Former Sporting KC star Benny Feilhaber returns as assistant coach

Benny Feilhaber, Amadou Dia, Kevin Ellis
Benny Feilhaber, DaMarcus Beasley
Posted at 1:56 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 14:56:55-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City has hired longtime midfielder and former U.S. national team standout Benny Feilhaber as part of the Major League Soccer club’s technical staff for the upcoming season.

Feilhaber, 36, retired last March after 15 seasons spent in MLS, the German Bundesliga, the Danish Superliga and the English Premier League.

He was part of Sporting KC clubs that won the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2015 and 2017 U.S. Open Cups as well as part of the national team that won the 2007 Gold Cup and participated in the 2010 World Cup.

Feilhaber, who was born in Brazil but grew up in the U.S. His family moved stateside when he was 6 years old.

Initially a walk-on with the UCLA men’s soccer, Feilhaber quickly emerged as a star in the midfield for the Bruins and earned his first call-up with the U.S. Under-20 men’s national team.

He most recently served as an assistant coach last fall at his alma mater before joining Vermes’ staff.

Feilhaber, who scored two goals for the U.S. men’s national team in 44 appearances from 2007-17, had his most productive seasons in Vermes’ system with Sporting KC.

He scored 35 goals with 58 assists in 198 matches across all competitions during his two stints with Sporting KC from 2013-17 and 2019.

Feilhaber scored 29 goals with 41 assists in MLS competition from 2013-17 with Sporting KC, helping lead the club to the postseason each of those years. He added two goals and two assists in in 17 games in 2019 after returning from brief stints with Los Angeles FC and the Colorado Rapids.

"To be back at Sporting Kansas City as part of the technical staff means everything to me," Feilhaber said in a statement announcing his hiring. "This is the club where I experienced the most success as a player. Peter and the staff invested in me back in 2013 and I look forward to working with them once again. I've come to know a lot of great people here in Kansas City — fans, teammates, coaches and the ownership group — and this is a fantastic opportunity for me to give back to the city and the club. I'm very excited to get to work."

Feilhaber is one of four players in Sporting KC history with at least 30 goals and 50 assists — joining Preki, Chris Klein and Graham Zusi.

Sporting KC also announced Tuesday that Randi Lininger and Eric Schwartz have been hired as assistant athletic trainers.