Updated 2/16/21: It’s official.
The hits just keep coming. Today, Jeff Rueter of The Athletic is reporting that former Sporting Kansas City backup center forward Erik Hurtado will leave the club to join
the Montreal Impact CF Montreal.
Erik Hurtado has signed with #CFMTL, sources tell The Athletic. The forward joins after spending the last two seasons with Sporting KC.— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) February 15, 2021
Hurtado should give Montreal some more flexibility in attack, joining Norway int’l Bjørn Johnson and Mason Toye on the striker depth chart.
The move shouldn’t come as a surprise as Sporting KC Head Coach and Sporting Director, Peter Vermes, seemed pretty clear that he was no longer part of the team. Speaking of Hurtado, Vermes said, “I don’t know if he’s signed with someone, I have no idea.” The team had previously offered him a new contract after his expired following the 2020 season, but the striker and new father decided not to accept it.
It’s possible Hurtado wanted to go somewhere that he could fight for more minutes with Pulido as the entrenched starter in KC. In two seasons with Sporting KC, Hurtado made just 11 starts, including only three in 2020. He did end his time with 28 appearances, 1,191 minutes, seven goals and no assists. He mostly acted as a super-sub and bagged an impressive five goals in just 376 regular season minutes in 2020.
Hurtado came to Kansas City in a trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps ahead of the 2019 season. The club gave up a 2019 first round pick and a 2020 second round pick to make the deal. This move will see him return to Canada, where he spent the first six years of his MLS career, albeit on the other side of the country.
Erik Hurtado just turned 30 in November and was probably also looking to cash in on a new contract after an impressive goals to minutes ratio last season. He will join Norwegian striker Bjørn Johnson and United States international Mason Toye in fighting for minutes from head coach Thierry Henry. Club de Foot Montreal (yeah, that’s what it stands for) will be looking to make big strides in 2021 off the heels of a poorly received rebrand and logo change. On the field is what counts the most, after all.
What is Means for Sporting KC
As mentioned above, this was a forgone conclusion. Hurtado joins Matt Besler, Gerso Fernandes, Felipe Gutierrez, Winston Reid and several others as now former members of SKC.
The striker depth chart is strong at the top for Kansas City with Alan Pulido set to reprise his role. Behind him is a little more unclear. Khiry Shelton took the majority of the backup center forward minutes, but he could be looked at to start on the wing again in 2021. That leaves just relatively newly signed SKC Homegrown Wilson Harris to fill the role. Harris just turned 21 in the fall and has been lighting the USL Championship on fire with his goal scoring ability. This would appear to open the door to lots more minutes for him in 2021 with the first team. He was just signed in the fall.
Updated at 10:01 PM CST: Hurtado gives his goodbye as well.