Sporting Kansas City has received a welcome boost in time for the final week of training in Arizona.
Freshly signed French center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, who traveled from his homeland to the United States earlier this month, has cleared quarantine protocols to begin training with his new teammates for the first time.
Isimat-Mirin, who sometimes goes by the nickname "Isi," was greeted warmly with slaps on his back in a tunnel tradition usually saved for players celebrating their birthdays. The defender paid his tunnel dues with homegrown right back Jaylin Lindsey, who turned 21 on Saturday.
The only way to celebrate a birthday and to welcome a new team member:— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) March 27, 2021
One of the biggest acquisitions of the offseason, Isimat-Mirin has logged 93 appearances each in France’s Ligue 1 (Valenciennes, Monaco and Toulouse) and the Dutch Eredivisie (PSV Eindhoven) while also featuring in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. The 29-year-old joins Sporting following a stint at Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig and has upwards of 250 professional matches under his belt over the last decade.
Isimat-Mirin’s best stint came with PSV Eindhoven, where he won three Eredivisie titles in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2017-18. Prior to playing in the Netherlands, he represented France at the U-20 and U-21 levels and plied his club trade for both Valenciennes and Monaco. After his Eindhoven spell, he signed for Turkish giants Besiktas in 2019 and spent the first half of the 2019-20 campaign on loan at French side Toulouse.
Sporting will face the LA Galaxy at 2 p.,m. CT on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona, before returning to Kansas City that night. Manager Peter Vermes' side will train for another two weeks at Compass Minerals National Performance Center in Kansas City before traveling to face the New York Red Bulls at 7 p.m. CT on April 17 in the club's 2021 MLS regular season opener.
Children's Mercy Park will host its long-awaited home opener on April 23 when Sporting welcomes Orlando City SC for a Friday night showdown at 6:30 p.m. CT. Season Ticket Members will have exclusive access to a presale for tickets to Sporting's first four home matches until Wednesday, when tickets to those games will become available to the general public via SeatGeek.com.