Sporting Kansas City announced on Wednesday the signing of the team’s fourth central defender, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin who was recently released from his contract with Turkish club Besiktas to join SKC on a free transfer. He had previously been under contract through the summer of 2022 before mutually agreeing to part ways to pave the way for the move to Kansas City.
The contract is a guaranteed two-year deal through 2022 with a team held option for 2023.
Isimat-Mirin joins with quite the pedigree in Europe. The 29-year-old has over 250 professional appearances, including 93 appearances in the Dutch Eredivisie as well as another 93 with clubs in France’s top flight, Ligue 1. He won three league titles with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
This is a story we’ve been following for a bit over a week. We reported the rumor initially on January 25th and more details emerged a few days later. I recommend looking back at those stories for highlights, statistics and other details on the newest member of Sporting KC’s back line.
Where Does Isimat-Mirin Fit with Sporting KC?
First, Nicolas will occupy an international roster spot. He joins Andreu Fontas, Gadi Kinda, Luis Martins, Alan Pulido and Roberto Puncec in taking up that type of spot. That leaves two other spots open to add additional international players.
It appears that Isimat-Mirin won’t occupy a Targeted Allocation Money spot (though this has become more convoluted with the new CBA so it’s not 100 percent clear) or a Designated Player spot. That would seem to imply his salary will be under the $612,500 max budget charge that appears likely to be in effect again in 2021 as it was in 2020.
This addition will be the fourth center back on the roster. Isimat-Mirin joins Fontas, Puncec and Graham Smith. Based on his profile and highlights, Isimat-Mirin doesn’t appear to be the “ball playing” CB that Peter Vermes values (think Fontas or Matt Besler). Instead, he appears to fit that more athletic profile. It’ll be interesting to see if PV would start him alongside Puncec, Fontas or maybe if he’s viewed as depth to push the “starters.” This position group seems wide open heading into 2021.
It seems likely Sporting will look to add a fifth CB before the season starts. It’ll be interesting to see if they look for another potential “starter” or if they add a depth piece, like Homegrown Kaveh Rad who currently plays for SKC II.