Sporting Kansas City signed French center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin ahead of the 2021 MLS season. The defender is on a two-year MLS contract through 2022 with an option for 2023.
Isimat-Mirin has played over 250 professional matches since 2010, featuring in the top divisions of France, the Netherlands and Turkey. He has logged 93 appearances each in France’s Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie, where he won three league titles as an integral member of PSV Eindhoven. Boasting experience in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, Isimat-Mirin arrives at Sporting following a stint with Turkish powerhouse Besiktas.
2022: MLS Regular Season: Started 26 of 28 appearances, contributing to five clean sheets (2276 minutes played). Kept clean sheets in both of Sporting's first two wins of the season at home against the Houston Dynamo on March 5, and vs. Real Salt Lake on March 26. Came off injured against the Columbus Crew on April 23 and missed time. Rejoined the squad on May 28 against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Earned Team of the Week honors for Week 20 after a brilliant performance on the road at Minnesota United in which he won a career-high 10 duels. Open Cup: Started one of three appearances, adding one assist (179 minutes played). Assisted Khiry Shelton's second half score against Union Omaha on June 22 in a 6-0 triumph in the Open Cup Quarterfinals.
2021: MLS Regular Season: Started 11 of 13 appearances contributing to one clean sheet (949 minutes played). Contributed to a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy on Oct. 27, starting and playing 90 minutes in the contest. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started two postseason matches, scoring one goal (180 minutes played). Scored what would prove to be the match-winning goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs First Round against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Netted his goal in stoppage time of the first half to reclaim the lead for Sporting in a 2-1 win on Nov. 20.
In January 2019, Isimat-Mirin left the Netherlands to join Besiktas in Turkey. He started 14 matches during the latter half of the Super Lig season with Besiktas finishing four points shy of the league title. For the 2019-20 campaign, the defender was loaned back to Ligue 1 for a stint with Toulouse, where he made 16 starts and scored his 10th professional goal versus Strasbourg in December 2019.
PSV Eindhoven (2014-2018):
In September 2014, Isimat-Mirin was loaned from Monaco to PSV Eindhoven, marking the start of a brilliant four-year tenure at the Dutch juggernaut. In his first Eredivisie campaign, he helped PSV win the league title by a 17-point margin while also playing six matches in the UEFA Europa League. PSV acquired the defender on a permanent transfer ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, which saw Isimat-Mirin appear in 26 matches as PSV captured another Eredivisie title and advanced to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, where they fell to eventual finalist Atletico Madrid in a penalty shootout following two scoreless legs.
PSV relinquished their Eredivisie crown in 2016-2017, but Isimat-Mirin continued to flourish with starts in 35 of 37 matches, including five of six UEFA Champions League group stage contests against Atletico Madrid, German giants Bayern Munich and Russian outfit FC Rostov.
Isimat-Mirin and PSV reclaimed their perch atop the Eredivisie in 2017-2018, edging archrivals Ajax by four points and clinching the title with a 3-0 win over the club on April 15. Isimat-Mirin started 37 matches in his final full campaign at PSV, ending his time in Eindhoven with six goals and 130 competitive appearances.
Strong performances at Valenciennes landed Isimat-Mirin a transfer to French title contender Monaco. He played 11 matches for the club in all competitions during the 2013-14 season as Monaco placed second in Ligue 1 and advanced to the Coupe de France semifinals.
He began his professional career as an 18-year-old in 2010 and spent the next three seasons as a regular starter for Valenciennes, helping the side to three straight top-12 finishes in Ligue 1.
While at Valenciennes, Isimat-Mirin represented France as a U-20 and U-21 youth international and notably featured for Les Bleus during 2013 UEFA European U-21 Championship qualifying. He struck a center back partnership alongside future FIFA World Cup winner Raphael Varane as France finished atop their qualifying group.
Born in the Paris suburb of Meudon, Isimat-Mirin competed in the famous Clairefontaine youth academy from 2004-2007 before continuing his development at Rennes (2007-2009) and Valenciennes (2009-2010).