Sporting Kansas City got a major boost to its coaching staff with the addition of a former club playing legend.
The Western Conference club announced Tuesday that longtime midfielder and MLS All-Star Benny Feilhaber has returned as a member of the club’s technical staff ahead of the 2021 season. In addition, SKC has hired Randi Lininger and Eric Schwartz as Assistant Athletic Trainers for the first team.
Feilhaber ended his professional playing career in March 2020, retiring after 15 seasons across Major League Soccer, the German Bundesliga, English Premier League and Danish Superliga. He notably won the 2013 MLS Cup, along with the 2015 and 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups with SKC.
Feilhaber also represented the U.S. Men’s National Team, lifting the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup and competing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The midfielder ended his playing tenure at SKC with 35 goals and 58 assists in 198 competitive appearances.
“To be back at Sporting Kansas City as part of the technical staff means everything to me,” said Feilhaber. “This is the club where I experienced the most success as a player. Peter and the staff invested in me back in 2013 and I look forward to working with them once again. I’ve come to know a lot of great people here in Kansas City—fans, teammates, coaches and the ownership group—and this is a fantastic opportunity for me to give back to the city and the club. I’m very excited to get to work.”
Feilhaber also spent time as a player for Hamburg, Derby County, and Aarhus. His MLS journey also featured spells at the New England Revolution, LAFC, and the Colorado Rapids. His coaching career began at his college alma mater, UCLA, where he served as an assistant coach for the Men’s Soccer Team.
Whitecaps add Colombian winger to attack
The Vancouver Whitecaps added another young prospect to the mix heading into the 2021 MLS season.
Marc Dos Santos’ side officially announced the signing of 20-year-old Colombian youth international Deiber Caicedo on Tuesday. His contract will run through the 2023 MLS season, with an option for 2024.
Caicedo’s MLS discovery rights were purchased from Nashville SC in exchange for $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).
He joins from Colombian Categoria Primera A side Deportivo Cali on a three-year deal. The winger has represented his home country at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 levels, while also appearing in 78 competitions for Deportivo Cali over three seasons, netting seven goals along with 13 assists.
“After scouting Déiber for a few weeks in early September, we added him to our list of targets who fit our profile – a very fast and aggressive left sided winger,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC CEO and sporting director. “He is a young talent and will be playing outside of South America for the first time, it will be a transition and we will be patient with him. We are very happy to have him part of our family here at the ‘Caps.”
Crew’s Mokhtar heads to Eredivisie
Youness Mokhtar is on his way back to the Eredivisie after seeing his short stint in MLS come to an end.
The former Columbus Crew winger has joined Dutch side ADO Den Haag, the club announced Monday. Mokhtar played for four additional Dutch teams in his career to date, but will get his first taste with Den Haag this winger.
Mokhtar joined the Crew during the 2019 summer transfer window and finished with four goals and one assist in 27 games (15 starts). He was a part of the MLS Cup-winning side in 2020, despite not appearing in the Playoff run.
Before coming to MLS, Mokhtar came through the PSV Eindhoven youth system and played PEC Zwolle, Stabaek, and FC Twente. The 29-year-old will now aim to continue his career abroad after a standstill campaign a season ago.
Inter Miami signs teenage duo to homegrown contracts
Inter Miami made a pair of first team signings on Tuesday, giving two young players a chance coming into the 2021 season.
Edison Azcona and Ian Fray both signed Homegrown player contracts, becoming the second and third consecutive academy players to do so. The duo played for USL League One side Fort Lauderdale CF in 2020.
Azcona (17) and Fray (18) both earned USL League One All-Second Team honors at the conclusion of the season. Azcona though just 17-years-old was called up to the Dominican Republic Senior National Team in October and then again in January for this week’s past friendly with Serbia.
Both signings look to reaffirm the commitment the new MLS franchise has towards developing players in the Miami area and creating a path to the professional ranks.
“Ian and Edison are two players who were quickly brought to my attention during my short time here, and my impressions of them are very positive,” said Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “It’s satisfying to be part of continuing their development and helping them reach a level where they can demonstrate readiness to compete and be valuable for the team on a consistent basis. It’s important to develop from within, not only for the player and the Club, but for the community too because they will always be part of the Inter Miami family wherever their career takes them in the future.”
Inter Miami CF reached the play-in round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, but was eliminated by fellow expansion side Nashville SC.