Sporting KC trades D Abdul-Salaam to New York City FC for F Khiry Shelton

Khiry Shelton recorded six goals and 10 assists over three seasons with New York City FC.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

Sporting Kansas City traded a defender for a forward Thursday, acquiring Khiry Shelton from New York City FC in exchange for Saad Abdul-Salaam.

Shelton has been added to the Sporting KC roster, which includes 24 players under contract for 2018.

“Khiry is a player whose intangibles always stood out to us, even as we had followed him from early in his college years,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said in a team press release announcing the trade Thursday. “We look forward to bringing him to Kansas City and are enthusiastic to see him on the field during preseason, which is just over a month away.”

Shelton, 24, began his professional career at New York City FC, where he recorded six goals and 10 assists over three seasons. The 6-foot-3 attacker enjoyed a strong sophomore campaign in 2016, tallying four goals and finishing second on the team with nine assists in 22 MLS matches.

“This is a great opportunity presented by Sporting Kansas City, and I am excited for a new challenge in 2018,” Shelton said in the release.

Shelton can play as a central forward or winger. He helped New York City FC reach the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2016 and 2017 with consecutive second-place finishes in the Eastern Conference.

Abdul-Salaam, 26, has started 54 of 78 competitive appearances for Sporting Kansas City since joining MLS in 2015 out of the University of Akron.

“Sporting KC also thanks Saad for his three years of service, and we wish him the best of luck in New York,” Vermes said.