Sporting signs 25-year-old French midfielder

Sporting Kansas City announced Tuesday that it has signed a 25-year-old French midfielder, Remi Walter, to a three-year contract.

“Remi Walter is an experienced midfielder who will add quality to our team,” said Peter Vermes, Sporting Kansas City manager and Sporting director, said. “We are happy to welcome him to Kansas City and look forward to his quick adaptation within our club.”

Walter has made nearly 200 professional appearances since 2012, spanning seven full seasons in his native France and one season in Turkey.

The left-footed central midfielder, who has represented France at the U-17 through U-21 levels, boasts experience in several prestigious European competitions, including the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Champions League qualifying, French Ligue 1 — where he has scored three goals in 74 matches — and the Turkish Super Lig.

Walter’s contract has an option for 2024 and he will occupy an international slot on Sporting’s roster until he receives an international transfer certificate and P1 visa, according to the club.

A native of Essey-les-Nancy, Walter developed in Nancy’s youth academy before joining the French club’s first team as an 18-year-old in 2013.

He became a regular starter in the early stages of the 2013-2014 season and spent the next two and a half years as an integral midfield contributor for the side, scoring four goals in all competitions as Nancy narrowly missed out on promotion to the top-flight Ligue 1 in 2014 and 2015.

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Sporting adds goalkeeper

Sporting Kansas City selected 26-year-old goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh in Stage 1 of the 2020 MLS re-entry process on Thursday.

McIntosh boasts five years of professional experience across Major League Soccer and the second-division USL Championship. He spent the 2020 MLS campaign with the New York Red Bulls following a four-year stint in the Portland Timbers organization from 2016 to 2019.

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to join Sporting Kansas City,” McIntosh said. “It’s a club with a great history and I will get to work with one of the league’s best goalkeepers in Tim Melia. I can’t wait to get started with the team.”

As a rookie in 2016, McIntosh competed for Timbers 2 of the USL Championship prior to signing his first MLS contract with Portland in January 2017. He played most of the next three years on loan with Timbers 2 and logged 10 shutouts in 60 total USL Championship appearances for the club across four seasons.

In his lone appearance for Portland’s first team, McIntosh secured a 2-0 shutout victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 on June 7, 2018.

On the international stage, McIntosh notably featured for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team at the 2012 Northern Ireland Milk Cup. Earlier, he was part of the U.S. U-14 National Development Program and the U-15 Boys’ National Team prior to his residency with the U-17s in Bradenton, Florida.

At the 2011 Concacaf U-17 Championship, McIntosh recorded two shutouts in three winning appearances — including a 3-0 defeat of Canada in the final.

Born in Oakland and raised in Santa Rosa, California, McIntosh was a member of the San Jose Earthquakes Academy as a youth before embarking on a four-year collegiate career at Santa Clara University.

He made 53 appearances for the Broncos from 2012 to 2015 and was named the 2015 West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year as a senior, leading Santa Clara to the WCC Championship. During his time in college, he also competed in the Premier Development League — now known as USL League Two — for FC Tucson and the Burlingame Dragons.

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Sporting KC makes roster changes

Sporting Kansas City has announced that the club has exercised contract options on five players ahead of the 2021 MLS season: Amadou Dia, Felipe Hernandez, Gadi Kinda, Johnny Russell and Graham Smith.

Sporting has declined contract options for Eric Dick, Wan Kuzain, Winston Reid and Richard Sanchez. Matt Besler is now out of contract with the club, according to the announcement.

Sporting is currently in discussions with Roger Espinoza, Gerso Fernandes, Felipe Gutierrez and Erik Hurtado regarding their futures with the club. These discussions began following the conclusion of Sporting’s 2020 season.

Sporting now has 20 players under contract for the 2021 season: the five players whose contract options were exercised plus the 15 players who were already under contract in 2021.

Sporting KC players under contract in 2021
• Goalkeepers (2): Tim Melia, John Pulskamp
• Defenders (7): Amadou Dia, Andreu Fontas, Jaylin Lindsey, Luis Martins, Roberto Puncec, Graham Smith, Graham Zusi
• Midfielders (5): Gianluca Busio, Cam Duke, Felipe Hernandez, Gadi Kinda, Ilie Sanchez
• Forwards (6): Tyler Freeman, Wilson Harris, Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton

Sporting will be exempt from having any players selected in the 2020 MLS Expansion Draft on Dec. 15, which will see expansion club Austin FC add up to five players to its roster for the 2021 season.

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