The Full 90

Sporting KC make first roster cuts, officially release Chhetri

Sporting Kansas City took out the knife today as they continue to shape the 2011 roster. Two cuts were expected, two are surprises.

Kansas City announced the official release of Indian forward Sunil Chhetri (which has been pretty much a known for a month) and defender Nikos Kounenakis. The other cuts were both 2011 draft picks. The team's second-pick in the SuperDraft J.T. Murray and the 10th pick in the Supplemental Draft Sam Scales have both been released.

Have to say I'm surprised to see Murray go. Typically, you'd think a second-round SuperDraft pick might stick with the team through camp. (Two second-round picks, Graham Zusi in '09 and Korede Aiyegbusi in '10, are still with the team.) Scales impressed in camp (especially during the fitness tests).

It's safe to expect that more roster moves are coming, with still more than 30 players training with the team in Arizona.

Sporting did not pick up the option for Chhetri, 26, who was signed in March 2010 and appeared in two matches for Kansas City. He debuted in the team’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in match on April 13 against the Colorado Rapids, and entered as substitute against Manchester United on July 25th as he replaced Teal Bunbury in the 69th minute. Following the historic win, Chhetri was loaned to the India National Team for preparation leading up to the 2011 Asian Cup, in which he scored two goals last month.

Kounenakis was released by mutual consent ahead of the 2011 season. The 32-year-old central defender was signed in July 2010 to add depth to Kansas City’s backline but did not appear in any matches for the club in the 14 games he was available for selection during the regular season.

Murray, 22, joined Kansas City after being selected 32nd overall in the 2nd Round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft last month. Scales, a 21-year-old midfielder out of Ohio State University, was taken by Sporting Kansas City with the 10th overall pick in the 1st Round of the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft in January.