Sporting KC signs Chilean midfielder Felipe Gutierrez


Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed Felipe Gutierrez, sealing the Chilean midfielder’s return to Kansas City following his three-year stint as a Designated Player from 2018-2020. Gutierrez has signed an MLS contract through 2023 with a club option for 2024. He will be added to Sporting's roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.

Additionally, Sporting has placed defender Kortne Ford on the Season-Ending Injury List, opening an additional slot on the club’s 2023 roster in accordance with MLS rules.

Gutierrez has enjoyed a heralded playing career across the globe, notching 62 goals and 46 assists in 379 club appearances since 2009 with stops in the Spanish La Liga, Dutch Eredivisie, Brazilian Serie A, Chilean Primera Division and Major League Soccer. He has also collected 35 caps for the Chile Men’s National Team as a 2014 FIFA World Cup participant and a 2015 Copa America champion.

A native of Quintero, Chile, Gutierrez starred for Sporting in 2018 and 2019 before missing the 2020 campaign. He ended his first spell at the club with 19 goals and nine assists in 63 matches across all competitions, helping Sporting to a first-place finish in the Western Conference in 2018 and earning team MVP honors in 2019. Since leaving Kansas City at the end of 2020, Gutierrez has competed for Universidad Catolica in Chile, the Colorado Rapids in MLS and Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates Football League.

Gutierrez began his professional career at Chilean powerhouse Catolica in 2009 and had a breakout season for the club in 2011, scoring 10 goals in the top-flight Primera Division as Catolica finished atop the Apertura standings and won the Copa Chile. He then moved overseas to the Netherlands, where he began a successful stint with first-division side FC Twente. After competing in the UEFA Europa League in his first season with the club, Gutierrez delivered a stellar sophomore campaign as the 2013-14 Eredivisie Most Valuable Player, tallying three goals and four assists in 33 league appearances. Despite missing most of the 2014-15 season, he bounced back for a strong 2015-16 campaign with starts in 27 of 30 appearances.

Gutierrez moved from Netherlands to Spain in 2016, signing for La Liga side Real Betis. His first La Liga goal was a stoppage-time winner as Betis ousted Osasuna 2-1 in October 2016. The midfielder then spent most of 2017 on loan at Internacional in Brazil, where he played 16 games and helped the club gain promotion to the top-flight Serie A.

Inking a Designated Player contract for Sporting in early 2018, Gutierrez scored five goals in his first five appearances under Manager Peter Vermes, including match-winning goals in each of the club’s first three victories of the year. His hot start culminated in MLS Player of the Month honors for March, setting the tone for a season that would see Sporting finish atop the West and reach the conference finals. Gutierrez finished the 2018 regular season with seven goals and two assists and added three assists during the club’s playoff run.

In 2019, Gutierrez landed Sporting KC Golden Boot honors by scoring 12 goals and becoming the fourth midfielder in club history to hit double-digit goals in a single regular season. He also had four assists and led all Sporting field players in appearances (38), starts (37) and minutes (3,225) across all competitions.

At the end of 2020, he left Sporting and returned to Catolica in Chile. He notched six goals and six assists across two seasons for the club before finishing 2022 with the Rapids in MLS, where he had two assists in 12 games. Gutierrez spent the first six months of 2023 with Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates, recording a goal and two assists in nine appearances.

Gutierrez first represented the Chile Men’s National Team in May 2010, debuting in a 1-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland. The following year, he was included on Chile’s squad for the 2011 Copa America but did not feature in the competition. Gutierrez became a regular contributor for La Roja during 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying—scoring his first international goal against Argentina in October 2012—and later earned a spot on Chile’s roster for the prestigious tournament in Brazil. The midfielder featured in each of Chile’s four World Cup matches as La Roja advanced out of the group stage before falling to hosts Brazil on penalty kicks in the Round of 16.

In 2015, Gutierrez helped Chile win the country’s first Copa America title on home soil. In the tournament final, the hosts edged Argentina 4-1 in a penalty shootout after a scoreless draw to hoist South America’s most coveted international trophy. He made another eight appearances in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, where he again scored a goal versus Argentina in March 2016, and was selected to Chile’s roster for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. Gutierrez was selected to the Chile national team in October 2018 and September 2019 as an unused substitute for matches during both FIFA windows.

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs midfielder Felipe Gutierrez.


Felipe Gutierrez
Position: Midfielder
Born: 10/8/1990 (32 years old)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 155 lbs.
Birthplace: Quintero, Chile
Hometown: Quintero, Chile
Citizenship: Chile
Previous club: Al Wasl (United Arab Emirates)
Instagram: @feligutierrezleiva