Sporting KC loans Sapong and Ellis to Orlando City SC

C.J Sapong .

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Struggling to recreate his form from a year ago, C.J. Sapong has been thrown a lifeline by Sporting Kansas City

In a bid to help him rediscover his scoring touch, Sporting KC announced on Thursday that Sapong has been sent on-loan to Orlando City SC in USL-Pro. Homegrown product Kevin Ellis has also been sent to Orlando in the deal.

Sapong, who scored nine goals in 2012, has scored just one goal and recorded one assist in 14 games this season, including nine starts. The James Madison product has hardly played since the start of May (five appearances out of ten games) and hasn’t seen any action since receiving a red card in the second half of Sporting KC’s 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

Ellis, in his third season since joining the professional ranks, has found playing time hard to come by even though he started his first MLS game in the 1-1 draw against Vancouver on July 3. Both Ellis and Sapong are eligible to feature for Orlando City when they face the Charleston Battery on Thursday night.

Since signing a partnership agreement last January, Sporting KC has loaned six players in total to Orlando City, the MLS club recently recalling forward Dom Dwyer who scored 15 times in 13 matches and waiving Yann Songo’o. Ellis and Sapong join Christian Duke and Jon Kempin as Sporting KC loan players on the Orlando City roster.


What do you think of this news? Surprised to see Sapong loaned away? Where do you see his future at Sporting KC?

Share your thoughts below.

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30 Responses to Sporting KC loans Sapong and Ellis to Orlando City SC

  1. zztoppppp says:

    Wow this should be a big wakeup call for C.J.

    • mouf says:

      He isnt a winger and he isnt going to start over Beiler. Maybe sharpen his game back up, he is lacking confidence maybe, but I dont think its a wake up move at all.

      SKC as a lot of capable fowards at moment.

      • Eric says:

        It isn’t just that Sapong wasn’t going to start over Bieler–he also wasn’t going to get first crack off the bench over Bunbury or an in-form Dwyer. I agree that the loan itself isn’t a wake-up call per se, but CJ needs to kick his game up a notch if he wants regular playing time that doesn’t involve being traded.

  2. The Imperative Voice says:

    I thought the league policy now allowed for intra-MLS loans. Sapong has bogged down in KC but they are a good team and he has been quite productive before and still has plenty of minutes and a league goal this season. A first division loan would seem more appropriate. Couldn’t he help a team like DC? Maybe even a team like NE that is stout in the back but just doesn’t score much?

    In contrast, Dwyer had maybe a half game of minutes total from a handful of appearances, no league goals yet. That sounds like someone who should be shipped to Orlando — abd was.

    • kcfan says:

      Loan to a rival? Um, no….

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        If the guy truly stinks so bad he needs to be loaned out, it should be like flicking a mosquito. You get a clause he can’t play against you, you call him back if he sets the world afire. I see your point and the playoffs complicate things but in DC’s case I still think it’s no worse than CFC shipping Lukaku to WBA. CFC finishes top 5 and WBA is better than it would be but still not as good. I can’t see them making up a 20 point gap.

        • Tyler says:

          I for one would love to have CJ back home where he should have been from the get go. I’m sure if he continues to have trouble at the MLS level and DC’s front office expresses interest, the two sides could easily come to an agreement. SKC has some good depth at the position anyway.

    • zztoppppp says:

      The following 5 rules outline the intra-league loan system as posted on

      I) Only players 24 years of age or younger are eligible for loans;
      II) Loans must be executed within the primary transfer window of a given MLS season (Feb. 12-May 6 in 2013);
      III) All loans run through the end of the MLS season (player reverts to his original club only after MLS Cup);
      IV) Roster slot and budget considerations surrounding the loan are subject to negotiation between the two clubs;
      V) There are no limits on the number of loans involving any one team (incoming or outgoing loans).

      He fits the age requirement, but the time window for the loan to have occurred has passed. Also, even if they could still loan him, the loan must last through the MLS Cup. Since Sporting KC have a legitimate shot of winning the East, they may would want him back if he had been tearing it up for another club in the regular season.

      • Andrew says:

        The intraleague loan system needs some changes. I understand why they decided loans have to be full-season; it’s probably to prevent teams still in the playoff race from raiding teams that have effectively been eliminated from contention late in the season. But allowing half-season intraleague loans, starting and ending at both the offseason and midseason transfer windows, would still avoid that problem, and would allow injury-depleted teams (there seems to be at least one every season) to replace their missing players.

    • zztoppppp says:

      The intraleague loan system guidelines are stated in this article: link to

      He fits the age requirement, but the time window for the loan to have occurred has passed. Also, even if they could still loan him, the loan must last through the MLS Cup. Since Sporting KC have a legitimate shot of winning the East, they may would want him back if he had been tearing it up for another club in the regular season.

