VIDEO: The Benny Feilhaber Show
Benny Feilhaber enjoyed an MVP-caliber season in 2015, recording 12 goals and a club-record 20 assists in all competitions en route to an MLS MVP nomination. With 10 goals and 15 assists in the regular season, he became just the third player in Kansas City history to reach double digits in both categories during a single campaign. He earned MLS All-Star recognition for the first time in his career in 2015 and finished second in assists.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Feilhaber turned professional with Hamburg (Germany) after two seasons at UCLA. He would move to Derby County in the English Premier League and later to AGF Aarhus in Denmark before signing with the New England Revolution in 2011. Acquired by Sporting Kansas City prior to the 2013 season, Feilhaber is a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team and played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as well as the 2008 Summer Olympics.
2015: Feilhaber featured in the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 29, earning the first MLS All-Star selection of his career. He set the single-season club record with 20 assists in all competitions and was one of three finalists for 2015 MLS MVP. MLS regular season: Started 30 of 32 appearances and recorded a career-high 10 goals and 15 assists (2731 minutes played). He becomes the third player in team history to reach double digits in goals and assists in a single MLS season. Earned Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month recognition in April, recording two goals and three assists during the month. Assisted Ike Opara's goal in a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls on March 8. Assisted Roger Espinoza's goal in a 3-1 loss at FC Dallas on March 14. Earned MLS Team of the Week honors in Week 4. Assisted goals from Dom Dwyer and Krisztian Nemeth in a 3-2 win over Philadelphia on April 5. Assisted Krisztian Nemeth's goal in a 2-1 loss at LA Galaxy on April 18. Scored two goals in a 4-4 draw at Houston on April 25, the first from the penalty spot and the second a 95th-minute volley, which won MLS Goal of the Week (Week 8) to tie the match. Earned MLS Team of the Week honors in Week 8. Was voted Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month in April after recording two goals and three assists during the month. Earned MLS Team of the Week honors in Week 9. Scored the game-winning goal and recorded two assists in a 4-2 win over New England on May 20, tying his MLS career-high assist mark at seven. Earned MLS Team of the Week honors in Week 12. Scored his fourth goal of the season in a 4-0 win over FC Dallas on May 29, tying his MLS career-high. Scored the game-winning penalty kick in a 1-0 win over Seattle on June 6. Assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on June 21. Assisted Krisztian Nemeth's game-winning goal in a 2-0 win over Colorado on June 27. Scored the opening goal before assisting Dom Dwyer's game-winning strike in a 2-1 win over Montreal on July 18. Scored a spectacular goal as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on July 24, winning MLS Goal of the Week (Week 21). Assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 1-1 draw against Houston on Aug. 1. Scored a goal and assisted Krisztian Nemeth's goal in a 3-1 win at Toronto FC on Aug. 8. Earned MLS Team of the Week honors in Week 23. Assisted Paulo Nagamura's equalizing goal in a 4-3 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Aug. 15 as Sporting KC came from two goals behind after the 80th minute to complete one of the best comebacks in MLS history. It was Feilhaber's 18th assist of the year in all competitions, tying the single-season club record set by Preki in 2003. Feilhaber set the single-season club record with his 19th assist of the season on Sept. 13, setting up Krisztian Nemeth's goal in a 3-1 loss at Orlando City SC. Scored two goals (a free kick and a penalty kick) in a 3-1 win over FC Dallas on Sept. 18, earning MLS Player of the Week honors (Week 29) and becoming the third player in team history to record at least 10 goals and 10 assists in one MLS season (Preki four times, Josh Wolff 2005). Assisted the game-winning goal to Dom Dwyer in a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy on Oct. 26 as Sporting KC beat LA Galaxy to clinch a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started and played 120 minutes in Sporting KC's 7-6 penalty kick shootout loss at Portland after a 2-2 draw through regulation. Converted his penalty kick in the shootout. Open Cup: Started five matches with two goals and five assists, becoming the club's all-time Open Cup assist leader. Played 90 minutes and assisted Graham Zusi's game-winning goal in a 1-0 fourth round win over Saint Louis FC on June 16. Started and played 62 minutes in a 6-2 fifth round win over FC Dallas on July 1, recording three assists to set the club record for most assists in an Open Cup match. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-1 quarterfinal win over the Houston Dynamo on July 21, scoring the equalizing goal in the second half. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-1 semifinal win over Real Salt Lake on Aug. 12, assisting Soni Mustivar's equalizer and scoring the game-winning goal. Started and played 120 minutes in a championship win over the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 30 as Sporting KC prevailed 7-6 in penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in regulation. He converted his penalty kick in the shootout of the final. MLS All-Star Game: Played 45 minutes in the second half of the All-Stars' 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on July 29.
