Major League Soccer

Ben Sweat signs for Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City announced their first reinforcement for the 2022 MLS season

The left-back is ready for his new adventure
The left-back is ready for his new adventure

The former Austin FC player arrives to Sporting Kansas City as a free agent. The defender whose contract option was not renewed by El Verde has found a new team. Sporting Kansas City announced today that the defender Ben Sweat is their new reinforcement for the 2022 MLS season. The left-back has been added to Sporting’s roster, signing a two-year MLS contract through 2023 with an option for 2024.

"I'm very excited to be joining Sporting KC," Sweat said. "This is a winning club and organization that is a top team in the league every year. I want to come to Kansas City, work my hardest for the fans and put some silver on my shelves."

MLS Career

Former Austin FC player, Ben Sweat, 30, has started 89 of 102 MLS matches (including playoffs) and eclipsed 150 total appearances during a professional career that began in 2014 and includes previous MLS stints with the Columbus Crew, New York City FC, Inter Miami CF, and Austin FC. The left-back also earned two caps for the United States Men’s National Team in October 2018, featuring in friendlies against Colombia and Peru.

Sporting Kansas City reinforcement is a win-win

The signing of Sweat comes as little surprise as Sporting KC entered the offseason with no natural left-backs on its roster after declining contract options for Luis Martins and Amadou Dia last month.

The lack of depth at the position is one reason Sweat opted to sign with Sporting KC. He also had interest from the Portland Timbers, but he said Sporting was his first choice once he learned Austin would not be exercising his contract option.

“I think the situation is a win-win for both sides,” he said. “I’m super grateful for them (Kansas City) to be the club that’s showed the most interest and are willing to give me that ability to have that comeback. I’m super excited about it; it’s a big, big opportunity and for a big, big club.”

He hasn’t played a game since that injury in late April 2021, meaning it will have been 10 months since he last played a competitive match by the time he’s available for selection for Sporting KC’s season opener on Feb. 27 at Atlanta United. “Everyone knows I’m coming off an ACL injury, so I’m going to have to go into there and going to have to compete, whether I’m supposed to be the starting left-back or the other way around,” Sweat said. “It’s going to be fun. I went through a long year, so I’ve got a lot of desire behind me right now to make a good comeback.”

College Career

Born and raised in Palm Harbor, Florida, Sweat enjoyed a standout four-year college career at the University of South Florida. He set a program record with 78 career appearances, recording three goals and eight assists while contributing to 31 shutouts and helping the Bulls to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. As a senior, Sweat was named to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team and guided the Bulls to their first American Athletic Conference Tournament title.

Sporting will continue to build its 2022 squad ahead of the new MLS season, which will kick off Feb. 27 when Manager Peter Vermes’ side visits Atlanta United FC in a 2 p.m. CT showdown at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For a full list of Sporting’s offseason roster moves,


Hugo Alberto Walls Gómez

SEO Journalist. Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media Production. Two years working in digital media and editorial assignments. Currently working for Futbolero US and collaborating with INDeportes and Goleadoras MX, following Liga MX, MLS, and the Premier League. Passionate about sports and soccer.+ info

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