After Kljestan to Orlando City, Feilhaber moves to LAFC

For the second time within hours, a gifted American playmaker changed MLS teams.

First, the New York Red Bulls sent Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City, then Los Angeles FC acquired midfielder Benny Feilhaber from Sporting Kansas City.

Sporting KC will receive $200,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $200,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

Feilhaber, 32, was born in Brazil and grew up in New Jersey and Southern California, where he played two seasons for UCLA. He started his pro career in Germany with Hamburg in 2005 and played for Derby County (England) and Aarhus (Denmark) prior to signing an MLS deal to play for New England in 2011.

In 2013, he was traded to Sporting Kansas City, which he helped win its second MLS Cup title in his first season and during five years played 150 regular-season games, scored 29 goals, and logged 41 assists. With SKC he also won U.S. Open Cup titles in 2015 and 2017. In seven MLS seasons for the Revs and SKC he’s played 202 games, scored 34 goals, and registered 50 assists.

“Benny has enjoyed great success as an incredibly productive midfielder and has won multiple trophies here in MLS,” said LAFC general manager John Thorrington said in a statement provided by the team. “He has valuable experience and will provide stability and productivity to our midfield.”

At LAFC, Feilhaber is re-united with former national-team head coach Bob Bradley, who called him up for his first senior cap in 2007 when he won the Gold Cup with a stunning second-half goal that lifted the USA over Mexico, 2-1.

Feilhaber, who had played for the U.S. at the 2005 U-20 World Cup, represented the USA at the 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 World Cup. His last cap (No. 44) came in the 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago Oct. 10 that eliminated the U.S. from World Cup qualification.

“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.”

SKC gets ... The trade opens up a spot on the field for recently acquired DP midfielder Yohan Croizet, who joined the team last month in a transfer from Belgian club KV Mechelen. SKC, which in July traded forward Dom Dwyer to Orlando City for a possible record sum ($1.6 million) in allocation money, is making over its roster in the wake of Knockout-Round elimination the past four years.

Los Angeles FC:
IN: Monday Bassey Etim (Montverde Academy, free), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad/ESP, transfer), Rodrigo Pacheco (Lanus/ARG, loan), Omar Gaber (FC Basel/SUI, loan), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas, trade), Tyler Miller (Seattle Sounders, Expansion Draft), Latif Blessing (Sporting KC, Expansion Draft), Marcos Urena (San Jose Earthquakes, Expansion Draft), Jukka Raitala (Columbus, Crew, Expansion Draft), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC, Expansion Draft), Jordan Harvey (Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS free agent), Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact, Impact, trade), Calum Mallace (Seattle Sounders, Re-Entry Draft, Stage 2), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC).
OUT:  Jukka Raitala (Montreal Impact, trade), Raheem Edwards (Montreal Impact, trade), Carlos Alvarez.
2018 Roster:

Tyler Miller.
Laurent Ciman, Omar Gaber, Jordan Harvey, Walker Zimmerman.
Midfielders: Monday Bassey Etim, Benny Feilhaber.
Forwards: Latif Blessing, Rodrigo Pacheco, Marcos Urena, Carlos Vela.

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