In an offseason push to enliven its offense, Sporting Kansas City’s latest maneuver involves a familiar name.
Forward Soony Saad has agreed to return to Kansas City after a two-year stint in Thailand, rejoining a club that gave him the start to his professional career. He signed a two-year contract Monday with an option for the 2019 season.
After playing with Sporting KC during 2011-14, he will commence his second stint with the club in Tucson, Ariz., where the team is holding preseason camp
“I certainly have unfinished business to take care of here,” Saad said. “ … I will bring my experiences as a team leader in Thailand, as well as a new maturation level on and off the field.”
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Earlier in the offseason, Minnesota United was interested in acquiring Saad and entered negotiations with Sporting KC about securing his rights. Instead, Saad and Sporting KC worked out an agreement to prompt his return.
Saad, 24, began his senior career with Sporting KC in 2011. He made his MLS debut on his 19th birthday, scoring a goal just 9 minutes after he entered his first match. He tallied eight goals in 58 league appearances with Sporting KC.
That preceded a two-year stint in Thailand. In December 2014, Saad signed with Thailand club BEC Tero Sasana, though he most recently played with Pattaya United on loan, scoring nine goals in 28 matches in his time overseas.
Because Sporting KC did not receive a transfer fee when Saad departed for Thailand, the club retained his MLS rights.
“We feel that bringing Soony back at this time is a great fit for us,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said in a statement. “There are certain aspects of his game that can really help in areas of the field where we need additional support. We are excited to see how his game has matured over the past two years.”
Earlier this offseason, Sporting KC supplemented its offense with winger Gerso Fernandes on a designated player contract, along with forwards Latif Blessing, Cameron Iwasa and Christian Volesky.