In a surprising move Thursday, Sporting Kansas City announced that it has sent forward C.J. Sapong to its minor league affiliate Orlando City. Sapong arrived in Kansas City with high expectations in 2011, and he succeeded immediately by scoring just 43 seconds into his first MLS game. He went on to be named MLS Rookie of the Year after the season.
Last season, Sapong, 24, continued his strong play. He was second on the team scoring with nine goals and added two assists. But this season has been a different story. Sapong has played in 14 of the team's 19 games, but started only nine. He has only one goal and one assist on the season, along with an incredibly stupid red card earlier this season in a game against Dallas FC. (Video after the jump.)
Perhaps this idiotic red card soured coach Peter Vermes on Sapong. Or maybe it was just his lack of goal production.
Sapong has played two games for the Men's National Team. He also became popular with fans after he serenaded US Women's National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo while the National Team was in Kansas City. Maybe the writing has been on the wall for Sapong since June 27 when the club called up scoring phenom Dom Dwyer from Orlando, making Sapong expendable.
There isn't a set amount of time Sapong will play with Orlando and he can be recalled at any time. But Orlando is currently in first place in the USL Pro league and in the hunt for a third straight championship. So, it seems likely that they'd like to hold onto Sapong through the final ten games of the season.
Sporting Kansas City is hosting the MLS All-Star Game at Sporting Park on July 31.