The initial few weeks of Sporting Kansas City’s offseason saw the departures of nearly a dozen players.
In typical sequence, the route is starting to reverse course.
Sporting Kansas City made the first major addition of its offseason Friday, securing defender Igor Julião on loan from Brazilian club Fluminense FC. The team welcomes back a player who spent 2014 with Sporting KC.
“Igor is a player we are very familiar with and eager to welcome back,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said in a statement. “He showed a lot of promise with us in 2014, and we look forward to integrating him back to our team when he joins us next month for preseason.”
While the Julião deal was made official Friday, a couple of more are inching closer to the same conclusion. Sporting KC is working toward contracts with wingers Gerso Fernandes and Latif Blessing.
Julião, 22, is a right outside back who spent the 2014 season with Sporting KC on loan from Fluminense. After that season, he was named the club’s co-newcomer of the year, appearing in 23 league matches, all starts. He was the third youngest player in club history to start a match.
“I loved my time playing in this city in front of the great fans,” Julião said. “I know Sporting KC has a strong team that can compete for championships. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
In his first stint with Sporting KC, the playing time materialized after a season-ending injury to starter Chance Myers. Two years later, Julião’s arrival likely closes the door on the Myers’ chances to return to Kansas City for a ninth season. Myers is a free agent.
Julião figures to battle for playing time with incumbent starter Saad Abdul-Salaam, who made 30 appearances (26 starts) and contributed six assists last season.
Since returning to Fluminense FC in 2015, Julião had been loaned to three separate Brazilian clubs. He rejoined the parent team this year and played in five matches.