MLS Moves: Chilean star Gutierrez adds to Sporting KC midfield congestion

Sporting Kansas City signed 27-year-old midfielder Felipe Gutierrez, who played for Chile at the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America it hosted and won, as a Designated Player.

Gutierrez, who joins Sporting KC on a three-year contract through 2020 with a club option for 2021, played last season in Brazil for Internacional on loan from Spain's Real Betis. He had spent four seasons in the Netherlands with FC Twente.

In addition to playing in the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America for La Roja, Gutierrez made eight appearances in 2018 World Cup qualifying and was selected to Chile's roster for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

Sporting KC returns Roger Espinoza and Ilie in midfield and acquired Frenchman Yohan Croizet in the offseason.

“If there’s a player that fits into our system, he’s one of those guys,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes told the Kansas City Star. “He’s relentless in the way that he goes after the ball. He’s got a great engine (and) can go up and down the field. Really, really street smart on the field. Definitely a player that’s going to have an impact on our team.”

Sporting KC also signed Scottish winger Johnny Russell in the third major move related to its front six.

2018 Sporting KC Roster:
Goalkeepers: Andrew Dykstra, Tim Melia, Adrian Zendejas.
Defenders: Matt Besler, Amer Didic, Kevin Ellis, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic, Colton Storm, Graham Zusi.
Midfielders: Yohan Croizet, Roger Espinoza, Felipe Gutierrez, Ilie, Cristian Lobato, Jimmy Medranda, James Musa, Johnny Russell.
Forwards: Kharlton Belmar, Gianluca Busio, Gerso, Diego Rubio, Soony Saad, Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton, Zach Wright.

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