(May 8, 2019) — Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has acquired midfielder Benny Feilhaber in a trade with the Colorado Rapids in exchange for defender Abdul Rwatubyaye, a 2019 International Roster Slot, $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), and a natural second-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. As part of the trade, Sporting has swapped positions with Colorado in the Waiver Order.
Feilhaber will serve as Sporting Kansas City’s season-ending injury replacement player for Rodney Wallace. Colorado will retain the player’s 2019 salary budget charge less the $250,000 of salary budget relief afforded to Sporting Kansas City for a season-ending injury replacement player.
Feilhaber was added to the Sporting Kansas City roster ahead of Major League Soccer’s Primary Transfer Window deadline on Tuesday night. The 34-year-old previously starred for Sporting from 2013-2017, amassing 33 goals and 56 assists in 180 appearances for the club across all competitions. Feilhaber helped lead Sporting to the 2013 MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in 2015 and 2017, and five straight playoff appearances during his first stint in Kansas City.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and raised in Irvine, California, Feilhaber has played nearly 400 matches in a 14-year professional career that includes stops in Germany, England, Denmark and MLS. In addition to logging 254 MLS appearances since 2011 (including playoffs, the versatile midfielder represented the United States Men’s National Team 44 times between 2007-2017 and competed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
After spending his first two MLS seasons with the New England Revolution, Feilhaber first joined Sporting in 2013 and played an integral role in the club’s run to the MLS Cup that year. His game-winning assist in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship against the Houston Dynamo vaulted Sporting into the MLS Cup, where Sporting defeated Real Salt Lake in a penalty shootout at Children’s Mercy Park.
Feilhaber took another step forward in 2014 with four goals and seven assists in MLS play before reaching new heights the following year. In his best professional season to date, Feilhaber earned 2015 MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI honors as one of three MLS MVP finalists, setting a club record with 20 assists in all competitions and becoming just the third player in club history at the time to reach double-digit goals (10) and assists (15) in a single regular season. Five of his assists came in Sporting’s successful U.S. Open Cup campaign, which culminated in a shootout victory over the Philadelphia Union.
The 2016 campaign saw Feilhaber add another seven goals and 13 assists as one of the premier playmakers in MLS. His final season in his first spell with Sporting yielded five goals and another U.S. Open Cup title, with Feilhaber assisting Daniel Salloi’s game-winner in a 2-1 championship win over the New York Red Bulls.
Feilhaber was an ever-present fixture for Los Angeles Football Club in 2018, starting 32 of 34 regular season appearances while guiding the team to the playoffs as one of the best expansion teams in league history with a 16-9-9 record. He has spent the first two months of the 2019 campaign with the Colorado Rapids, recording two goals and two assists in seven starts.
Following a two-year collegiate career at UCLA, Feilhaber turned professional in 2005 with German club Hamburg. He then moved to the English Premier League for the 2007-08 season with Derby County FC before signing with Danish outfit AGF Aarhus, where he spent three seasons until his cross-Atlantic jump to New England in 2011.
Feilhaber’s international career with the United States is highlighted by his match-winning volley in the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup Final against Mexico and three appearances each at the 2008 Olympics in China and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. As a youth, he featured for the U.S. U-20 and U-23 national teams and competed at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
Rwatubyaye, a 22-year-old center back and member of the Rwanda Men’s National Team, signed for Sporting in March and made two appearances for the club. He debuted on April 20 at the San Jose Earthquakes and earned his first start for Sporting in a 4-4 draw against the New England Revolution on April 27.
In addition to acquiring Feilhaber, Sporting has placed Wallace on the Season-Ending Injury List. The 30-year-old defender made three appearances for Sporting this season, including two in the Concacaf Champions League, before suffering a hip injury.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) acquires midfielder Benny Feilhaber in a trade with the Colorado Rapids in exchange for defender Abdul Rwatubyaye, a 2019 International Roster Slot, $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), and a natural second-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. As part of the trade, Sporting has also acquired Colorado’s position in the Waiver Order.
Feilhaber serves as Sporting Kansas City’s season-ending injury replacement player for Rodney Wallace. Colorado will retain the player’s 2019 salary budget charge less the $250,000 of salary budget relief afforded to Sporting Kansas City for a season-ending injury replacement player.
Benny Feilhaber (FAIL-hobber)
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hometown: Irvine, California
Last Club: Colorado Rapids (MLS)