Sporting KC's Saad Abdul-Salaam in action against the Portland Timbers -- October 2015
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NYCFC, Sporting KC swap Khiry Shelton, Saad Abdul-Salaam in trade

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade

New York City FC and Sporting Kansas City swapped two promising players in a trade on Thursday, with NYCFC sending forward Khiry Shelton to Sporting in exchange for defender Saad Abdul-Salaam.

Shelton, 24, was the No. 2 overall pick and first ever MLS SuperDraft selection for NYCFC in 2015. In 54 appearances across three seasons for the team, playing mostly as a substitute, Shelton scored six goals and 10 assists in MLS regular season play.

"Khiry is a player whose intangibles always stood out to us, even as we had followed him from early in his college years," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a team statement. "We look forward to bringing him to Kansas City and are enthusiastic to see him on the field during preseason, which is just over a month away. Sporting KC also thanks Saad for his three years of service, and we wish him the best of luck in New York."

Abdul-Salaam, 26, was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft for Sporting. In three seasons, the right back made 64 appearances in MLS regular season play for Kansas City, scoring a goal and eight assists in that span. A starter in 2016, Abdul-Salaam fell behind converted right back Graham Zusi in the pecking order in 2017.

“Abdul-Salaam is an experienced player in this league and he’s coming to our team hungry for success," said NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira in a statement. "I’m really happy to have added another quality player who can help the team to be successful.”

Concerning Shelton, Vieira said, "Khiry will always be a symbol and an important figure in this football club because he was the first player we took in the draft. We wish him good luck in a new chapter in his career."

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