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New England trades Feilhaber to Sporting Kansas City in MLS blockbuster

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New England trades Feilhaber to Sporting Kansas City in MLS blockbuster
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New England trades Feilhaber to Sporting Kansas City in MLS blockbuster

Sporting Kansas City and Benny Feilhaber both had offseason needs, and the hope for both of them is that Tuesday's blockbuster move will be a fulfilling one for both parties.

Sporting KC acquired the U.S. international midfielder from the New England Revolution Tuesday, swinging a major deal to add some attacking flair to the club's midfield and providing Feilhaber with the opportunity to be a full-time starter for a winning franchise after a frustrating season in New England. In exchange for Feilhaber, Sporting KC yielded allocation money, a first-round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and a second-round pick in the 2015 SuperDraft.

Feilhaber had just one goal and two assists in 29 games a season after a four-goal, seven-assist campaign upon joining the Revolution from Danish side AGF Aarhus in 2011. With the Revolution drafting Kelyn Rowe and acquiring attacking midfielder Lee Nguyen prior to last season and then adding Juan Toja in the middle of the season, a logjam developed at Feilhaber's preferred position.

Sporting KC's midfield will have a new look in 2013, with Roger Espinoza destined for a move to Wigan Athletic and Julio Cesar let go after the 2012 season. Despite all of the club's success, which included a U.S. Open Cup championship and a regular-season Eastern Conference championship, its 42 goals were the second-fewest among MLS playoff teams (Vancouver had 35), and Feilhaber will be tasked with helping to rectify that problem.

"Benny is an excellent two-way, box-to-box midfielder who has tremendous ability, especially with the final pass," Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a team statement. "His experience with the U.S. national team progams and playing overseas will serve him well in our system."

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