Kansas City (January 3, 2018)- Sporting KC have sent longtime midfield fixture, Benny Feilhaber, to Los Angeles FC for a combination of GAM/TAM. This move continues Sporting KC’s makeover as the core of the team hits the twilight of their careers.
LAFC and Sporting KC Swap GAM/TAM for Benny Feilhaber
Sporting KC has made another significant trade, sending Benny Feilhaber to expansion team, LAFC for a combo of GAM and TAM. Feilhaber, a native of Irvine, CA, will go to his hometown team in his final year of a contract, sending him to Free Agency after the 2018 season.
After missing out on Sacha Klejistan, LAFC turned to a new target, getting a seasoned, and savvy veteran to help run the midfield. Benny Feilhaber had one of his least productive years for Sporting KC in 2017. With only five goals and three assists from the #10 position, Sporting KC’s offense sputtered. Despite having a rough year in terms of production, Feilhaber helped lead Sporting KC to another US Open Cup title. His contribution in the attack helped spur them on to a 3-0 extra time victory in the Quarter-Finals, and his assist in the final gave way to Sporting KC’s cup winning goal.
Feilhaber has enjoyed an MLS Cup and two US Open Cup triumphs in his time at Sporting KC. In 180 appearances across all competitions, Feilhaber has accrued 33 goals and 56 assists.
In return, Sporting KC get’s $400k total in allocation money, split 50/50 between GAM (General Allocation Money) and TAM (Targeted Allocation Money). With the amount of money that Sporting KC have compiled between that trade and the Dwyer trade, Sporting KC should be ready to spend big on a striker and maybe another attacking piece.
What This Means for Sporting KC
The tide is turning, and the time for the main core to run the show has come to an end. It has to happen. Feilhaber was going to be 33 this season, and with a big dip in performance after a big raise, Sporting KC were smart to offload and turn towards a new direction. This also helps make the hit of players going out of contract next season a lot more palatable. Sporting KC will look a lot different personnel wise in 2018. But they are putting themselves in a tough spot. It puts pressure on the new guys to perform, because if they don’t the fanbase will be quite disappointed and will not hesitate to make their feelings known.
What this Means for LAFC
Feilhaber was clearly their backup plan to Klejistan. Klejistan may be more productive, but Benny’s leadership could be more valuable. With the anticipation and hype surrounding their 2018 season much at the level of Atlanta United, they are putting some pressure on themselves to come through. Feilhaber isn’t a long term fit, and almost a $1 million dollar cost (600k in salary plus 400k in allocation), they’re paying a lot to get a player past his prime for a season. Who knows though. It might just all work out.