Monday, December 8, 2014

Sporting KC acquires midfielder Bernardo Añor

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Sporting Kansas City announced three separate trades on Monday in conjunction with Major League Soccer's Half-Day Trade Window:
  • Sporting KC acquires midfielder Bernardo Añor from the Columbus Crew in exchange for allocation money;
  • Sporting KC receives allocation money and future considerations from Orlando City SC in exchange for defender Aurélien Collin;
  • Sporting KC receives the Philadelphia Union's highest first round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for forward C.J. Sapong.
Per club policy, additional terms of the agreements will not be disclosed.

Añor has been added to Sporting Kansas City's senior roster and will occupy an international roster spot. The 26-year-old Venezuela native has appeared in 72 MLS matches over four seasons with the Crew, scoring 12 goals and adding three game-winning assists since being drafted out of the University of South Florida in 2011.

"Bernardo is a player we have seen and followed in his time at Columbus and because of his time in MLS we look forward to his quick adaptation and integration into the team," Vermes said.

"I am very excited for this new opportunity," Añor said. "Kansas City is a great team and is well-respected around MLS. I have always liked Peter Vermes as a manager and having talked to him over the past few days, I am very excited about the season ahead. We are going to have a great team and I can't wait to be a part of that."

Añor led the Bulls in scoring in three seasons during a collegiate career (2007-2010) in which he recorded 21 goals and seven assists. His younger brother, Juan Pablo, plays professionally for Malaga CF in Spain's La Liga and his father, Bernardo, represented Venezuela at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Following four seasons in Kansas City, Collin and Sapong were each traded to Eastern Conference clubs on Monday.

Collin, 28, joins expansion side Orlando City Soccer Club for their inaugural MLS season in 2015. A three-time MLS All-Star and two-time selection to the MLS Best XI, Collin made 113 MLS appearances with 14 goals and three assists for Sporting Kansas City.

The Lions, a USL PRO affiliate for Sporting KC in 2013 and 2014, traded allocation money and future considerations to Sporting Kansas City as part of the transaction. Allocation money does not count against a club's salary budget and can be used in accordance with MLS roster rules, including to sign players new to MLS, to re-sign an existing MLS player or to "buy-down" a player's salary budget charge.

Orlando City SC will participate in the 10-round Expansion Draft on Wednesday along with New York City FC. Major League Soccer will release the list of protected players and draft eligible players later today.

Sapong moves to the Philadelphia Union after scoring 22 goals and adding 10 assists in 121 MLS matches for Sporting Kansas City. The Manassas, Virginia native was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of James Madison University. Sapong was named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2011 and made two appearances for the United States Men's National Team in 2012.

Philadelphia traded their highest first round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft to Sporting Kansas City in order to acquire Sapong. Sporting Kansas City now holds three first-round picks in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft as well as four picks in the first two rounds of the draft (currently 10th, 12th, 20th and 30th). The MLS SuperDraft will be held on Jan. 15 in Philadelphia for Major League Soccer teams to select eligible collegiate players and select youth internationals.

"We want to thank Aurélien and C.J. for their four years in Kansas City," Vermes said. "Both guys have been tremendous on and off the field to help this club not only find success, but also create a great culture and ethos."

Today's Half-Day Trade Window closes at 12 p.m. CT for MLS teams. Trade activity may resume when the Trade Window re-opens at the end of Wednesday's Expansion Draft until again closing at 4 p.m. CT on Thursday, Dec. 11.

Bernardo Añor (AHN-your)
Position: Midfielder
Number: TBD
Born: 5/24/88
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Citizenship: Venezuela and Spain
College: University of South Florida
Twitter: @bernardoanor
Instagram: bernardoanor