Nashville acquires Sporting goalkeeper Zendejas, selects midfielder Medranda in expansion draft

Sporting acquires $175,000 in allocation money and international roster spot in trade with Nashville

Sporting Kansas City announced that the club has acquired $125,000 in 2020 targeted allocation money, $50,000 in 2020 general allocation money and an international roster spot for the 2020 season from MLS expansion club Nashville SC in exchange for goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.

Additionally, Nashville SC selected Sporting Kansas City midfielder Jimmy Medranda with the 10th and final pick of the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday afternoon.

“We’d like to thank Adrian and Jimmy for all of their contributions to the club over the past several years,” Sporting KC manager and Sporting director Peter Vermes said. “We wish them all the best in their future careers.”

Zendejas made five appearances for Sporting across all competitions from 2017-2019. The 24-year-old also played 54 USL Championship matches in four seasons with Sporting Kansas City II.

Medranda, 25, recorded five goals and eight assists in 108 competitive appearances for Sporting from 2013-2019. The Colombian’s tenure with the club was highlighted by a 2013 MLS Cup title and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in 2015 and 2017. Medranda becomes the 11th Sporting player to be taken in an MLS Expansion Draft.

Sporting will announce further roster moves by Thursday, including exercised and declined contract options for players heading into the 2020 MLS season.

On Friday, MLS Communications will release the list of players eligible for free agency and the end-of-year waivers process. MLS free agency will begin Monday, while the end-of-year waivers process will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday.

Following the end-of-year waivers process, the MLS re-entry process will take place in two phases: re-entry draft stage 1 on Nov. 26 and re-entry draft stage 2 on Dec. 3.

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Sporting drops last match of the season, 6-0

Sporting Kansas City (10-16-8, 38 points) suffered a 6-0 defeat at the hands of playoff-bound FC Dallas (13-12-9, 48 points) at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Sunday afternoon to close the 2019 MLS season.

Dallas scored twice early before adding another four goals in the second half to extend Sporting’s winless streak to six games as the regular season concludes.

Sporting, which was without regulars Roger Espinoza and Ilie Sanchez due to suspension after receiving red cards last Sunday against Portland, created a new piece of club history as the side trotted out four Homegrown players to start a competitive game for the first time ever.

Sporting KC Academy products Jaylin Lindsey, Gianluca Busio, Felipe Hernandez and Daniel Salloi each found themselves in the Starting XI – with Lindsey making his first MLS start of the season following a torn meniscus in March, and Hernandez earning his first-ever start for the club.

In addition, goalkeeper Eric Dick made his debut between the pipes after representing the Swope Park Rangers extensively in 2018 and 2019, making 23 appearances in the USL Championship after being selected 13th overall in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft out of Butler University.

Following an even opening, Dallas took the lead with relative simplicity. Bryan Acosta lofted a ball from deep within his own half over the top of the Sporting backline, and forward Zdenek Ondrasek raced onto it before slotting beyond Dick for his sixth goal of the campaign to make the score 1-0 in the ninth minute.

Three minutes later, it was two for the home side. Santiago Mosquera found himself in acres of space inside the Sporting area following a recycled corner, and his low cross picked out center back Matt Hedges to tap home from close range and double the lead.

Busio almost dragged Sporting back into the game when he cut his way inside of Reto Ziegler in the Dallas area, but his low effort was deflected narrowly wide of the post in the 23rd minute. Moments before halftime, Jesus Ferreira had the opportunity to make it three with an open chance in front of goal after being found by Reggie Cannon, but the 18-year-old skied his attempt over the bar.

As the clock ticked into first-half stoppage time, Busio’s excellent challenge high up the field won Sporting possession just outside the Dallas area, but Krisztian Nemeth’s effort took a wicked deflection and spun wide of the post.

Four minutes into the second half, Luis Martins kept Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez honest with a swerving effort from distance, but Gonzalez did well to get his chest in front of the ball and redirect it out for a corner kick.

Instead, the hosts went right up the other end and made it 3-0. Dallas winger Mosquera dribbled at the Sporting backline and tried his luck from 20 yards, and his speculative shot took a heavy deflection off Botond Barath which wrong-footed Eric Dick as the ball bounced into the net.

Dallas continued piling on the pressure and made it four in the 54th minute. Following a Sporting giveaway, Ferreira picked out Barrios on the right side of the area and the Colombian lashed a low effort into the bottom corner beyond Dick to make the score 4-0.

