Kanas City, Mo. (December 14, 2017)- Sporting KC has acquired forward Khiry Shelton from New York City FC in a trade. Sporting KC sends right back, Saad Abdul-Salaam in return.
Sporting KC Acquire Khiry Shelton from NYCFC in exchange for Saad Abdul-Salaam
Sporting KC only scored 40 goals in 2017, and had a rough time getting them to cross the line towards the end of the season. Sporting Club CEO, Rob Heineman made it clear they were going to try and bolster their attack. Their first big move there comes now.
Sporting KC were no longer in need of Saad Abdul-Salaam, a solid fullback. New York City FC were done with Shelton and RJ Allen, so now you have a natural fit for a trade.
Khiry Shelton scored six goals and had ten assists in during his time with NYCFC. He lost his spot through this season, but had a promising 2016 campaign where he scored four goals and added nine assists.
“Khiry is a player whose intangibles always stood out to us, even as we had followed him from early in his college years,” Manager Peter Vermes said. “We look forward to bringing him to Kansas City and are enthusiastic to see him on the field during preseason, which is just over a month away. Sporting KC also thanks Saad for his three years of service, and we wish him the best of luck in New York.”
Shelton will bring some added depth at both the wing spot and as a center forward. His height makes him a better option to play as a center forward straight up. He is likely a replacement for the loss of Latif Blessing in the expansion draft to LAFC.
Abdul-Salaam will likely flourish with more playing time as he had a breakout season in 2016. He was likely good enough to start at right back for most teams in 2017, but Graham Zusi was just that good.
Sporting KC will get better at the forward/wing position by raising the bottom end of the depth. However, this shouldn’t be their only move to bolster the attack this offseason. With the rumors of a number 10 on the way for a DP contract, they still need to get a proven goalscorer to lead the line up front. Shelton provides depth, but if they want to be successful in 2017, they need at least one more move to bolster the attack.