Update 12:54 PM CT: The KC Star’s Daniel Sperry can confirm Mejia will be on trial with Sporting KC in the preseason.
Can confirm this report. Mejía will join up with #SportingKC in Arizona as one of their trialists. Full pre-season roster will be released Monday. https://t.co/ky2GcjkmeT— Daniel Sperry (@sperrydaniel94) January 7, 2023
I stand by my gut saying he ends up with SKC II due to international spots, senior roster spots, etc. Or he ends up not in KC. Maybe he’ll blow everyone away.
Ah, silly season. Isn’t it the best?
Honduran journalist Gustavo Roca is reporting that Real Espana forward Yeison Mejia is being linked to a move to MLS and Sporting Kansas City. The rumor, translated by Google, reads:
“Yeison Mejía, who renewed for two years with Real España, will be the new MLS player for Sporting Kansas City. He had the exit clause until January 31 and he took advantage of it. On Sunday he will be traveling to his new home.
Good luck, Honduran”
❌FINALMENTE SE FUE— Gustavo Roca (@GustavoRocaGOL) January 6, 2023
Yeison Mejía, que renovó por dos años con Real España, será nuevo futbolista del Sporting Kansas City de la MLS. Tenía la cláusula de salida hasta el 31 de enero y la aprovechó. El domingo estará viajando a su nuevo hogar.
Suerte, hondureño ✈️ pic.twitter.com/tPA4YNrKK9
According to Transfermarkt he was signed through December of 2024 with the Honduran first division side, but Roca is indicating he has a release in his deal to go abroad. This seems to be contrary to a report from two days ago from Diez which states he re-signed with Espana and makes no mention of such a deal. Diez states offers were received from Motagua and CD Marathon (other Honduran clubs), but Mejia spurned them to stay with Real Espana.
However, Diez, which appears to be quoting Roca, are saying the move to Sporting Kansas City is happening.
Does this Make Sense for Sporting KC?
Let’s assume for a moment that the rumors are correct and there is an out for Mejia to leave. He is a 24-year-old forward who primarily plays along the right wing or left wing but can play centrally as well.
The Sporting KC first team is pretty setup at forward with Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido, Willy Agada, Marinos Tzionis and Khiry Shelton. Additionally, Cam Duke and Ozzie Cisneros have lined up in the attack as well and there is unsigned draft pick Stephen Afrifa waiting to join the center forward corps as well.
Additionally, Sporting KC are currently full on international roster spots. They have eight players in those roles currently, though there could always be a looming green card or two about to change that before the roster compliance date in February.
Thanks to my colleague Mike Kuhn who originally found the rumor and suggested this felt more like an SKC II move. That feels about right as Mejia has just eight goals in the three or so years he’s been a pro, with three of them coming in the last year. He also has six assists.
Between his modest stat line and his international status, unless something is changing, Sporting KC II makes a ton of sense. It’s still “MLS,” sort of. It’s MLS Next Pro, so I could see other countries not realizing the distinction, particularly because the league is only a year old. Sporting KC II also have quite a bit of roster space and have swung bigger and bigger with their international moves since leaving the USL Championship.
However, first team Sporting Director and Head Coach Peter Vermes did say at least one signing is coming.
Vermes on signings: "We do have one more acquisition. I'm not going to talk about what position right now... we probably have some other announcement that'll come down the pipe that are close to being done... We've got a couple more there." #SportingKC— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) January 7, 2023
“We do have one more acquisition,” started Vermes on Friday. “I’m not going to talk about what position right now... we probably have some other announcement that’ll come down the pipe that are close to being done... We’ve got a couple more there.”
The “other announcements” could also be something like this. Or they could be prospects stashed with the II’s. It’s worth noting PV said earlier in the offseason that the team needed to add a third striker, but the SuperDraft pick of Stephen Afrifa seems to be that move (and Mejia is mostly a winger based on the highlights below).
One other factor is the Roger Espinoza connection. The former Honduran international would provide a connection to bringing in more players from Central America.
Checking out the Mejia highlights shows him on both the right and left wings primarily, those those could be more wide midfield roles, depending on Espana’s formation. He also appears to be very right-footed.
On a more positive note, there are quite a few plays that don’t count as assists due to deflections and saves he forced that ended up in rebounded goals, so maybe his stat line is a little unkind.
The Blue Testament will bring you more on this and all things SKC as we get more word.