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Benny Feilhaber named Sporting KC II head coach

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Former Sporting Kansas City midfielder and World Cup veteran Benny Feilhaber has been named the new head coach of Sporting Kansas City II, the club announced today.

Feilhaber, who won three major championships with Sporting Kansas City and earned 44 caps for the United States Men’s National Team during his storied playing career, becomes the fourth head coach in Sporting KC II history. He joined Sporting’s technical staff in January 2021 and has served as the Sporting KC Academy U-17 head coach since last August.

As the Sporting KC II head coach, Feilhaber will have an integral role in the development of Sporting KC Academy products and other young players looking to make the jump to Major League Soccer. Thirteen players currently on Sporting Kansas City’s senior roster have featured for Sporting KC II since the club’s inception in 2016, including 2021 MLS MVP finalist Daniel Salloi and U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper John Pulskamp.

Feilhaber will lead Sporting KC II into a new era in 2022 as the club prepares to compete in MLS NEXT Pro, a newly launched professional league that will kick off in March. The full 2022 match schedule, competition details and other information will be announced at a later date.

After retiring from MLS in March 2020, Feilhaber took the first step of his post-playing career by joining UCLA, his college alma mater, as an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team in August 2020. He returned to Sporting last January as Director of Technical Operations on the club’s technical staff and transitioned to U-17 head coach last summer, focusing on the development of youth players within Sporting’s professional player pathway. Feilhaber holds a U.S. Soccer B License and is currently working towards his A-Senior License.

Feilhaber enjoyed a 15-year playing career that spanned MLS, the German Bundesliga, English Premier League and Danish Superliga. He won the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2015 and 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups with Sporting and represented the U.S. internationally, lifting the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup and competing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

One of the most prolific playmakers in Sporting history, Feilhaber ended his playing tenure in Kansas City with 35 goals and 58 assists in 198 matches. He spent two stints with the club, helping Sporting to five straight playoff appearances from 2013-2017 and returning in 2019 for his final season. His 35 goals and 58 assists rank ninth and third on the club’s all-time charts, respectively, and he is one of four players in team history—alongside Preki, Chris Klein and Graham Zusi—with at least 30 goals and 50 assists.

Feilhaber, 36, scored 56 goals in over 400 professional matches during a well-traveled club career that featured stops at Hamburg in Germany, Derby County in England and Aarhus in Denmark. His MLS journey also included spells at the New England Revolution (2011-2012), LAFC (2018) and the Colorado Rapids (2019).

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and raised in Irvine, California, Feilhaber represented the U.S. Men’s National Team 44 times from 2007-2017. He notably scored a world-class goal to win the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup final versus Mexico, helped the U.S. to a second-place finish at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and played three World Cup matches the following year in South Africa.





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Official: FC Dallas acquire Paul Arriola in MLS-record trade from DC United

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The deal is worth $2 million in General Allocation Money up front, as well as a potential additional $300,000 GAM in performance-based incentives. DCU retain a 30% sell-on clause if Arriola is transferred outside of MLS.

Arriola, 26, made 89 MLS appearances with D.C. United as a Designated Player after being acquired from Liga MX’s Club Tijuana in 2017. He had 20 goals and 16 assists with the Black-and-Red while becoming a USMNT mainstay, making 42 appearances to date. Arriola is currently with the USMNT preparing for three Concacaf World Cup qualifiers over the next week.

“To have a player like Paul Arriola come to FC Dallas is really an amazing thing,” FCD president Dan Hunt said in a release. “Very few players have a resume like he does at the age of 26. He’s also an incredible locker room guy. You don’t get to captain the US national team if you’re not of the highest caliber and a great professional who works hard and has the admiration of his teammates and the coaching staff. We’re thrilled to welcome Paul to Dallas.”

“We want to thank Paul for his commitment and service to the club since he arrived in 2017,” D.C. United general manager Lucy Rushton said in a release. “He has been an integral player for our team and has been a model professional both on and off the field. We wish him luck in the next chapter of his career in Dallas.”





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DeAndre Yedlin is officially available

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DeAndre Yedlin is officially back on the market after Galatasaray announced that the Seattle native was no longer with the team. It had been previously reported that Yedlin was going to accept a buyout.

Yedlin ended up spending less than a year in Turkey, making 27 appearances and 24 starts in league play for one of the country’s biggest clubs. After helping nearly win the Turkish Süper Lig in his first season and falling just short of Champions League qualification, Galatasaray has slumped to 14th about midway through this season. Yedlin had started 15 of 23 games so far.

It’s not entirely clear what’s next for Yedlin. Last week, there was reporting that he was close to returning to MLS, with Inter Miami being the most likely destination. Not only does Miami have a personal connection with Yedlin through Chris Henderson, but they also hold the top spot in the Allocation Order and are in need of a right back. But Yedlin’s agent publicly disputed reports that a signing was imminent.

Around the same time, reports surfaced that Yedlin was in talks with Hull City about potentially returning to England. Hull are currently 19th in the EFL Championship, nine points clear of the relegation zone. Hull are also run by Tan Kesler, who helped bring Yedlin to Galatasaray last summer while working as an agent.

In the meantime, Yedlin remains with the United States men’s national team for a trio of World Cup qualifiers.



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Amber Brooks waived by OL Reign

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OL Reign bid farewell to Amber Brooks on Tuesday, announcing that the defender has been waived to allow her to pursue opportunities for more playing time with another club. Brooks was in her second stint with the Reign, having returned to the club ahead of the 2020 season.

“As our squad for the upcoming season evolved it became apparent that opportunities for Amber would be limited this year. After sharing these expectations with Amber, she and I agreed that her best option was a move to another team in the NWSL,” said OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey in a team release. “We are hopeful that by making this move before preseason it provides Amber a well-deserved chance with another NWSL team. Amber has been an incredible professional during her time with the club and we wish her nothing but the best.”

Brooks previously played for the then-named Seattle Reign FC in 2015, making 12 appearances and scoring one goal for the NWSL Shield-winning side. In the following off-season she was traded to the Houston Dash, where she spent the next four years before returning to the Reign.

In 2020 she helped anchor the Reign backline during the Challenge Cup and Fall Series, making 8 appearances and scoring a goal against Portland. In 2021 she played in three of the team’s four Challenge Cup matches as well as making 11 appearances for 321 minutes in the regular season, but saw her playing time decrease as the season progressed and newly returned head coach Laura Harvey settled on a consistent backline which did not include her.



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