Botond Barath - Sporting KC - with Hungary


Sporting Kansas City have signed Hungarian international Botond Barath, the club announced on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old central defender has signed a two-year contract through 2020 with an option for 2021. He will occupy an international slot and be added to Sporting KC’s roster on Jan. 1 pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa.

According to Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star, Sporting KC will not pay a transfer fee to Budapest Honved FC. To this point Barath has spent his entire professional career with his hometown club, making 213 first-team appearances in all competitions since 2009 and helping Honved to the 2016-17 Hungarian first-division title.

The 6-foot-2, right-footed defender also earned his first three caps for the Hungarian national team at the tail end of 2018. He made his international debut in a 3-3 draw at Estonia on Oct. 15 before earning consecutive starts in 2-0 wins over Estonia and Finland last month.

Also part of that Hungarian team to face Estonia were SKC’s Krisztian Nemeth and Daniel Salloi.

Barath began his professional career in 2009 with Honved II and anchored Honved’s backline since 2012, when he became a regular starter for the first team. In 2012-13, Barath made his UEFA Europa League qualifying debut and scored his first of 12 career goals for the club as Honved finished third in the top-flight Nemzeti Bajnoksag.

Barath has started 16 of Honved’s 18 league matches in 2018-19 and scored the lone goal in a 1-0 UEFA Europa League qualifying win over Luxembourg’s Progres Niederkorn on July 26. Honved currently occupies fourth place in the Nemzeti Bajnoksag with just 15 goals conceded, the second-fewest in the league.

Vermes identified a central defender, an experienced left back and a pacy forward as Sporting’s top three offseason targets and he’s found all three, with the club signing free agent Rodney Wallace last week and trading with Vancouver Whitecaps FC for forward Erik Hurtado.