2014: Won Sporting KC's 2014 Goal of the Year for his 93rd-minute strike in a 2-1 win over Columbus on July 16. MLS regular season: Played in 31 games, 30 of them starts, with four goals and six assists. Assisted Aurelien Collin's goal in a 1-1 draw vs. FC Dallas on March 15. Scored his first goal of the season in a 3-2 win over Colorado on March 29. Assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 2-1 loss to Chicago on May 18. Assisted Antonio Dovale's first MLS goal in a 1-1 draw vs. the New York Red Bulls on May 27. Assisted Soony Saad's game-winning goal in a 2-0 win at Houston on June 6. Assisted C.J. Sapong's goal and scored the 93rd-minute game-winner in a 2-1 victory at Columbus on July 16. Scored a free kick in a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy on July 19 and was named MLS Player of the Week on July 21 (Week 19) after leading the team to a pair of victories in four days. Earned MLS Team of the Week honors (Week 20) after a 2-1 win at Toronto FC on July 26. Won MLS Player of the Month for July after leading Sporting KC to a 4-0-1 record during the month. Assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 3-1 loss to Houston on Aug. 29. Scored in a 4-0 win at Chivas USA on Sept. 12. MLS Playoffs: Played 90 minutes and assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 2-1 loss at New York in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round (Oct. 30). CCL: Started both legs of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals vs. Cruz Azul, playing the full 90 minutes and scoring a goal in the second leg on March 19. Started three of four total appearances (199 minutes) in the 2014-15 group stage. Assisted Antonio Dovale's second goal in a 3-1 win over Deportivo Saprissa on Sept. 18. Open Cup: Did not feature. Friendly: Played 45 minutes in a 4-1 Champions Shield defeat to Manchester City on July 23 at Sporting Park, assisting C.J. Sapong's goal.
2013: Watch Feilhaber's 2013 MLS regular season highlights. MLS: Made 27 appearances with 22 starts in his first year with Sporting KC. Feilhaber finished the year with three goals and four assists. Feilhaber made his first appearance for Sporting Kansas City on March 2 playing 82 minutes in 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park marking both team's first match of the season. Feilhaber notched two assists in a 2-0 win over Montreal on March 30. Feilhaber earned his third assist of the season on April 27 versus the Portland Timbers. Feilhaber scored his first goal for Sporting KC in a 2-1 win at Chicago on July 7 (video). Feilhaber scored his second goal on August 10 against his former club the New England Revolution (video). Feilhaber's third goal was nominated for Goal of the Week when he laced a 30-yard strike past Clint Irwin in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on August 31 (video). Playoffs: Started four of five matches in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Stole a Matt Reis pass and set-up Claudio Bieler for the game-tying goal in the Eastern Conference Semifinal series vs. New England. Assisted on Dom Dwyer's game-winning goal in the Eastern Conference Championship vs. Houston. Converted his penalty kick in the MLS Cup Final shootout vs. Real Salt Lake. CCL: Started three 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League group stage matches and tallied an assist in a 2-0 win at Real Esteli on August 20. Open Cup: Feilhaber appeared in his first Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match with Sporting Kansas City on May 28 and helped secure a 2-0 win over the Des Moines Menace. Feilhaber played 58 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Orlando City SC on June 12.
2012 (New England): Made 29 appearances, including 23 starts: three at left midfield, 16 at central midfield and four at right midfield. Scored one goal and recorded two assists. Suffered a club-leading 70 fouls in 29 appearances, tied for third in MLS. Started the season opener at San Jose (March 10) on the left wing and moved centrally mid-way through the second half. Lined up as an attacking centeral midfielder at Kansas City (March 17), but came off in the 61st minute with an ankle injury. Missed three matches with a peroneal strain in his left ankle: against Portland (March 24), at LA (March 31) and at Dallas (April 5), and returned as a substitute in the central midfield against D.C. (April 14) before rejoining the starting lineup at left midfield against Colorado (May 2). Scored his first goal and first assist of the season against Chicago (June 2). Recorded his second assist of the season on Jerry Bengtson’s goal at Columbus (Aug. 25). Shown two yellow cards and a subsequent red card at Philadelphia (Oct. 6) and missed the Chicago game (Oct. 20) while serving a mandatory one-game suspension. Scored a 103rd-minute goal in a substitute appearance at central midfield – but saw his penalty attempt saved as the team’s fifth kicker in PKs to lose the match – in the team’s U.S. Open Cup third-round loss to the Harrisburg City Islanders (May 29). Also recorded an assist on Fernando Cardenas’ goal in an MLS Reserve League match against Toronto (Sept. 7).
