KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City and Brazilian powerhouse Fluminense FC have agreed to a partnership that encompasses player transfers, academy and coaching exchanges, and other business opportunities that include a pair of international friendlies.
Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said Friday the clubs had been discussing a partnership since February, but neither wanted it to be a "marketing ploy." Instead, the clubs wanted to form a collaboration that would help each other on the field and in the coffers.
"We realized that they were a perfect fit," Vermes said. "We were aware of their club tradition and ability to produce world-class talent, but it was the common philosophy and vision shared between both clubs' management that drove this partnership."
Each club will play in the other's venue — Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and Sporting Park in suburban Kansas City — and provide access to training facilities for preseason visits.
Fluminense will also loan at least one player per MLS season to Sporting KC and other players to the MLS club's USL PRO affiliates. The moves are designed to develop and showcase the players on the international market while also exposing them to new styles of play.
The clubs will also collaborate on youth academy programs and coaching exchanges.
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