Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com
C.J. Sapong has shown no signs of slowing down after bursting onto the MLS scene as an impact rookie last season, and Sporting Kansas City has already shown its faith in the player by locking him up to a new contract.
Just a game into his second season as a professional, Sapong signed a new deal with SKC on Thursday, the terms of which were not disclosed.
"C.J. Sapong was yet another one of our current nucleus of players that we prioritized offering a new contract to this off-season," said SKC manager Peter Vermes, who has also had Graham Zusi, Jimmy Nielsen, Seth Sinovic and Luke Sassano re-up with the club following last season. "His work ethic and willingness to learn is unsurpassed as is his commitment to this organization and city."
Sapong, 23, scored five goals and had five assists during his first MLS regular season, and he added another goal in the postseason en route to winning MLS Rookie of the Year honors. His progression continued with a call-up to the U.S. national team's January training camp, and he started off his sophomore campaign with SKC in style, scoring the game-winning goal against D.C. United in stoppage time Saturday night.
Here are a couple of more notes from around MLS:
MOSQUERA ITC APPROVED
The Portland Timbers were a bit shorthanded at centerback for their season-opening victory over the Philadelphia Union, and although that did not come back to haunt them, a major reinforcement is on the way.
Colombian Hanyer Mosquera's international transfer certificate was approved on Thursday, paving the way for the offseason signing to suit up for the Timbers.
Rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste stepped into the starting lineup and performed well, scoring an equalizing goal off a set piece after a Gabriel Gomez free kick hit off his head and into the Timbers' goal (initially ruled an own goal, the play was overturned to a Gomez goal). Eric Brunner manned the other centerback spot, as Futty Danso is sidelined for up to the next five weeks after fracturing a bone in his foot.
ROOKIES GEORGE, WALLS SIGN CONTRACTS
George, a member of the Trinidad & Tobago Under-23 national team, was a second-round SuperDraft selection by Columbus out of Central Florida. Walls, a Wisconsin-Green Bay product, was taken by Chicago in the third round of the supplemental draft after previously playing for the Fire's PDL side.
What do you think of SKC already rewarding Sapong with a new deal? Relieved that Mosquera will be able to play for Portland? Do you think George or Walls can contribute in their rookie years?
Share your thoughts below.