Sporting Kansas City announced today that defender Roberto Puncec has received his U.S. green card and no longer occupies an international spot on the club’s roster.
Sporting will currently have six international players on its roster heading into the 2021 MLS campaign: defenders Andreu Fontas, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Luis Martins, midfielders Gadi Kinda and Remi Walter, and forward Alan Pulido. That leaves two open international slots at Sporting's disposal, with preseason training scheduled to begin in early March and the MLS regular season kicking off the weekend of April 17.
Puncec, 29, enjoyed a strong first season in MLS as the club's Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. The Croatian center back appeared in all but one of Sporting’s 21 regular season matches, starting 18, and went the full 90 minutes in each of the team’s seven shutout efforts. Puncec also finished with team-highs in passes (910), successful passes (793), interceptions (25), clearances (59) and blocks (11). He added an assist on the attacking end 17 minutes into his MLS debut, setting up Alan Pulido’s goal in a season-opening win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Feb. 29.
Sporting's current 27-player squad is listed below. For a full list of the club's offseason roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/tracker.
Sporting KC 2021 Roster
Goalkeepers (4): Kendall McIntosh, Tim Melia, John Pulskamp, Brooks Thompson
Defenders (8): Amadou Dia, Andreu Fontas, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Jaylin Lindsey, Luis Martins, Roberto Puncec, Graham Smith, Graham Zusi
Midfielders (8): Grayson Barber, Gianluca Busio, Cam Duke, Roger Espinoza, Felipe Hernandez, Gadi Kinda, Ilie Sanchez, Remi Walter
Forwards (7): Ozzie Cisneros, Tyler Freeman, Wilson Harris, Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton