Sporting KC

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Cameron embraces groundbreaking role with Sporting KC

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Meghan Cameron didn’t go out looking to break barriers. Instead, Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes came to her.

Cameron is settling into her job as assistant director of player personnel with Sporting, the first woman to manage player contracts, salary budget, and acquisitions for a Major League Soccer team.

Her role will move into another uncharted area for a woman in MLS: She’ll evaluate prospective players for Vermes, as well as for the Swope Park Rangers and the organization’s academy.

“Peter Vermes just called me,” the longtime MLS front office executive said about her new job’s genesis. “Obviously it’s humbling to be the first. But for me it doesn’t matter if I’m the first or the last or the 101st. Peter called me to do a job, it wasn’t because I’m a female. He knew what I could bring to the table. I do hope this opens the doors for others moving on, but I don’t consider myself a trailblazer. I’m just doing a job.”

Like all coaches, Cameron said Vermes has specific ideas about player characteristics and qualities. Cameron will be working with Director of Player Personnel Brian Bliss.

“The plan is that I’ll be learning what it is in each position that they’re looking for in players so that I can assist in the scouting side as well,” she said.

Cameron’s new job with Sporting – she started last month – comes as women are taking on greater roles in pro soccer in the United States and abroad. And not just with women’s teams.

Two women – Kathy Carter and former national team goalkeeper Hope Solo – are among the eight candidates running for president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Only four countries – Liberia, Turks and Caicos, Burundi, and Sierra Leone – have ever elected a woman to head their soccer federation.

Chan Yuen-ting became the first female coach to lead a men’s team to a title in a top-flight league in 2016 when she guided Eastern Sports Club to the Hong Kong Premier League championship.

Corinne Diacre served as manager (coach) of a second-division French men’s team, Clermont Foot, for several years until becoming head coach of the French women’s national team in the run-up to the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

And last year the Bundesliga’s Bibiana Steinhaus became the first female referee in a top-flight European league. There were a record seven female officials at the men’s under-17 World Cup in India last year.

Carter, who is on leave from her position as president of Major League Soccer’s marketing subsidiary, Soccer United Marketing, had high praise for Cameron. Carter noted that there aren’t all that many women in the sport’s boardrooms, but they’re even rarer on the technical side of the sport.

“I think Meghan is going to get out there and build on uncharted territory, but I think she’s up to the task,” Carter said.

Cameron’s current job has been the culmination of a life in soccer. Cameron was a standout at Rutgers – Vermes is also an alum – and was on the 2002 Scarlet Knights team that reached the Sweet 16.

“I played soccer since I was 3, so it’s always been a passion of mine. It’s been kind of a piece of who I am. I played soccer at Rutgers but unfortunately my career was cut short and I only got to play three seasons because of injury,” she said. “So at that time I kind of reevaluated and thought, there’s a different way for the sport to be a part of me, and that was working in the front office.”

She worked for eight years as senior manager in player relations in the MLS league offices. Her job was to help teams manage rosters and budgets, while also approving player acquisitions and trades. But she also had a hand in non-financial duties, like youth coaching initiatives and the league’s Rookie Symposium.

“For a long time I’ve been the only female in the room. And it has never been an issue for me. I’ve had the respect of everyone around me, and I respect them. I think as long as you can handle yourself, and it doesn’t matter that you’re female, you’ll get the respect that you deserve,” she said. “As more women move through the ranks and into positions like coaches, it won’t be, `Oh, they’ve got a female coach,’ it will be, `Oh, they’ve got a new coach.”‘

Feilhaber headed to LAFC for $400k in TAM, GAM

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Well, this is something.

Sporting KC has traded playmaker Benny Feilhaber to expansion side LAFC for $400,000 in allocation money.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The move reunites the 33-year-old Feilhaber with former USMNT coach Bob Bradley as well as Sporting KC striker Latif Blessing.

Feilhaber will be expected to cue up Designated Player attackers Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi for goals. From

“Benny and I shared some good days with the U.S. National Team,” LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said. “I am excited to work with him again. He has an attacking quality and an excellent understanding of the game. We welcome Benny to LAFC.”

He posted 32 goals and 37 assists in 180 appearances for KC, but nabbed just five and one last season. Does he still have it? Bradley’s betting on it, though the move represents a significant risk.

For KC, they had seemingly found their attacking midfielder in the form of 25-year-old Yohan Croizet from KV Mechelen in Belgium.

Report: PSV likely to land Man City, USMNT’s Palmer-Brown on loan

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A number of well-known American players have completed moves to Europe over the years, and a former Sporting KC defender is about to embark on his own journey abroad.

[ MORE: Liverpool smashes Bournemouth to go fourth ]

U.S. youth national team centerback Erik Palmer-Brown is headed to Premier League side Manchester City, who currently leads the English top flight, after signing a pre-contract with the club back in September.

It is now believed though that the young player will go on loan once he arrives with the English side.

Metro is reporting is that Palmer-Brown is likely to complete a move to Dutch Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven on loan.

Palmer-Brown helped the U.S. Under-20 national team reach the quarterfinals at this year’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea, after previously representing several other U.S. youth national teams.

NYCFC busy on Thursday with Abdul-Salaam, Stuver additions

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New York City FC is moving on from the club’s first-ever MLS SuperDraft selection, but they’ll be acquiring a solid defensive piece as the team continues to rebuild at the back.

[ SOURCE: LAFC finalizing deal to make Sporting CP’s Geraldes third DP ]

On Thursday, NYCFC announced a trade sending former 2015 first-round pick Khiry Shelton to Sporting KC in exchange for defender Saad Abdul-Salaam.

Shelton, who spent three seasons with NYCFC, struggled to find playing time under manager Patrick Vieira, particularly once the organization drafted England youth international Jack Harrison in 2016.

Vieira and Co. will be getting back a player also selected in the 2015 SuperDraft in Abdul-Salaam.

With the departures of Ethan White, RJ Allen and Andraz Struna this offseason, the move certainly makes sense for NYCFC, who were severely lacking at the right back position heading into this week.

NYCFC signed Malmo defender Anton Tinnerholm on Wednesday to help improve the backline.

The Eastern Conference side also added goalkeeper Brad Stuver from the Columbus Crew on Thursday, with the 26-year-old presumably serving as the backup to Sean Johnson in 2018.

Report: Sporting KC on verge of signing French midfielder Croizet

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Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.

According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.

Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.

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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.

It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.