Sporting KC

Sporting KC loses Latif Blessing to LAFC in expansion draft

Sporting Kansas City must bid farewell to forward Latif Blessing, taken by MLS newcomer LAFC in Tuesday’s expansion draft.
Sporting Kansas City must bid farewell to forward Latif Blessing, taken by MLS newcomer LAFC in Tuesday’s expansion draft. along@kcstar.com

The MLS Expansion Draft has subtracted from the Sporting Kansas City roster once again.

This time, it’s a potential starter.

Incoming expansion club LAFC plucked winger Latif Blessing from Sporting KC’s roster during its five-player draft Tuesday.

Blessing, 20, scored three MLS goals in 16 starts in 2017, splitting time between the wing and central forward in his first season in Kansas City. He also scored the opening goal in the club’s U.S. Open Cup championship victory in September.

Blessing joined Sporting KC straight from the Ghana Premier League.

“I just came from Ghana to win cups for Kansas City,” he said at the time.

The lure for LAFC was made even more attractive last month. Blessing received his green card and therefore no longer occupies an international spot on a team’s roster. His contract runs through 2019, with a club option for 2020.

Sporting KC lost backup goalkeeper Alec Kann to Atlanta United in last year’s expansion draft.

Per league rules, Sporting KC received $50,000 in general allocation money for losing Blessing in the draft.

All teams were permitted to protect 11 players from selection, and Sporting KC opted to protect Tim Melia, Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Cristian Lobato, Jimmy Medranda, James Musa, Benny Feilhaber and Gerso Fernandes. It was required to protect at least two international players (Lobato and Musa).

  Comments