Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday that the club has agreed to transfer midfielder Oriol Rosell to Sporting CP in Lisbon, Portugal. Sporting Kansas City will receive two-thirds of the transfer fee to use as allocation money^ per MLS rules, as well as a percentage of any future transfer of Rosell from Sporting CP to another club.
Per club policy, terms of the agreement will not be disclosed.
“We wish Uri the best of luck in pursuing this new opportunity," said Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman. "The perception from the outside might be that the timing is not great, but from the inside we believe that the timing is perfect. It opens the door for Uri and for us. Uri came from Barcelona B to Sporting Kansas City, won an MLS Cup and furthered his development on the field. This transfer helps enable us to retain our core players while adding pieces to the team. As we continue to build our roster for the future, and looking at our goal of pursuing championships, we identify what types of players we need to have on our roster to compete continuously for the U.S. Open Cup, MLS Cup and Champions League. This move has also expanded the relationships we have built with many top clubs, opening access to similar players around the world, showcasing what can be accomplished in Kansas City and the other platforms that open up from here.”
Rosell, 21, joined Sporting Kansas City in August 2012 from Barcelona B. He contributed two goals and two assists in 49 MLS appearances (including postseason) and led all MLS players with 130 interceptions during the 2013 season. Rosell was voted No. 14 on MLSsoccer.com's top 24 players under the age of 24 last year and made his international debut for Catalonia in 2013.
Sporting Clube de Portugal were runners-up in the Liga ZON Sagres this season and will compete in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League. The team features two-time MLS All-Star Fredy Montero, as well as four players on national team rosters for the 2014 FIFA World Cup: Islam Slimani (ALG), Marcos Rojo (ARG), William Carvalho (POR) and Rui Patricio (POR).
^In accordance with MLS Roster Rules and Regulations, allocation money does not count against a club's salary budget and can be used:
- To sign players new to MLS
- To re-sign an existing MLS player, subject to League approval
- To "buy-down" a player's salary budget charge below the League maximum
- In connection with the exercise of an option to purchase a player's rights or the extension of a player's contract for the second year provided the player was new to MLS in the immediately prior year
Rosell becomes the third Sporting Kansas City player in the last 18 months to move to Europe. In 2013, Honduran midfielder Roger Espinoza joined Wigan Athletic (England) and Sierra Leone striker Kei Kamara was transferred to Middlesbrough FC (England). Rosell’s transfer will open a Salary Budget Player spot and international slot on the Sporting Kansas City roster.