After months of speculation regarding a possible departure, it appears Benny Feilhaber will be re-signing with Sporting Kansas City after all.
ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle reported on Monday that Feilhaber had signed a new deal that will see him make between $500,000 and $600,000 per year, while Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star reported on Tuesday that the purported deal will be for two years.
Feilhaber just completed his fourth year with SKC. He recorded seven goals and 13 assists in 30 regular season appearances in 2016, and has 24 goals and 38 assists in regular season play during his Sporting career.
While his reported salary would put him above the league's Designated Player threshold, McDowell reported that Feilhaber wouldn't count as a Designated Player. SKC would use either targeted or general allocation money to buy his salary under the DP budget charge. Sporting have three DPs in Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Diego Rubio and another player, Matt Besler, who has a salary above the DP threshold but who was bought down under the DP threshold using allocation money.
ESPN FC reported in September that Feilhaber was in “advanced discussions” to sign a pre-contract with a foreign club, which was reported by other outlets to be Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva. Carlisle reported on Monday that Feilhaber had a verbal agreement in place to join Be’er Sheva in January, but that Kansas City “significantly” increased their offer 10 days ago to keep the creative midfielder in MLS.
Feilhaber, who has 41 career appearances with the US national team and was a part of the country’s squad at the 2010 World Cup, was a key part of Kansas City’s 2013 MLS Cup and 2014 US Open Cup winning sides.
Over the last two seasons, Feilhaber has become one of the most dynamic midfielders in MLS and the fulcrum of the Sporting attack. His 127 chances created over the last two seasons are the most of any Sporting player and his 28 assists are 19 more than any other play on the team. His chances created places him eighth in MLS over that time span and the 28 assists are the third most since the start of 2015.