The first international signing of the offseason (Uri has a green card) has come through for Sporting Kansas City, and it’s one that was previously rumored here on The Blue Testament. 21-year-old Logan Ndembe, a left back out of Belgium, will join Sporting KC from Ligue 2 team Guingamp (French second division).
The deal is a three year contract through the 2024 season with a team held option for 2025. It will also require an international roster spot. There was no indication if he will occupy a U-22 Initiative slot (Update 10:31am: The KC Star says the team won’t finalize that designation until the roster compliance deadline on February 25th — more on the U-22 initiative here).
Ndembe joins SKC having played professionally for Guingamp and KV Oostende, the latter of which were in his native Belgium. Before that he was with the Royal Excel Mouscron Academy. He has also represented his nation of Belgium from the U-17 ranks up through U-21. They are one of the more dominant countries, internationally speaking, when it comes to football.
He has been the starting left back at Guingamp for the first half of the 2021-22 season. He recently was held out of practice last week in preparation for this move. Before that he had played every minute this season, a skill Peter Vermes no doubt values in his players.
We have a lot more on Ndembe in our previous story on him. I recommend checking that out. Needless to say, an injection of youth was needed and this is hopefully the first of many many moves.
Where Does he Fit with Sporting KC?
Logan marks the second left back on the roster, joining the other new addition, former USMNT representative, Ben Sweat. While Sweat may typically be thought to have a leg up in the race to start at LB with his MLS experience, he told the media yesterday in a press availability that the team plans to ease him back onto the field as he’s coming off a serious knee surgery.
Ben Sweat said he believes the plan is to ease him in slowly as he comes off a serious injury that stole almost the entirety of his 2021 season with Austin FC. #SportingKC— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) January 13, 2022
That will give an opening for Ndembe to be the day one starter if he gets off to a good start in preseason.
With Logan Ndembe being an international player, that brings Sporting KC’s total to seven of eight international slots being filled. However, Vermes indicated yesterday that several players are “in the queue” and that they are “very far along” towards obtaining green cards, which could open the team up for more international signings.
Sporting KC leave for preseason in Arizona on Monday, January 17th. Their full schedule has yet to be unveiled but one game has been officially announced and two more leaked out against the United States (January 21st) and the USL Championship’s El Paso Locomotive (February 9th). Expect a full schedule very soon.
The MLS season begins on February 27th. The Blue Testament will bring you more on Ndembe, and those other upcoming signings, in the days and weeks ahead.