2011 (New England): Made 23 starts, 20 in the central midfield and four along the three-man forward line, in his first season in MLS after joining the Revs at the end of April through the MLS Allocation Process. The Revolution selected Feilhaber in the Allocation Process on April 19 after Chivas USA (No. 1) and Philadelphia (No. 2) passed on his rights, and the team announced his signing on April 20. He flew from Denmark on April 21, and trained with the team for the first time on Friday, April 22, before debuting on Saturday, April 23. Scored four goals and added a team-high seven assists. Finished the season ranked second in MLS in fouls suffered (71), for a league-best 3.08 per game mark. Started the first game for which he was available – vs. Sporting Kansas City (April 23) – playing 90 minutes and recording an assist on Marko Perovic’s goal. Drew the eventual game-winning penalty kick (converted by Shalrie Joseph) against Vancouver (May 14). Suffered a right ankle sprain late in the LA game (May 28) and left the game, missing the next four games (June 4 at FCD through June 18 vs. Chicago), as well as the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the injury. Returned to the lineup at Seattle (June 26), recording an assist on Sainey Nyassi’s goal. Set up Shalrie Joseph’s goal at Real Salt Lake (July 4) after drawing a penalty kick in the fourth minute, which Rajko Lekic converted. Started and recorded an assist on the Revs’ lone goal in the friendly against Manchester United (July 13). Received a second caution and subsequent red-card ejection in the 66th-minute against Philadelphia (July 17) and was unavailable at D.C. United (July 20). Scored his first MLS goal at Colorado (July 23) off a headed ball from Stephen McCarthy. Scored single goals at Columbus (Aug. 13), at Philadelphia (Sept. 7) and vs. San Jose (Oct. 8). Picked up assists vs. Dallas (Sept. 10) and vs. Seattle (Oct. 1), both off of corner kicks. Closed the season with a two-assist effort at Toronto (Oct. 22). Volunteered to play in the Revs reserve match against Toronto (Sept. 2) to help stay sharp during the team’s 17-day break caused by Hurricane Irene, recording the game-winning assist, sending Zack Schilawski through alone for the game-winning goal in the first minute of stoppage time.
BEFORE MLS: Began his professional career in Germany with Hamburg’s reserve team in 2005 following a call-up to the U.S. Under-20 National Team for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship ... debuted with Hamburg’s first team in 2006, where he went on to make nine appearances before signing with Derby County, which had just won promotion to the English Premier League, in 2007 ... made 10 appearances for Derby before the club was relegated at the end of the season and signed with AGF Aarhus on a free transfer in August 2008 ... at AGF Aarhus, made 54 appearances in two-and-a-half seasons, scoring five goals, before signing with MLS in April 2011.
COLLEGE: A walk-on at UCLA, he went on to play 16 games in his first season with the Bruins in 2003 … in his next year, he played in every match, helping UCLA to a 14-4-2 record … scored five goals and had three assists for 13 points as UCLA advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament ... turned professional after two seasons.
INTERNATIONAL (41 caps): Was a member of the U.S.’ 2010 FIFA World Cup squad and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team ... has scored two goals for the national team, including the game-winning goal in the final of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Mexico in Chicago ... made three appearances in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, and three appearances at the 2008 Olympics ... also a former member of the U.S. Under-20 squad ... earned his first senior team cap on March 25, 2007, against Ecuador. 2011: Was called in for the 2011 Gold Cup, but was replaced on the roster after suffering an ankle injury on May 28 with the Revolution. 2012: Made his debut under new MNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Jan. 21, 2012, with a start against Venezuela in Phoenix. 2013: Called into the 2013 USMNT January Camp along with Sporting KC teammates Graham Zusi and Matt Besler and played 45 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Canada. 2014: Called into the 2014 USMNT January Camp along with Sporting KC teammates Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers and played 30 minutes in 2-0 win over Korea Republic.
PERSONAL: Feilhaber got married to his wife Michelle in December 2012 and the couple had their first child in July 2014 … born in Brazil to Brazilian parents, he moved to the United States when he was six years old … one of five U.S. players featured in a photo shoot in Interview magazine before the World Cup … lists Brazil’s legendary Garrincha as the player he most admires … Favorite club team is Botafogo ... has a tattoo that reads Per ardua ad astra, Latin for “through adversity to the stars.”