Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City suspends Kevin Ellis

Kevin Ellis
Kevin Ellis Special to The Star

Sporting Kansas City has suspended defender Kevin Ellis indefinitely, the team said in a statement.

Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes acknowledged delivering the suspension, when asked, but he refused to provide details on what prompted it.

Ellis has not been with the club since it returned from a two-game road trip to New York City and Columbus last week. He was not in the locker room Wednesday as Sporting Kansas City celebrated its U.S. Open Cup championship, at least in the portion open to media. He was also not present for the club’s championship party with fans Friday at the Power & Light District.

Ellis, a central defender, has made five appearances — all starts — for Sporting KC this season. That’s a steady decline in playing time from the past two years. He made 14 appearances in 2016 and 27 in 2015.

Matt Besler and Ike Opara occupy the top of the depth chart at central defender, and Erik Palmer-Brown also appears to have passed Ellis on the depth chart in recent weeks, serving as the preferred backup.

Ellis, 26, was born in Kansas City and signed a homegrown contract with Sporting KC in 2011.