Sporting KC signs Kevin Ellis, Jimmy Medranda and Alec Kann to new contracts

Kevin Ellis Jimmy Medranda Alec Kann Contract

Sporting Kansas City announced Tuesday that the club has signed defenders Kevin Ellis, Jimmy Medranda and goalkeeper Alec Kann to new MLS contracts.

Ellis has signed a two-year contract through 2018, Medranda has signed a contract through 2019 with an option for 2020, and Kann has signed a contract for 2017 with options for 2018 and 2019.

Ellis, 25, became Sporting Kansas City’s second Homegrown Player in team history upon joining the club in February 2011. The versatile defender has since recorded eight goals and five assists in 82 games across all competitions, including two goals and one assist in 2016. Sporting Kansas City earned shutouts in six of Ellis’ 14 MLS appearances this season.

"I am very excited to sign a new contract with Sporting KC,” Ellis said. “It was always a dream of mine to be able to play professional soccer in front of my friends and family, and I look forward to continuing my career with my hometown club."

Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Ellis had a banner year in 2015 after leading MLS defenders with five goals (including playoffs). He also set MLS career-highs with 27 games played and 26 starts, ending the year with 33 appearances in all competitions.

After logging just four appearances between 2011-2013, Ellis broke out during the 2014 season with one goal and three assists in 27 total matches. He opened his Sporting KC scoring account in the first leg of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, netting the game-winner against eventual champion Cruz Azul.

As a youth, Ellis developed in the Sporting Kansas City Academy while attending Oak Park High School. He starred collegiately at Barton Community College from 2009-2010, amassing 34 goals and 12 assists over two seasons.

Medranda, 22, enjoyed his best year as a professional in 2016, setting MLS career-highs with 29 appearances and 22 starts (including playoffs). The dynamic defender led MLS with 3.5 tackles won per 90 minutes played and ranked second among left backs in the Audi Player Index ratings. He also provided a threat going forward, finishing fourth in MLS with 22 successful crosses from open play.

"I am very excited to sign a long-term contract with Sporting KC,” Medranda said. “I have grown a lot as a player over the past three-and-a-half years and have loved every moment playing in front of the Sporting KC fans."

Medranda scored his first MLS goal in a 3-1 win over New York City FC on July 10 and added two assists during league play, including the game-winner in the 92nd minute of a 3-2 win over Columbus Crew SC on July 3. He finished the campaign with 32 games played in all competitions — more than double the 14 total appearances during his first three seasons with the club.

A native of Mosquera, Colombia, Medranda joined Sporting KC on loan from Colombian side Deportivo Pereira in 2013. He signed permanently the following season, making six appearances in 2014 and seven more in 2015 before breaking out this year.

Kann’s first season with Sporting Kansas City culminated in 2016 Newcomer of the Year honors. The goalkeeper started 10 matches in all competitions, making 21 saves with two shutouts and a 4-3-3 record. He earned both clean sheets in league play, including his first career MLS win and shutout on July 31 versus Portland. Kann also played both games in Sporting KC’s U.S. Open Cup campaign and featured in a CONCACAF Champions League win against Central FC.

"Over the past year, Kansas City has become my home and I am excited to continue my career with Sporting KC,” Kann said. “We have the foundation to do great things in 2017 and beyond, and I look forward to rejoining my teammates next month for preseason."

Sporting Kansas City selected Kann in Stage One of the 2015 MLS Re-Entry Draft after he spent most of last year with Chicago Fire’s USL affiliate Saint Louis FC. He joined Chicago ahead of the 2013 season and was loaned to the USL’s Charlotte Eagles in 2014.

Kann, 26, was a four-year starter at Furman University from 2008-2011. He then began his professional career in 2012 with the Charleston Battery (USL).

Sporting Kansas City currently has 21 players under contract for the 2017 season. To view all of the club’s offseason roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/tracker.

Remarks from Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes

On Kevin Ellis re-signing…
"One of our objectives this offseason was to make sure we secured our central defender position. The fact that we are able to bring Kevin back, who has proven to be a productive player in our system, is a great move for both himself and the club."

On Jimmy Medranda re-signing…
"2016 was a breakout year for Jimmy, and it's great to see his potential be realized. We are excited to sign him to a long-term deal so he can continue his progression with our club."

On Alec Kann re-signing…
"I thought that Alec made some very good strides this past year. I was very impressed with certain aspects of his game and I really appreciate his work ethic. I'm very excited that we are able to re-sign him as we head into 2017."

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs defenders Kevin Ellis, Jimmy Medranda and goalkeeper Alec Kann to new MLS contracts.


Kevin Ellis
Position: Defender
Number: 4
Born: 6/30/1991 (25 years old)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 160
College: Barton Community College
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @Kev_Ellis4
Instagram: kevoellis4

Jimmy Medranda (muh-DRAHN-dah)
Position: Defender
Number: 94
Born: 2/7/1994 (22 years old)
Height: 5-8
Weight: 150
Hometown: Mosquera, Colombia
Birthplace: Mosquera, Colombia
Citizenship: Colombia
Twitter: @jimmymedranda
Instagram: jimao7

Alec Kann (CAN)
Position: Goalkeeper
Number: 25
Born: 8/8/1990 (26 years old)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 190
College: Furman University
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
Birthplace: Decatur, Georgia
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @akann90
Instagram: aleckann