TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade
LAFC have made another big splash in the trade market, announcing Wednesday the acquisition of midfielder Benny Feilhaber from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for $200,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).
Feilhaber, 32, has been one of the league's premier playmakers since joining the New England Revolution in 2011 and moving to Sporting KC in 2013. He was a Best XI honoree and MVP finalist in 2015 and helped Sporting to an MLS Cup (2013) and two US Open Cup titles (2015, 2017) during his time in Kansas City.
“Benny has enjoyed great success as an incredibly productive midfielder and has won multiple trophies here in MLS,” LAFC general manager and executive vice President of soccer operations John Thorrington said in a statement provided by the team. “He has valuable experience and will provide stability and productivity to our midfield.”
Feilhaber, a UCLA product who began his professional career in the German Bundesliga with Hamburg, came to MLS with New England after further stints with England's Derby County and Denmark's AGF Aarhus. Since his arrival in the league, Feilhaber has totaled 34 goals and 50 assists in 202 regular-season appearances (180 starts) and has also delivered a pair of assists in seven playoff starts.
In addition to his exploits at the club level, the Brazil-born Feilhaber has featured 44 times for the US national team since earning his first senior cap in March 2007. He would go on to score a memorable game-winning goal against Mexico in the final of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, one of two he's netted for the national team. He also featured for the United States at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 2005 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and 2008 Olympic Games. However, he was not called up for a national team camp under former manager Jurgen Klinsmann from January 2014 until January 2017.
In joining LAFC, Feilhaber will be reunited with head coach Bob Bradley, another former manager with the national team. Feilhaber is the 11th player to be added to LAFC's roster as the expansion side prepares for its inaugural MLS campaign.
“Benny and I shared some good days with the US national team,” Bradley said. “I am excited to work with him again. He has an attacking quality and an excellent understanding of the game. We welcome Benny to LAFC.”
In addition to providing Sporting KC with a bundle of allocation money, the trade potentially frees up a spot in the starting XI for French midfielder Yohan Croizet, the playmaker acquired as a Designated Player from Belgium's KV Mechelen earlier in the offseason. Sporting KC's roster currently stands at 24 players following Feilhaber's departure and the acquisitions of Croizet and forward Khiry Shelton.
“Benny has been a really good player for our organization since 2013 and we appreciate his contribution to the club,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a statement provided by the team. “On a personal note, I am very happy that I was able to coach Benny twice, both here and with the U-20 National Team, and we wish him nothing but the best.”