Kansas City, KS- Sporting KC and Atlanta United have made a trade during the half-day trade window, and it’s quite confusing actually. Sporting KC have acquired Kenwyne Jones, Alex Tambakis, and a 2021 4th round draft pick from Atlanta United. In exchange, Atlanta will get Kevin Oliveira, Tyler Pasher, and Sporting KC’s 2018 second round draft pick.
Sporting KC Makes (Odd) Trade During Half-Day Trade Window
Sporting KC and Atlanta United made the most confusing trades of the day. Wrapped up in this doozy of a trade is Sporting KC being able to protect someone, somehow in the expansion draft list. All four actual players are out of contract, and one is retiring. The thing here is that Sporting KC (likely) have no intention of hanging on to either of Tambakis, or coaxing Kenwyne Jones out of play.
But according to the MLS Expansion rules, Sporting can protect 11, and because they now have four international spots filled, that means they have to protect only one international player. Homegrown players on the supplemental roster, and players under the Generation Adidas tag are automatically protected in the expansion draft.
The good folks over at The Blue Testament helped clear up what exactly Sporting KC were trying to do. Because Tyler Pasher and Kevin Oliveira both occupied International Roster Spots, and Tambakis and Jones did not, it moved Sporting’s required international spots to protect from three to one. In looking at their current international roster spots, that would mean they’d only be required to protect one of Christian Lobato and James Musa, who neither will likely go in the draft. That means they have ten spots they can use on people they really want to, instead of eight spots.
Because of Daniel Salloi’s home-grown automatic protection, Sporting would have had to block three out of the remaining five, and three of those five are out of contract, with no attempt to re-negotiate their return to the club. It would’ve been a waste of a protection spot. While MLS roster rules are really weird, Sporting KC pulled off a smart move to maximize those they can protect.