Sporting Kansas City has signed veteran midfielder Justin Mapp, the club announced on Monday. Mapp becomes the first Free Agent signing in Major League Soccer history after the League introduced free agency in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement earlier this year.
“Adding an experienced player of Justin’s caliber is a great start to our offseason,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. “He fits very well into our model of play and brings a lot of qualities that will help us reach our goals next season.”
Mapp, 31, has recorded 23 goals and 70 assists in 318 MLS appearances (including postseason) since being drafted fourth overall in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft. His 65 regular season assists rank third among active players in MLS.
“Sporting Kansas City has always been a team and organization I have respected, and now I am very happy to be a part of it and play in front of such passionate fans,” Mapp said. “I am thankful and appreciative for my time at Montreal, and I’m looking forward to the 2016 season in Kansas City.”
Mapp spent his rookie campaign at D.C. United before joining the Chicago Fire, where he helped the club reach the playoffs six times between 2003-2010. He left Chicago in July 2010, having won two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups (2003, 2006) and a Supporters’ Shield title (2003) to go with MLS All-Star (2005) and MLS Best XI (2006) honors.
After contributing four goals and eight assists from 2010-2011 with the Philadelphia Union, Mapp was selected by the Montreal Impact in the MLS Expansion Draft ahead of the 2012 campaign. He has spent each of the last four years with the Canadian side, where he currently ranks second in club history with 21 MLS assists and fifth with 82 regular season appearances.
In 2013 and 2014, Mapp tied MLS career-highs with eight assists and helped Montreal win consecutive Amway Canadian Championship titles, landing tournament MVP honors both times. He was an inactive MLS All-Star in 2013 as Montreal made its first ever appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Mapp earned eight caps for the United States Men’s National Team between 2005 and 2007, including three games played at the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela. He also represented the U.S. at the U-17 and U-20 youth levels.
Hometown: Brandon, Mississippi
Birthplace: Brandon, Mississippi
Previous Clubs: D.C. United, Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact
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