Dick made his first save as a Sporting KC player in the 63rd minute, and it was an impressive one too. Following a poor giveaway by Sporting, Ferreira dribbled through one-on-one with Dick, but the Sporting gloveman spread himself well to deny the Dallas man his second of the game.

Moments later, Sporting almost pulled a goal back as the high-pressure saw substitute Gerso Fernandes win a ball deep in Dallas territory, but while his low effort beat Gonzalez, Hedges was back on the line to deflect the ball away.

Dallas made it five in the 68th minute as Reggie Cannon’s cutback from the right wing was converted from close range by Ondrasek for his second goal of the game.

Sporting’s leading scorer Felipe Gutierrez almost scored a consolation moments later, winning a ball on the edge of the Dallas area and firing a thunderous attempt on goal that was beaten away by Gonzalez.

Dallas Academy product Ferreira finally got his goal to make it 6-0 in the 73rd minute, picking up a loose ball on the edge of the Sporting area and striking a rasping effort into the side-netting.

Dick prevented the score from getting worse late in the day as he showed sharp instincts to deny Ferreira from distance before tipping away Brandon Servania’s effort from 20 yards out.

Sporting Kansas City concludes the 2019 campaign with a 13-20-8 record in all competitions, posting a 10-16-8 mark in the MLS regular season while going 3-3-0 in the Concacaf Champions League early in the year and 0-1-0 during a short-lived Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup bid in June.

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Sporting KC draws Portland 2-2 in home finale

Forward Daniel Salloi scored his first goal of the season on a shot in the 46th minute of Sporting Kansas City’s match against the Portland Timbers. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

Sporting Kansas City capped an unsatisfying home schedule with an unsatisfying result, playing Portland to a 2-2 draw Sunday evening at Children’s Mercy Park.

Against the lofty expectations of previous years when Kansas City has enjoyed a daunting home field advantage, in 2019 they posted only seven home wins, against six losses and four draws.

On Sunday night, the visitors scored first, in the 29th minute. Portland forward Sebastian Blanco curled the ball past goalkeeper Tim Melia off a rebounding block from Ilie Sanchez, who started the match at center back instead of his usual midfield post.

Krisztian Nemeth leveled the score almost immediately, heading in a cross from Johnny Russell for his eighth MLS goal of the year, but only the first since May 18th against Vancouver.

In the 36th minute, each squad was reduced by one when KC midfielder Roger Espinoza and Portland forward Brian Fernandez were both sent off after a combative exchange.

Immediately after the half, Daniel Salloi created one of the bright spots of the game. Salloi posted his first goal of the season, and gave his team a 2-1 lead, by cleaning up the rebound of a Gianluca Busio shot off the goalpost. Salloi was Sporting’s leading scorer a year ago, but has been frustrated by poor shooting and poor luck through the season.

In the 84th minute, Ilie brought down Portland forward Jeremy Ebobisse in the penalty area. The foul earned Ilie a red card, and earned Portland a penalty kick, which was knocked in by Dairon Asprilla. Melia had saved all three previous penalties he faced this year, but dove to his right as Asprilla’s shot sailed the other direction.

Down a man, Kansas City held on defensively through the end of the match, but was unable to mount an effective attack after Ilie’s ejection.

Sporting Kansas City has one more match in the 2019 season, next Sunday at 3 p.m. at FC Dallas.

Participants in the Sporting Stripes program played on the field during halftime. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Forward Erik Hurtado collected a pass near the Portland goal. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Defender Botond Barath headed the ball off a corner kick. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Krisztian Nemeth headed the ball on goal. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Gianluca Busio brought a lot of joy by tossing his boots into the stands after the match. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Forward Krisztian Nemeth celebrated after scoring his goal in the first half. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Forward Johnny Russell settled a pass before driving the ball in from the right. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Johnny Russell autographed a ball for Victory Project honoree Reece Baker. The Victory Project is a collaboration of Sporting KC and Children’s Mercy Hospital that supports children with multiple cancer diagnoses. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Defender Graham Zusi crossed the ball from the right side. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Girl Scout Day at Children’s Mercy Park had some lucky scouts in the Sporting KC bench before the game. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)


Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark plucked the ball away from an attacking run by Krisztian Nemeth. (Photo copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)