Sporting KC signs Tim Leibold

Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed 29-year-old defender Tim Leibold, a seasoned left back who has amassed more than 20 goals and 40 assists in nearly 300 professional appearances in his native Germany.

Leibold, who has signed a three-year MLS contract through 2025 with an option for 2026, will occupy an international spot on Sporting’s roster, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa. He becomes the third German newcomer at Sporting since the start of 2022, following center back Robert Voloder and midfielder Erik Thommy.

Leibold will join Sporting after spending the last eight seasons across Germany’s top two divisions. He starred at Nurnberg from 2015-2019—helping the club gain promotion to the top-flight Bundesliga in 2018—and has competed since then for Hamburg, including a one-year stint as club captain during the 2020-21 campaign.

A dynamic left back with a penchant for attacking, Leibold developed in youth academies at VfB Stuttgart, TSF Ditzingen and SGV Freiberg before turning professional with Freiberg at age 18 in 2012. He tallied five goals and four assists in his lone season for the club prior to joining VfB Stuttgart II, where he started 54 matches across two years in the German third division.

Leibold enjoyed a breakthrough in 2015 by joining 2. Bundesliga side Nurnburg and solidifying his place as a regular starter. He notched four goals and two assists in his first season at Nurnburg, with the club narrowly missing out on promotion to the Bundesliga with a 2-1 aggregate loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the promotion/relegation playoff. Leibold missed most of the following season through injury but bounced back in 2017-18 with four goals and three assists in 32 appearances as Nurnburg clinched Bundesliga promotion with a second-place league finish.

The 2018-19 campaign saw Leibold lead Nurnburg with 32 Bundesliga starts while also assisting three goals. Competing in one of the world’s best leagues, he led the team in key passes, tackles, recoveries and touches while placing second in minutes played.

Leibold then returned to the 2. Bundesliga with a move from Nurnburg to Hamburg, where he had his best professional season to date in 2019-20. He played every minute of all 34 league matches and led the 2. Bundesliga with 16 assists, including two-assist games in wins over Dynamo Dresden and former club Nurnberg. Leibold donned the captain’s armband at Hamburg in 2020-21, delivering another standout season with four goals and four assists in 29 league starts as the club finished fourth for the second straight year.

Leibold has started 15 of 17 appearances for Hamburg over the last two seasons, including starts in cup victories over Nurnberg and Eintracht Braunschweig in the 2021-22 DFB-Pokal.

At the international level, Leibold played five matches for the Germany U-20s in 2013, including shutout wins over Turkey, Netherlands and Poland.

For a full list of Sporting’s offseason roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/news/tracker. The club will kick off its 28th MLS campaign on Feb. 25, visiting the Portland Timbers in the earliest start to a regular season in league history. Sporting’s home opener at Children’s Mercy Park is set for March 11 against the LA Galaxy.

Sporting Kansas City season tickets feature exclusive benefits, including a subscription to MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and complimentary away match tickets, and are available by calling 888-4KC-GOAL or visiting SportingKC.com. Sporting also offers a variety of ticket packages and promotions including the Home Opener Pack and Captain's Flex Pack. Additionally, single-match tickets for Sporting’s first eight regular season home matches at Children's Mercy Park in 2023 are now on sale via SeatGeek.

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs defender Tim Leibold to a three-year MLS contract through 2025 with an option for 2026.

VITALS

Tim Leibold (LIE-bold)
Position: Defender
Born: 11/30/1993 (29 years old)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hometown: Boblingen, Germany
Birthplace: Boblingen, Germany
Citizenship: Germany
Previous Club: Hamburg SV (Germany)
Instagram: @tim.leibold