"This Week in Sporting," presented by The Smile Generation, is a weekly series that highlights the biggest storylines and news updates from Sporting Kansas City. To visit the series archive, click here.
1. McIntosh Onboard
Sporting Kansas City selected 26-year-old goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh in Stage 1 of the 2020 MLS Re-Entry Process on Thursday. McIntosh boasts five years of professional experience across Major League Soccer and the second-division USL Championship. He spent the 2020 MLS campaign with the New York Red Bulls following a four-year stint in the Portland Timbers organization from 2016-2019.
“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to join Sporting Kansas City,” McIntosh said. “It’s a club with a great history and I will get to work with one of the league’s best goalkeepers in Tim Melia. I can’t wait to get started with the team.”
2. Zusi's Masterclass
Sporting Kansas City defender Graham Zusi's wonder-strike from a 4-1 win at FC Dallas in June 2011 has been voted the fifth-best goal in MLS history.
With the top 25 goals nominated by MLS, a fan vote conducted this week determined The Greatest Goal presented by AT&T, an honor that highlights the best goal in Major League Soccer’s 25 seasons. Former LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic took home the top prize for his long-range bomb in his MLS debut on March 31, 2018.
3. Series Finale
Audi and Bleacher Report released the fifth and final episode of "THE ACADEMY" on Thursday, shining a spotlight on the Sporting Kansas City Academy and its youth talent development system. "THE ACADEMY" provides an all-access look at the commitments and sacrifices that young athletes make within the Sporting KC Academy. The five-part series gives fans a first-hand account of how Sporting Kansas City and Audi are working to ensure the next generation of athletes is ready to compete at an elite level.
Episode 5 highlights the development of Academy standouts such as Ozzie Cisneros and Nati Clarke and features an appearance from Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes, who discusses why the Academy is the lifeblood of the club. To watch all five episodes in the series, click here.
4. Re-Entry Process
The MLS Re-Entry Process will continue Tuesday at 12 p.m. CT with Stage 2, giving teams another chance to select experienced MLS players who have not agreed to a new contract with their current club but may want to stay in the league.
- All players who are not selected in Stage One of the Re-Entry Process will be made available again in Stage 2.
- If a player is selected, the drafting club will be required to make a genuine offer to the player within seven days.
- If an agreement cannot be reached between the drafting club and the player, the drafting club will hold the Right of First Refusal for that player in MLS.
- Clubs may not select their own draft-eligible players in Stage Two until all other Clubs have declined selecting such players.
5. Alekzandur Returns
Sporting Kansas City announced last week that FIFA star Alekzandur will return to represent the club for the 2021 eMLS campaign. Alekzandur, a 21-year-old native of Kansas City, Kansas, will enter his third season as Sporting’s eMLS player. After representing Sporting on the eMLS circuit in 2018 and 2020, the talented FIFA competitor is poised for a momentous 2021 season highlighted by several marquee events and a new online format.
MLS 2021 Expansion club Austin FC will have the first overall selection in the MLS SuperDraft 2021 presented by adidas, which is set for January 21 at 1 p.m. CT. The first round of the virtual player selection event will stream live on MLSsoccer.com, the MLS App, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In addition, fans can follow every pick as it happens with MLSsoccer.com's MLS SuperDraft tracker.
MLS SuperDraft 2021 presented by adidas will consist of three rounds of player selection. Following Austin FC’s opening pick in each round, clubs will make their selections in reverse order of the 2020 regular season standings, taking into account postseason performance in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Any club that received a fourth-round pick via trade will have a compensatory pick at the conclusion of the third round.
Sporting Kansas City currently holds the 50th overall pick in the second round and the 77th overall pick in the third round.