On Tuesday, Sporting Kansas City announced the signing of Chilean international midfielder, Felipe Gutierrez pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa. The 27-year-old will occupy a Designated Player slot.
Gutierrez comes to the club on a three-year contract with the option of picking up one more year in 2021. Felipe adds to a list of exciting pickups made by SKC this offseason.
Felipe Gutierrez began his professional career with Club Deportivo Universidad Católica, a team he also played a part of his youth days with. It should be noted that he did spend time with Everton de Viña del Mar prior to his Católica move.
After making his professional debut with Universidad Católica in 2009, Gutierrez went on to win the Chilean Championship with the club in 2010. During that season, the midfielder made 15 appearances and grabbed two goals.
The following season, Gutierrez more than doubled his appearance total from the year prior and bagged a decade of goals. Despite Felipe's individual success, his club could not repeat the glory of winning the Chilean Championship as they lost 4-1 to Club Universidad de Chile in the final.
After earning "revelation of the season" by readers of the Chilean edition of the El Grafico magazine, it wasn't long until Europe came calling. In June of 2012, Gutierrez joined Dutch side, FC Twente. Gutierrez continued to score as he grabbed goals in the Europa League and Eredivisie before suffering a knee injury which ruled him out for some time.
Despite the time missed, Gutierrez established himself as a player needed in the starting XI whenever he was fit and he finished the season with 43 appearances while adding 6 goals. Gutierrez's next season saw him just miss one of the 34 league games. He went on to win the Most Valuable Player of the Eredivisie award.
After winning the award, Gutierrez was forced to miss most of the following season with another injury. Fortunately for him, he came back strong in 2015-16 and made 30 appearances, starting 27 of them. Following that, Felipe traded the Netherlands for Spain and joined Real Betis ahead of the 2016-2017 season.
Felipe Gutierrez made his first appearance for the club in a hefty loss vs Spanish giants, FC Barcelona. In October of 2016, Gutierrez scored his first and only goal for the club as he slotted in a later winner during stoppage time vs Osasuna. Then, in March of 2017, the midfielder was sent on loan to Brazilian club, Sport Club Internacional.
Felipe spent the remainder of the 2017 season in Brazil with the club as he helped the club to promotion with his 16 appearances. In January of 2018 he terminated his contract with Betis and was free to sign anywhere he wanted. SKC must have done a good job of convincing the Chilean international as he'll be apart of the clubs plans in 2018.
Gutierrez made his debut for the Chilean National Team in 2010 in a 1-0 defeat over Northern Ireland in a friendly. Then, ahead of 2014 World Cup Qualifying, Felipe joined "La Roja" once again. During qualifying, Gutierrez scored his first international goal vs Argentina.
His impressive performances earned him a spot in Chile's 23-man roster headed to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup. Gutierrez appeared in all four of Chile's games before eventually being eliminated by the hosts in a penalty shootout in the Round of 16.
The following year, in 2015, it was Chile's turn to host a tournament. Gutierrez helped Chile win their first ever Copa America in their own backyard. Since then, he has played in 2018 World Cup Qualifiers (once again scoring vs Argentina) and joined La Roja in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
Sporting KC Head Coach, Peter Vermes opened with “Felipe has a tremendous amount of experience playing in very difficult environments in top-level competitions.” the long-time SKC manager followed that up by saying “He also possesses the DNA that we look for in players that fit our style. He is excited about joining the club and we are ecstatic for him to be a part of our team.”
Quotes via SportingKC.com