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Sporting KC’s 2024 Contract Situations and Options

All the Sporting Kansas City contract lengths and option years ahead of the 2024 Major League Soccer (MLS) season.



Credit: Thad Bell

The 2024 Major League Soccer season is about to start. Inter Miami CF and Real Salt Lake kick the season off in Florida on February 21st followed by a packed slate of games on Saturday and Sunday. While roster moves can still be made, Sporting Kansas City find themselves unlikely to be among the teams making a move.

In fact, Chief Soccer Officer and Manager, Peter Vermes, says the team is “highly unlikely” to sign a Designated Player before first kick on February 24th against the Houston Dynamo. Sporting KC only have two open roster spots left, barring a trade, transfer or contract buyout. They can make signings up until the close of the primary transfer window on April 23rd or against during the secondary window (July 18-August 14)

While the roster will surely change and hopefully a DP will be signed at some point this season, it’s always nice (or painful for some) to take a look at the contract situations ahead of the season. We can see who could be in their last year, what sort of flexibility exists for a 2025 roster built and so on.

Out of Contract After 2024

Johnny Russell, Tim Melia, Andreu Fontas, Remi Walter, Jake Davis

There are some big names on this list. In fact, that’s five likely day one starters. Locking up Jake Davis long-term immediately would be a good idea in my mind. Remi is still only 28 as of this writing and would seem to have a future on this team if he wants to. Everyone else is older and could easily be in their final year with the team. This will be a group to watch in 2024.

2024 Deal w/ 2025 Contract Option Only

Erik Thommy, Willy Agada, Logan Ndenbe, Kayden Pierre, Robert Voloder, Marinos Tzionis, Robert Castellanos, Memo Rodriguez, Ozzie Cisneros

All of these players are signed through 2024 with a team option to come back for 2025. Thommy, Agada and Ndenbe highlight the list that includes all three U-22 initiative spots. A lot of these guys could be in their last year in Kansas City as well.

2024 Deal w/ 2025 & 2026 Contract Options

Danny Flores, Chris Rindov, Stephen Afrifa, Zorhan Bassong

All of these players can also be moved on from after this season but have options for the next two years. It’s a lot of guys that have potential, but we haven’t seen much of. Afrifa has starred in preseason, so maybe that’s a precursor to a breakout year.

Through 2025 w/ 2026 Option

Nemanja Radoja, Tim Leibold, Dany Rosero, Felipe Hernandez, Khiry Shelton, John Pulskamp

All of these guys are locked in for two more guaranteed seasons. A couple key starters live here in Radoja and Rosero with other likely contributors (Leibold, Hernandez) and future starters (Pulskamp). They could easily be here for two or three more years, barring a new deal, buyout or transfer/trade.

Guaranteed through 2026 w/ No Option

Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido

Two more lock down starters set to be here for three more seasons.

Guaranteed through 2026 w/ 2027 Option

Alenis Vargas

The longest-term contract on the team is for current 20-year-old Vargas. I think that’s a vote of confidence in his future abilities and/or to control his deal for a potential future sale.

International Roster Spots

Willy Agada, Zorhan Bassong, Tim Leibold, Alenis Vargas

This category is one that won’t be set until the roster compliance date, a day before the 2024 season starts. We are almost certainly getting a green card for Dany Rosero since he missed the first leg of preseason to get that done. The rumor is Radoja will get one as well. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Leibold, Voloder and/or Agada picked them up too. The team has traded three of their eight slots away, so as long as they get two green cards, they are in compliance. Getting another soon or at least before the secondary transfer window will be huge to be able to make a big DP signing.

Update 2/24/2024: Nemanja Radoja, Dany Rosero and Robert Voloder all got green cards and are no longer internationals. The team has five spots and four are occupied now.

U-22 Initiative Players

Logan Ndenbe, Robert Voloder, Marinos Tzionis

All three players can be moved on from after 2024 and they all have 2025 options. The team spent over $1 million on each player and only Ndenbe has had an impact so far. He’s out for a good chunk of the season with an ACL injury or we may have been talking about them selling him for a tidy profit this year. Voloder and Tzionis have to step up this year or be labeled busts and bad investments. Either way, spending could be opened to make some youthful splashes if ownership hasn’t lost their nerve after these three moves haven’t worked out so far as planned.

Designated Players

Alan Pulido, Daniel Salloi, Nemanja Radoja

Add on 2/24/2024 update

In 2023 it was Pulido, Thommy and Gadi Kinda who were DPs. Pulido because of his salary, Thommy because he was in the TAM (Targeted Allocation Money) threshold on salary and Kinda because of his $4 million transfer fee. Gadi is gone and something has changed with Thommy’s salary because he’s no longer a DP.

Peter Vermes indicated one of the DP’s was just being placed there temporarily to save against the salary budget and they can be bought down but it would seem two players (Salloi and Radoja) could be in that window. We simply don’t know without knowing their 2024 salaries. In classic MLS fashion, it’s complicated.

Here is a Twitter thread I did if you want more.

The Full Roster

Here is the full roster with the DOB based on February 13th, 2024 (though you can do the math if they’ve had a b-day since).

Tim MeliaGK-12/23/20145/15/1986372024None
Johnny RussellRW-1/31/20184/8/1990332024None
Andreu FontasCB-8/8/201811/14/1989342024None
Ozzie CisnerosMIDHG1/20/20203/13/20041920242025
Remi WalterMID-12/22/20204/26/1995282024None
Kayden PierreRBHG5/4/20212/16/20032020242025
Jake DavisMID/RBHG8/19/20211/3/2002222024None
Logan NdembeLBU221/14/20222/9/20002420242025
Robert VoloderCBU221/19/20225/9/20012220242025
Marinos TzionisFWDU221/24/20227/16/20012220242025
William AgadaCFINT6/23/20229/17/19992420242025
Erik ThommyMID-6/23/20228/20/19942920242025
Danny FloresMID-1/13/20234/6/20022120242026
Chris RindovCB-2/10/202310/8/20012220242026
Robert CastellanosCB-2/17/20235/11/19982520242025
Stephen AfrifaCF-4/26/20232/19/20012220242026
Zorhan BassongLBINT12/12/20235/7/19992420242026
Memo RodriguezMID-2/1/202412/27/19952820242025
Ryan ScheweGK-2/5/20243/8/20022120242027
Felipe HernandezMIDHG8/30/20196/8/19982520252026
Khiry SheltonFWD-12/9/20196/26/19933020252026
John PulskampGKHG2/24/20204/19/20012220252026
Nemanja RadojaMIDDP10/26/20222/6/19933120252026
Tim LeiboldLBINT1/12/202311/30/19933020252026
Dany RoseroCB-3/2/202310/6/19933020252026
Daniel SalloiLWDP-HG1/13/20167/19/1996272026None
Alan PulidoCFDP12/10/20193/8/1991322026None
Alenis VargasFWDINT12/15/202312/4/20032020262027


  • HG = Homegrown
  • INT = International
  • U22 = U-22 Initiative
  • DP = Designated Player

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