If you aren't eligible to play for the US, you count for an MLS international roster slot, right? Wrong. The rules are actually kind of funky.
Adda Djeziri. Calum Butcher. Daneil Cyrus. Julio Cesar Santos. Omar Colley. Michal Mravec.
Sheldon Bateau. Franklin Salas. All quality players that would likely have varying levels of success in Major League Soccer. All players that have, at one point or another, been with Sporting Kansas City this preseason, attempting to make the roster as trialists or a draft pick. All players (7) competing for a very small number of international roster spots, all thanks to MLS's roster regulations.
There has been some discussion about head coach Peter Vermes' difficult decisions which are to be made regarding these talented international players. We know that Bateau and Salas have each been let go from preseason camp, and will not be signed to contracts at this time. We also know that I have an ever-growing man-crush on the Algerian forward Djeziri. He has, by some accounts, been the most impressive of all the trialists in camp over the past month.
But, this is MLS, and that means there are certain roster restrictions which are to be met by each team. So, by show of hands, how many people know, just off the top of their heads, how many international roster slots each team is allowed in MLS in 2011? Some may know that the answer is eight; it's a pretty universal, concrete fact.
How many people could tell you how many Sporting KC currently have occupied? Well, if you think about it, you realize there are quite a few players already under contract that play for national teams other than the United States - Stephane Auvray (Guadeloupe), Shavar Thomas (Jamaica), Kei Kamara (Sierra Leone), Roger Espinoza (Honduars). They all play for other national teams, so they have to count as internationals, right? Unless you were to scour the internet for the answer, you just might never know.
The league doesn't do the world's greatest job of making this information readily available, so after the jump, I'm here to enlighten you all...
What I have done is to create an ever-updated database of Sporting KC international players. I know that sometimes, when in discussion about players I think the club should sign, I tend to forget about the rule altogether, or just how many of the slots are currently being used.
The table below, which will also be kept and updated on a permanent page, shows the current situation of all international players under contract with Sporting KC.The permanent page can be found right here. It also includes a detailed explanations of the league's rules, and the history of international players currently with the team. It's something I've failed to find anywhere else, so for your viewing and discussion pleasure, here it is...
|International Roster Slot Players||Other Internationals Holding Green Cards/US Citizenship
Korede Aiyegbusi (2010 - England/Nigeria)
||Stephane Auvray (2010 - Guadeloupe)|
Omar Bravo (2011 - Mexico)
||Birahim Diop (2010 - Senegal)|
|3||Jimmy Nielsen (2010 - Denmark)||(2008 - Honduras)|
|4||Craig Rocastle (2010 - Grenada)||
Kei Kamara (2009 - Sierra Leone)
Ryan Smith (2010 - England)
||Shavar Thomas (2010 - Jamaica)|
Again, the page can be found right here, along with much more information about the team's current situation, and the league's definition of an international roster slot player. Also, I've added it to the left sidebar on the front of the site, under the Sporting KC Roster Regulations tab. You can find it there absolutely anytime, rather than having to go back for this post.