Sporting Kansas City signs veteran defender Ben Sweat

Miles Robinson, Ben Sweat, Matias Pellegrini, Maxime Chanot
Posted at 5:08 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 18:08:15-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seeking to bolster its back line, Sporting Kansas City announced Monday that it has signed veteran left back Ben Sweat.

Sweat, 30, has appeared in 96 games, including 84 starts, during the last five seasons in Major League Soccer.

He logged more than 2,100 MLS minutes for New York City FC in 2017 and 2018, playing for a defense that ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in goals-against average in MLS.

Sweat missed several games in 2019 with a back injury before being selected in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft by Inter Miami FC — where he made 22 MLS appearances, including 20 starts, in his only season with the club.

After being traded to Austin FC, Sweat started the first two games of the season before suffering a torn ACL in April.

Sporting KC, which tied for eighth in goals allowed in MLS this season, signed Sweat to a two-year contract with an option for the 2024 season.

"I'm very excited to be joining Sporting KC," Sweat said. "This is a winning club and organization that is a top team in the League every year. I want to come to Kansas City, work my hardest for the fans and put some silver on my shelves."

Prior to his time with NYCFC, Sweat also spent time with the Columbus Crew, which drafted him in the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft after a standout career at the University of South Florida.

He made two appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team against Colombia and Peru in October 2018.

Sweat — a native of Palm Harbor, Florida — has a goal and 11 assists, including six in 2017 with NYCFC, in his MLS career.

Sporting KC opens the season Feb. 27 at Atlanta United FC.