    • zztoppppp says:

      There are strict guidelines to the loan system. I tried posting them but it keeps getting moderated. The can be found on

      He fits the age requirement, but the time window for the loan to have occurred has passed. Also, even if they could still loan him, the loan must last through the MLS Cup. Since Sporting KC have a legitimate shot of winning the East, they may would want him back if he had been tearing it up for another club in the regular season.

    • mouf says:

      Doms played well in those minutes. Why would SKC trade a player to a conference opponent?

  3. Del Shaffer says:

    I’m not happy Orlando City is getting some more MLS players right before they play us (Charleston). We barely tied them last Friday but had the lion’s share of chances in the first half.

  4. Adam says:

    Hooray for me! I am going to the Orlando City game tonight! Hopefully Sapong gets in the game and picks up where Dwyer left off. Go City!!

  5. Z says:

    This is the part of the whole “home grown player” craze that pisses me off, the part that most fans don’t see. With big fanfare (or not) the club announces that they’ve signed a HOMEGROWN PLAYER!!!!!!11!!!!!!1!!…

    And then the guy quietly rides the bench for a couple of years until they cut him. No guarantee Ellis is headed there, but he doesn’t look headed in the opposite direction either.

    If you didn’t have minutes to give the guy, why the hell did you sign him in the first place?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      This is the U-18 to U-23 bridge problem I think MLS has. You’re taking some players out of HS or JuCo (in Ellis’ case) who then need to accelerate up to first team in just a couple years. In England they’ve retooled the reserves as nominally U-21 teams and in Germany the B sides competing in the lower divisions are U-23s. So it’s not HS to first team, there are some rungs in between, and fully formed ones, not a half-cooked reserve league or signing someone to secure rights then loaning them out to play. It’s like being on a NFL taxi squad but without the same level of attrition that helps you move up.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        People criticize the 20+ game NCAA season as too short for player development but if you play like 45 minutes in 4 league games, plus some USOC and reserves, are you getting more or less time? You’re trading off professional environment for playing time, and I felt in college the people who played more were the ones who progressed. Be the same story if you went to UCLA or UNC and then just sat.

      • Dont Care says:

        I really think a full time professional U-23 league would be great for this country. A USSF run one (or a couple regional ones to cut travel costs) where its sole purpose is to develop players. Coaches and Technical Advisors who’s main focus is to bridge the gap and polish players for the next level. I know people will disagree but i believe MLS teams should be putting most if not all of their eggs into the first team and not signing homegrowns unless they are assured minutes.

        It may come as a shock to most people but not all the best players play at MLS academies and not all MLS academies have the best coaches. Cherry picking off other local teams when they’re 17 is not developing

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Technically there already is a U23 PDL but that’s basically an amateur league run in the college offseason. It contains a mix of academy and non-academy players, underlining the limitations on training of college academicians… impression is their involvement with the academy is limited to guest playing with the reserves on breaks.

          As far as the people who actually sign go, you go from playing HS, Juco, or NCAA to suddenly fighting for a first team dressing or playing opportunity, against not just full pros but first division ones. 18 year old baseball players get sent straight to rookie ball or low A. They earn their way up. But this is basically like you put them on the big league teams and wish them luck. Most MLB players wash out well before the Big Show. It should only be the same in MLS but you make it even worse by asking them to develop in competition with an adult first team. You’re signed today and your only route to job security is to displace Will Bruin or Brad Davis in two years, while you’re still trying to ramp up from HS varsity and club to first division pro play. Good luck.

          I think they’re starting to address the bridge with loans and such, but the dibs system places a development onus on the MLS clubs which is somewhat fizzling, and the loans arguably are a make do for the fact that something more thorough is not in place.

          Until then I think it’s just as useful to play at least a couple years of high level college ball and get lots of playing time, and come out older and trained like someone who’s been a focal point instead of practice fodder. There are rare exceptions like Najar and some of the LA signings, but right now the ROYs are consistently trained-up college kids who show up more ready to play pro ball. I just don’t see how you can grab kids out of HS and expect them to beat out adults without doing something special to enhance their chances.

    • mouf says:

      Jon Kempin is down there too, you should scream more

    • Daniel says:

      The player was signed because he is an asset and can be traded for someone of value in the future. Homegrown players apparently have magic powers when dealing with salary cap issues too :)

      Fyi,I a at the Orlando City match tonight. Sapong looked good (enough). Always hustling and looked happy to be there. Jamie Watson will be his best friend angling every possible ball towards him early on. Ellis looked slow and came this close to getting burned on a break by Charleston. Not a good look at all and he’s going to have to step it up if he wants playing time.

  6. Turd Bradley says:

    Here is both their problems, they both made it through the youth ranks using mostly superior athletic ability and never really developed technically.

    There for they are both bad.

  7. Turd Bradley says:

    If you think Kevin ellis is good on the ball you have no real working standard of what a professional is.

  8. AzTeXan says:

    Sweet autoplay ads Ives

  9. Seems to be working well for Sapong, so far.

    One assist, and was taken down in the box to earn his team a penalty, which was converted by a teammate.