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Sporting KC acquires Shelton from NYCFC

Sporting Kansas City acquired forward Khiry Shelton from New York City FC on Thursday in exchange for right back Saad Abdul-Salaam.

The move came two days after Sporting KC lost winger Latif Blessing to Los Angeles FC in the MLS expansion draft.

Shelton, the Pac-12 Player of the Year while at Oregon State, was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. That was 10 spots ahead of Salaam, who was an all-conference player at Akron.

Shelton, 24, had one goal in 15 matches, including three starts, last season. He has spent the majority of his time as a winger, recording six goals and 10 assists through his first three MLS seasons.

Abdul-Salaam, 26, lost his starting job last season and was known to be on the trading block. He started 26 matches in 2016 as the team’s primary right back, and was named the Sporting KC defender of the year while recording six assists – a league-high among defenders.

However, Abdul-Salaam’s role was reduced in 2017 with Graham Zusi migrating to the back line. Abdul-Salaam started only 10 matches last season, with most coming while Zusi was playing for the United States men’s national team.

Colton Storm, a first-round pick this year, and 17-year-old Jaylin Lindsey are among those expected to compete for the reserve role behind Zusi next season, according to the Kansas City Star.

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