Sporting KC

Two players, midfielder Tyler Pasher, and goalkeeper Adrian Zendejasto, have signed contracts with Sporting Kansas City for the 2017 season, according to a club announcement.

Pasher and Zendejas were the first players to sign Major League Soccer contracts from the Swope Park Rangers, the United Soccer League affiliate of Sporting Kansas City. Pasher, a Canadian,will occupy an international spot on Sporting KC’s roster.

Pasher, 22, joined the Rangers in March after a successful preseason spell and played a leading role during the club’s inaugural USL campaign. He started 26 of 28 USL appearances with five goals and four assists (including playoffs), tallying three of his assists in the postseason as the Rangers were crowned USL Western Conference champions and advanced to the USL Cup Final.

Capable of playing as a left back or left winger, Pasher opened his Rangers scoring account with a brace versus Tulsa Roughnecks FC on May 14 and netted the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over rivals Saint Louis FC on July 2. He added a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win at OKC Energy FC on Sept. 18, a result that guaranteed the Rangers a spot in the USL Cup Playoffs. The Ontario native bagged his final goal of 2016 six days later against Seattle Sounders FC 2.

Pasher was named to Sporting Kansas City’s roster for the 2016-2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League in August and made his club debut on Sept. 13 at Children’s Mercy Park, starting and playing 90 minutes at left back versus Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

After beginning his youth career with Newcastle United in England, Pasher joined Toronto FC’s Academy in 2010. He became a professional in 2013 upon signing for Finnish club PS Kemi, then returned to North America for stints with NPSL outfit Lansing United (2014) and the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2015).

Internationally, Pasher has featured for the Canadian Men’s National Team at the U-17 and U-20 levels. He was also named to Canada’s senior team in March 2015 to train ahead of friendlies against Guatemala and Puerto Rico.

Zendajas, 21, joined the Swope Park Rangers last June. He made his debut in a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy II on Aug. 27 and started five of the team’s final seven regular season matches, amassing a perfect 5-0-0 record with three shutouts, 13 saves and a 0.40 goals against average. Zendejas carried his great form into the postseason, earning two more clean sheets as the Rangers rattled off three straight victories en route to the USL Cup Final.

Zendejas finished the 2016 USL campaign with a 0.86 goals against average, five shutouts and 22 saves (including playoffs). The Rangers went 8-1-0 when he started, with the only loss coming in the USL Cup Final at New York Red Bulls II on Oct. 23.

Born and raised in Chula Vista, Calif., Zendejas previously played for Club Tijuana in Mexico from 2014 to 2015. He featured extensively for Tijuana’s U-20 side, totaling 31 league appearances while helping the Xolos reach the 2015 Apertura final and 2016 Clausura final. The 6-foot-5 goalkeeper made his first-team debut for Tijuana in a friendly against Club Leon on July 3, 2015 – claiming a 1-0 shutout win – before playing three additional preseason matches that summer.

– Story from Sporting KC

Peter Vermes (Photo by William Crum)
Peter Vermes (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

Sporting Kansas City extended the contract for Manager and Technical Director Peter Vermes, it was announced at a news conference held today in Kansas City, Mo.

“I have been extremely fortunate and appreciative for not only being a part of the vision of this ownership group and organizations over the last 10-plus years, but also for the opportunity to continue to be a steward for the club,” Vermes said.

“I have been involved with this project from ground zero,” he said.

“We have a tremendous staff, fan base with fantastic stadium environment and players who are committed and dedicated to our club culture,” Vermes said.

Vermes has consistently proven to be one of the most successful managers in Major League Soccer, with a 103-82-61 record at Sporting KC. The team has received the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2012 and 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups under his leadership.

“I’m really excited for next year and look forward to the future challenges,” Vermes said.

Mike Illig, left, part owner of Sporting Club, manager Peter Vermes, and Sporting Club President Jake Reid. (Photo by William Crum)
Mike Illig, left, part owner of Sporting Club, manager Peter Vermes, and Sporting Club President Jake Reid. (Photo by William Crum)
Mike Illig (Photo by William Crum)
Mike Illig (Photo by William Crum)

Sporting Kansas City announced recently that the club has exercised contract options for the following players ahead of the 2017 MLS season: Saad Abdul-Salaam, Benji Joya, Jimmy Medranda, Lawrence Olum and Seth Sinovic.

In addition, the following players are out of contract with Sporting Kansas City: Nuno Andre Coelho, Kevin Ellis, Alec Kann, Chance Myers, Paulo Nagamura and Jacob Peterson. The club will extend offers to Ellis and Kann and negotiations for those two players are ongoing. Myers, Peterson and Nagamura are eligible for MLS free agency, which begins at the conclusion of the MLS Expansion Draft on Dec. 13.

Sporting Kansas City will not exercise contract options for Ever Alvarado, Emmanuel Appiah, Connor Hallisey, Jon Kempin and Justin Mapp. Kempin is eligible to participate in Major League Soccer’s re-entry draft, with Stage One set for Dec. 16 and Stage Two on Dec. 22. As a free agent, Mapp may enter the re-entry draft or begin free agent negotiations with clubs after the MLS Expansion Draft.

Sporting Kansas City currently has 17 players under contract for next year: the five players whose options were exercised as well as players already under contract for 2017: Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber, Tim Melia, Soni Mustivar, Ike Opara, Erik Palmer-Brown, Cameron Porter, Diego Rubio, Daniel Salloi and Graham Zusi.

The club will spend both phases of the 2016 preseason in Tucson, Ariz., first reporting from Jan. 22 to Feb 6 and then returning for the Desert Diamond Cup from Feb. 15 to 25.

Major League Soccer released its 2016-17 offseason calendar last month. The MLS Expansion Draft will take place at 1 p.m. on Dec. 13 as expansion clubs Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC add up to five players each on their inaugural rosters. The 2017 MLS SuperDraft will be held Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. at the LA Convention Center.

– Story from Sporting KC