Sporting Kansas City had just started to show signs of turning around their disastrous start, having won two straight and going unbeaten in their past five. On Tuesday, though, they took another setback as they learned that winger Ryan Smith would be leaving the team for the rest of the season due to "family reasons."
"It's never easy for international players who come to MLS when they have to live far away from their families. This situation is no different," Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said in a team release. "With some of the family issues that Ryan has back at home, he felt like this was the best decision for both him and his family, and we support him."
Smith had only played in six of Sporting's 13 games so far while battling a variety of ailments, mostly in relation to offseason knee surgery. He had started twice and had one goal. Last year, he was one of the top contenders for top newcomer after scoring three goals and registering seven assists. He was expected to be a major part of Sporting's future as the 22-year-old showcased impressive skill.
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