Sporting KC's Benny Feilhaber focused on now, not where he'll be in '17

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Benny Feilhaber's future is undecided beyond the end of this season, when his contract with Sporting Kansas City runs out.

Still, the veteran playmaker – who has helped Sporting win two pieces of silverware since arriving ahead of the 2013 campaign – isn't ready to think about the prospect of Sunday's regular-season finale being his last match at Children's Mercy Park.

“I'm not thinking about that too much,” Feilhaber told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday, after a training session ahead of Sunday's meeting with the San Jose Earthquakes – a match that Sporting need to win to guarantee a spot in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs (4 pm ET; MLS LIVE). 

“I'm not thinking too far ahead. I'm just thinking about this game, and hopefully getting another game at Children's Mercy this year.”

If Feilhaber's tenure in Kansas City does end on Sunday, though – or away in the Western Conference Knockout Round, as Sporting's season finished last year – how will he look back on his time at CM Park?

“I'm not going to answer that question,” he said. “If it does come to be, ask me again and I'll answer it. It's hard to kind of think about that right now, if that's the case.”

Sporting manager and technical director Peter Vermes hasn't ruled out the possibility of Feilhaber being back in 2017, but has pushed aside all discussion on contract issues until after this season.

The club turned down an offer from Israeli club Hapoel Be'er Sheva over the summer. But Feilhaber – who is eligible to sign a pre-contract because of his tenure in MLS and his impending free-agent status – said he has had interest from other clubs as well.

“Obviously, I've stated before that I'd love to stay here,” Feilhaber said, “but also obviously, there's a business aspect to things, as to whether or not that will get done in the offseason. Right now, I'm not thinking about the business aspect. I'm thinking about my team, my teammates, the fans and how I want to try and get us back into the playoffs.

“We have a team that's capable of not only doing that, but making a run, with the things that we've been able to improve and get corrected in the last few games.”

Feilhaber, who raised the MLS Cup in 2013 and the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup with Sporting, has back-to-back double-digit assist seasons for the first time in his career, with 11 assists across all competitions this year after a career-best 20 across all competitions in 2015.

“Obviously, one of the responsibilities I've had through the years is in creating opportunities for the team, and I'm going to try to continue to do that in this game,” he said. “But I think the most important thing that we've been able to accomplish, especially this last game [last weekend's scoreless draw at Real Salt Lake] is that we have a better understanding of our team defense.

“I think that would be big, to be able to get another shutout – and if we do that, I think we'll be able to create chances and get some goals as well.”