On Wednesday, Major League Soccer released the list of players who are eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft (the league's version of free agency).
Midfielder Luke Sassano and defender Shavar Thomas were the only two players eligible from Sporting Kansas City. In other words, Kansas City has declined the option for both players. (See the full listhere
Thomas is not a surprise. He made just three appearances and was on the books for $160,000 (yeah, that's $53,333.33 per game). I expected he wouldn't be back with KC in 2012. Sassano isn't really a big surprise. The versatile midfielder started the year on a temporary 3-month contract, played his way to a full-year deal ($51,600 -- yes, less than Thomas made per appearance) and missed the end of the year after suffering a knee injury that required surgery. He made 9 appearances with KC, scoring 1 goal and having 1 sandwich at Pandolfi's named after him.
Both will learn their fates in the coming weeks during the two-stage re-entry draft.* Which are slightly confusing.
The best possible explanation on this process comes fromGoal.com's Kyle McCarthy
Note: If you want to take a look at the full rules, you can check them out here.
Clubs can attempt to strike accords with their own players and make sign-and-trade deals (with player consent required) through Friday. Players who meet the following criteria and do not sign new deals will take part in the first stage of the re-entry process next Monday:
• Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2012).
• Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2011 salary).
• Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2011 salary).
Per McCarthy's explanation, KC can still technically strike a deal with both players before Friday. I don't expect that will happen though.
Sporting loses assistant coach[Very late getting to this, apologies.]
Kansas City assistant coach Octavio Zambrano is headed to Colombia will he become the head coach for Deportivo Pereira.
The 53-year-old coach was one of Peter Vermes' main assistants during the 2010 and 2011 season after joining the staff from Hungarian club FC Tatabanya. Previously, he was the head coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York/New Jersey MetroStars.