One week from today, Sporting Kansas City will join the rest of Major League Soccer for the 2021 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas. The event is set for Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com, the MLS App, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pluto TV.
Manager Peter Vermes and Sporting's technical staff are currently slated to make three picks at No. 50, 77 and 82 overall.
As fate would have it, the 50th overall draft pick holds some serious relevance in Sporting's illustrious history.
Nearly 18 years ago in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the Kansas City Wizards rolled the dice on a midfielder from West Texas A&M University named Davy Arnaud. A total of 49 players had been selected before Arnaud, who went 50th as the first pick in the fifth round.
The rest, as they say, is history.
From 2002-2011, Arnaud cemented himself as a club legend and one of the most well-rounded midfielders in MLS. The Texas native amassed 52 goals and 40 assists in 273 competitive appearances for the club, making him one of two players in team history to record 50 goals and 40 assists alongside Preki.
In addition to leading Kansas City to the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, Arnaud helped the Wizards to six playoff appearances and earned MLS All-Star accolades. He ended his career with stints at the Montreal Impact and D.C. United and finished with 50 goals and 46 assists in 351 regular season appearances, good for 15th on the league's all-time chart.
Arnaud retired from playing in 2016, the same year he served as an assistant with D.C. United. He then spent almost three full seasons as a Houston Dynamo assistant before taking the helm as the club's interim head coach in late 2019. He will enter 2021 as an assistant for expansion side Austin FC under head coach and fellow Sporting great Josh Wolff.