Sporting Kansas City signed Chilean international midfielder Felipe Gutierrez as a Designated Player in February 2018. He joins Sporting KC on a three-year contract through 2020 with an option for 2021.
2018: MLS regular season: Started 18 of 20 appearances, recording seven goals and two assists (1,522 minutes played). Made his Sporting KC debut in the 2018 season opener against New York City FC on March 4 at Children's Mercy Park. Scored two goals in a thrilling 4-3 victory at the Chicago Fire on March 10, tallying his first MLS goal in the ninth minute and a dramatic winner in the 86th minute. Scored a sensational game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on March 17, becoming the first Sporting KC player ever to score three goals in his first three MLS regular season appearances for the club. Scored his fourth goal in as many games in a 2-2 draw at the Colorado Rapids on March 24, becoming the club's first player to score four times in his first four regular season appearances for the team. Scored another game-winner in a 1-0 victory over D.C. United on March 31, becoming the second player in team history to score five times in the first five games of any regular season, as well as the fourth player to score in four straight regular season matches for the club. Was named the MLS Player of the Month for March after finishing the month with a league-best five goals and becoming the first Kansas City player to win the award since 2015. Scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 victory over Orlando City SC on Sept. 8, 2018, his first goal since March 31 after missing the middle third of the season through injury. Scored a goal and tallied two assists, to Gerso Fernandes and Krisztian Nemeth, in a 5-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 15, 2018. Open Cup: Played 19 minutes as a second-half substitute in a 4-2 quarterfinal loss at the Houston Dynamo on July 18. MLS Cup Playoffs: Has started two matches and recorded three assists (180 minutes played). Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-1 conference semifinal first leg draw at Real Salt Lake on Nov. 4, assisting Diego Rubio's goal in the 60th minute. Started and played 90 minutes in a 4-2 conference semifinal second-leg win over Real Salt Lake on Nov. 11, assisting first-half goals to Diego Rubio and Daniel Salloi to become the second player in Sporting KC history to record two assists in a playoff game.
INTERNATIONAL (35 caps, 4 goals)
A native of Quintero, Chile, Gutierrez has represented his country 35 times at the senior international level. The versatile midfielder has competed on a global stage at the sport’s highest level, featuring at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and helping Chile lift the 2015 Copa America title as champions of South America.
Gutierrez received his first call to the Chile Men’s National Team in May 2010, debuting in a 1-0 friendly win over Northern Ireland. The following year, Gutierrez was included on Chile’s squad for the 2011 Copa America but did not feature at the quadrennial tournament. He later joined La Roja for 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying — scoring his first international goal against Argentina in October 2012 — and in the process earned a spot on Chile’s 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He featured in each of Chile’s four matches at the prestigious competition 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-ever 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 prized international trophy. He then made eight appearances in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, where he tallied another goal versus Argentina in March 2016, and was selected to Chile’s roster for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
After beginning his youth career at local club Everton de Vina del Mar in 2004, Gutierrez joined 12-time Chilean Primera Division champion CD Universidad Catolica in 2009 at age 18. He enjoyed a breakout season for the club in 2011, scoring 10 goals in the top-flight Primera Division as Universidad Catolica finished atop the spring Apertura standings and won the 2011 Copa Chile.
Gutierrez remained with Unversidad Catolica for the 2012 Apertura campaign — where he led the team with seven goals in 16 games — before landing a transfer to FC Twente in the Netherlands ahead of the 2012-13 Eredivisie season. He debuted for the Dutch side in a UEFA Europa League qualifier, marking his first of nine appearances in the European tournament that year.
In his sophomore season at FC Twente, Gutierrez reached new heights as the midfielder started 33 league matches and was named the 2013-14 Eredivisie Most Valuable Player for his instrumental role in propelling the Tukkers to a third-place finish in the table. Gutierrez missed most of 2014-15 through injury but returned for a strong 2015-16 campaign as he started 27 of 30 appearances in all competitions.
Gutierrez moved from Netherlands to Spain in 2016-17, signing for Spanish La Liga side Real Betis. His first La Liga goal was a stoppage-time winner as Real Betis ousted Osasuna 2-1 in October 2016. Gutierrez 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.