Former Sporting Kansas City Designated Player, Gerso Fernandes wrote his good-bye to Kansas City and Sporting fans on his Instagram yesterday. Fernandes joined Sporting as a Designated Player ahead of the 2017 season from Portuguese club CF Os Belenenses.
The Guinea-Bissau native had spent the last four years on KC’s roster appearing in 107 league games, starting 73. He scored 18 goals and added 16 assists. His best season came in 2017 when he scored eight goals and added two assists while playing in 32 of 34 games. He was also a stand out performer in Sporting’s 2019 CONCACAF Champions’ League run where he played in all six of KC’s games, scoring four goals and adding three assists.
Fernandes was out of contract at the end of the 2020 season and according to Peter Vermes, the club made Fernandes an offer to keep him in Kansas City, but with his good-bye to the club and city it appears that Fernandes is moving on. A “bona-fide” offer from Kansas City would have entailed a $15,000 or 10% raise in his salary from where it was. According to the MLS Players Association’s salary numbers for 2019, Fernandes was making just over $550,000. So a bona-fide offer would be a raise to somewhere between $565,000 and $605,000 for Fernandes if that initial salary is accurate, or close to accurate.
With Fernandes having turned down the offer, there are reports that he is headed to Asia to join South Korean side, Jeju United, who just won promotion to the K-League, the top division in the country.
His departure certainly brings questions about Kansas City’s depth on the wings with Khiry Shelton and Johnny Russell looking set to be the starters in 2021 similar to how they were at the start of the 2020 season. Behind those two though are where the questions begin with Daniel Salloi, who’s been out of form for two years now it seems and Gianluca Busio seeming to be the top two candidates depth wise. Beyond those two there’s a lot of unproven youth on the wings for KC with the likes of Grayson Barber, Ozzie Cisneros, and Tyler Freeman.
Good luck to Fernandes where ever he ends up.
Update 1:31 PM CST: It’s been confirmed by Shaun Goodwin of the KC Star that Gerso did sign with Jeju United in the K-League.
I’ve just confirmed with Gerso that he has signed a 2-year deal with South Korean team Jeju United. #SportingKC— Shaun Goodwin (@ShaunGoodwinKC) February 15, 2021
Update 6:43 PM CST: And the move is official.