keep coming, but it’s good to know where things stand right now. Let’s break down who’s contract ends soon, plus some ‘fun facts.’

Out of Contract After 2022 (with no Option Year/s)

Tim Melia, Daniel Salloi, Andreu Fontas, Felipe Hernandez

Dang! What a key set of players. That means, if new deals aren’t reached with these guys in the next six months, they can sign a pre-contract and walk away for free. That’s far less likely to happen with players like Fontas and Melia, but a real possibility for Salloi and Hernandez. Priority one is getting Daniel back, but that’ll likely require a significant raise for him, assuming he can continue his goal scoring ways. I could see most of these guys coming back, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Daniel wants to test the European waters.

Contract Options for Just 2023

Tyler Freeman, Cam Duke, Khiry Shelton, John Pulskamp, Kendall McIntosh, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Jose Mauri

The list of guys who the team could walk from after this upcoming season (but hold options on) is significant. After seeing how vicious the cuts were after this season when the team could have kept guys around (Ilie, Martins and so on), it’s a stark reminder you are playing for your job. A down year and that could be it for these guys. Even the youth aren’t safe as guys like Wilson Harris and Brooks Thompson never got much of a chance but are still gone.

Contract Options for 2023 & 2024

Grayson Barber, Kaveh Rad

Add a couple Homegrowns to the above list who could be dropped after 2022 if they don’t keep improving, though it’s worth remembering they are on inexpensive deals.

Out of Contract After 2023 (with no Options)

Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda

Two of Sporting KC’s DPs have two years left. They’ve both been solid, but it’s time to start being amazing or to start looking for new DPs. But this is the reminder they have two guaranteed years left, barring a trade or transfer.

Look below at the full roster to see any further breakdowns for when players deals will be up.

Fun Facts

I’m always fascinated to see how much roster turnover really happens in MLS. If Graham Zusi and Roger Espinoza were to not return (offers are outstanding to them), Tim Melia becomes the most tenured guy on the roster. However, next up is Daniel Salloi who has been on the team for nearly six years now. Then there is a two year gap between him and Johnny Russell.

But who had the 5-7 guys being Homegrowns Tyler Freeman, Cam Duke and Felipe Hernandez? Freeman has still yet to play any MLS minutes but he’s the fifth most tenured guy on the roster.

Other Facts:

  • 6 of 8 International Slots are Filled: Andreu Fontas, Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda, Remi Walter, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Jose Mauri (green cards must be in before the start of the season to come off this list)
  • The team has 10 Homegrowns: Daniel Salloi, Tyler Freeman, Cam Duke, Felipe Hernandez, Grayson Barber, Ozzie Cisneros, John Pulskamp, Kaveh Rad, Kayden Pierre and Jake Davis. That’s down from 12 last year as Harris and Thompson had their options declined.
  • All 3 Designated Player Slots are filled: Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda and Johnny Russell (though there is some wiggle room here)

The Full Roster

Sporting KC Contracts as of the End of 2021

Player Position Status Joined Contract Expiration Option Years
Player Position Status Joined Contract Expiration Option Years
Tim Melia GK 12/23/2014 2022 None
Daniel Salloi LW HG 1/13/2016 2022 None
Johnny Russell RW DP 1/31/2018 2023 2024
Andreu Fontas CB INT 8/8/2018 2022 None
Tyler Freeman FWD HG 1/1/2019 2022 2023
Cameron Duke MID HG 7/18/2019 2022 2023
Felipe Hernandez MID HG 8/30/2019 2022 None
Khiry Shelton FWD 12/9/2019 2022 2023
Alan Pulido CF INT-DP 12/10/2019 2023 None
Grayson Barber FWD HG 1/20/2020 2022 2023, 2024
Ozzie Cisneros MID HG 1/20/2020 2024 2025
Gadi Kinda MID INT-DP 1/23/2020 2023 None
John Pulskamp GK HG 2/24/2020 2022 2023
Kendall McIntosh GK 12/12/2020 2022 2023
Remi Walter MID INT 12/22/2020 2023 2024
Nicolas Isimat-Mirin CB INT 2/3/2021 2022 2023
Kaveh Rad CB HG 4/5/2021 2022 2023, 2024
Kayden Pierre RB HG 5/4/2021 2024 2025
Jose Mauri MID INT 8/5/2021 2022 2023
Jake Davis MID HG 8/19/2021 2023 2024
Ben Sweat LB 12/20/2021 2023 2024
Uri Rosell MID 12/21/21 2023 2024