Why Benny Feilhaber jumped at the chance to return to Sporting Kansas City

Benny Feilhaber closeup - Sporting Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Sporting KC and Peter Vermes decided to "phone a friend" as they traded with the Colorado Rapids to bring Benny Feilhaber back to Kansas City at the deadline of the MLS primary transfer window.

After joining the Rapids in free agency in the offseason after a season at LAFC, Feilhaber now moves on to Sporting KC just 10 games into his contract. Nobody can deny that the Rapids have had a difficult start to the year, still winless, including eight losses. Their run of form to start the season saw Anthony Hudson fired and assistant coach and former player Conor Casey take over.

“For me I knew it was going to be a process there, but I think everybody that was part of that organization envisioned something different for the first 10 games of the year,” Feilhaber said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“Having said that, it didn’t go according to plan and not what I imagined. I’m 34 years old. I don’t know how many more years I’m going to play. I want to be playing on a team that’s competitive and fighting for championships.”

While he didn’t explicitly say he requested a trade, Feilhaber said he had conversations with the Colorado front office.

“I think they understood my position,” he said. “Obviously when I went there I thought we would be something where, I think everybody over there thought it would be something different than the first 10 games showed. They knew I wanted to be competitive and I was a bit frustrated with how things had gone. Those were the conversations and once I found out Kansas City was a team that was interested, I obviously told them I’d love to go there.”

Sporting KC’s run of form hasn’t been the greatest over the last couple of matches, and they find themselves sitting below the playoff line at the moment thanks to a run of injuries that saw a need for a player like Feilhaber open up. He reiterated his belief in the quality that SKC possess when healthy.

“Some of the quality isn’t healthy right now,” Feilhaber said. “But the quality is there to become a championship team this year, or else I wouldn’t have come here, or I wouldn’t have wanted to come. I guess theoretically it’s not my choice, but I really wanted to come here and that was one of the reasons why.”

Feilhaber now returns to the team where he spent what he called ‘the best five years of my career."

“I followed the team even when I wasn’t here. So I think there is an element of I knowing what I’m getting when I’m coming here. And so, I’m hoping it’s a lot of the same from when I was here. We won a lot of things together. I think it was a really successful five years for the club and myself, and I want to get back to that.”