The soccer news starts with another USMNT player traded between MLS clubs. This time, it's Benny Feilhaber making the move from Sporting KC to LAFC. Feilhaber joins the MLS expansion team in exchange for $200,000 in general allocation money and $200,000 in targeted allocation money, once again putting a dollar figure on an MLS player. Of course, this is MLS allocation money that isn't the same as the open market.
What this means for both teams is an interesting question. Sporting KC isn't in complete rebuild mode this offseason after winning the US Open Cup. However, a 5th-place finish in the West and dropping out of the playoffs in the knockout round wasn't good enough. That meant changes, even with an established player like Feilhaber. With the New York Red Bulls trading their captain Sacha Kljestan the day before, MLS clubs will make these kinds of moves.
"Benny has been a really good player for our organization since 2013 and we appreciate his contribution to the club," Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. "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."
LAFC adds a proven MLS player who gives them the type of veteran leadership that used to be at a premium in this league. LAFC coach Bob Bradley and the club's management are doing the things that indicate they want to compete in the West in their debut season. Should that come at the expense of clubs like Sporting KC, this trade could end up looming large in 2018. There's also the bigger point of trading players for allocation money, a quirk to the MLS system that doesn't exactly speak well for a league with an extremely limited definition of free agency.
"Benny and I shared some good days with the U.S. 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."
The Kansas City Star's Sam McDowell on the Feilhaber trade. SI.com's Brian Straus looks at LAFC's move for Feilhaber and what Sporting KC is doing with their offense. The LA Times' Kevin Baxter has LAFC's perspective for making the trade. SB Nation's Chad C Smith explains what Feilhaber meant to Sporting KC.
World Soccer's Brian Glanville on the changes at Arsenal. AP's Rob Harris with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger questioning the officiating after his team's draw with Chelsea. Goal.com's Sacha Pisani has Chelsea coach Antonio Conte working within transfer budgets. The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson explains what Manchester City's play is doing to the rest of the Premier League. Inside World Football's Samindra Kunti reports that Charlton is up for sale.
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