Benny Feilhaber named Sporting KC II head coach

Benny Feilhaber Sporting KC II head coach

Former Sporting Kansas City midfielder and World Cup veteran Benny Feilhaber has been named the new head coach of Sporting Kansas City II, the club announced today.

Feilhaber, who won three major championships with Sporting Kansas City and earned 44 caps for the United States Men’s National Team during his storied playing career, becomes the fourth head coach in Sporting KC II history. He joined Sporting’s technical staff in January 2021 and has served as the Sporting KC Academy U-17 head coach since last August.

As the Sporting KC II head coach, Feilhaber will have an integral role in the development of Sporting KC Academy products and other young players looking to make the jump to Major League Soccer. Thirteen players currently on Sporting Kansas City's senior roster have featured for Sporting KC II since the club’s inception in 2016, including 2021 MLS MVP finalist Daniel Salloi and U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper John Pulskamp.

Feilhaber will lead Sporting KC II into a new era in 2022 as the club prepares to compete in MLS NEXT Pro, a newly launched professional league that will kick off in March. The full 2022 match schedule, competition details and other information will be announced at a later date.

After retiring from MLS in March 2020, Feilhaber took the first step of his post-playing career by joining UCLA, his college alma mater, as an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team in August 2020. He returned to Sporting last January as Director of Technical Operations on the club’s technical staff and transitioned to U-17 head coach last summer, focusing on the development of youth players within Sporting’s professional player pathway. Feilhaber holds a U.S. Soccer B License and is currently working towards his A-Senior License.

Feilhaber enjoyed a 15-year playing career that spanned MLS, the German Bundesliga, English Premier League and Danish Superliga. He won the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2015 and 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups with Sporting and represented the U.S. internationally, lifting the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup and competing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

One of the most prolific playmakers in Sporting history, Feilhaber ended his playing tenure in Kansas City with 35 goals and 58 assists in 198 matches. He spent two stints with the club, helping Sporting to five straight playoff appearances from 2013-2017 and returning in 2019 for his final season. His 35 goals and 58 assists rank ninth and third on the club’s all-time charts, respectively, and he is one of four players in team history—alongside Preki, Chris Klein and Graham Zusi—with at least 30 goals and 50 assists.

Feilhaber, 36, scored 56 goals in over 400 professional matches during a well-traveled club career that featured stops at Hamburg in Germany, Derby County in England and Aarhus in Denmark. His MLS journey also included spells at the New England Revolution (2011-2012), LAFC (2018) and the Colorado Rapids (2019).

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and raised in Irvine, California, Feilhaber represented the U.S. Men’s National Team 44 times from 2007-2017. He notably scored a world-class goal to win the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup final versus Mexico, helped the U.S. to a second-place finish at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and played three World Cup matches the following year in South Africa.