Sporting Kansas City took the final step toward retaining the core of its club Monday, when it locked up midfielders Soni Mustivar and Paulo Nagamura to new contracts.
The terms of the two deals were not disclosed. Both players' previous contracts expired at the conclusion of the 2015 season, and Nagamura was subsequently a qualifier for the first free-agency class in MLS history.
Instead, after re-signing the two midfielders, Sporting KC is set to return all 13 players who appeared in at least 17 games last season. It previously added attacking options Justin Mapp and Brad Davis during the offseason.
Mustivar, a defensive midfielder and Haiti national-team player, made 25 league appearances last year, his first MLS season. His insertion into the starting lineup revitalized a Sporting KC defense, and the club was 15-6-6 across all competitions in his starts. He led MLS with six interceptions per 90 minutes played, operating in front of the back line.
Nagamura, 32, was set to serve as a depth piece for Sporting KC last season, but a late-season injury to Roger Espinoza triggered a larger role. He started 17 games and had three goals and one assists, including dramatic game-tying and game-winning goals in the final 7 minutes of a 4-3 win against Vancouver in August. Two days later, he was chosen the MLS player of the week for the first time in his 12-year career. The 2016 season will be his fifth year in Kansas City.