Kansas City re-signs its iron man

[MLS] One of the more versatile players to play for Kansas City the past few seasons will be back in 2011. Midfielder/defender Michael Harrington, who has played more games for the team during the past four seasons than any other player, has signed a new contract. Taken as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 SuperDraft, Harrington returns to the team having played 120 regular-season and playoff games.

"I'm really glad to be back,” Harrington said. “I’m excited about the season. We’ve got a lot of good guys coming back and I’m sure the coaching staff has worked hard to bring some good players in. With the new stadium and everything else, I can feel a buzz around Kansas City about the team. I’m glad to be a part of it and ready to get back to work."

Harrington turns 24 next week and thus falls just short of the benchmark by which his contract would be guaranteed under terms of the collective bargaining agreement negotiated last year. Though he’s played the requisite four seasons in MLS, he does not qualify by age, as a player needs to be 25 and have played four seasons to be guaranteed. He will hit that benchmark next season. This year, he must be on the roster as of the contract-guarantee date.

In his career he’s scored five goals and registered 13 assists. He played mostly wide midfield his first two seasons and started every game in 2008. He moved to outside back for the 2009 season; last year, he started every game except the season finale and matched a career high with four assists.

A tough, rugged tackler with good speed and decent feet, Harrington played collegiately at North Carolina and represented the U.S. at the 2003 U-17 FIFA World Championship and the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Terms of his contract were not disclosed.

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