Major League Soccer

MLS reinstates Sporting Kansas City's Felipe Hernandez after suspension

Lizzy Becherano
Hernandez has been reinstated
Hernandez has been reinstated / Fernando Leon/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Major League Soccer has reinstated Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez following his suspension last year for violation of the league’s gambling integrity rules and standards of conduct. 

The player was reprimanded after an independent investigation found that he placed wagers on two Major League Soccer matches. While no evidence was found that Hernandez ever bet on a game that involved his own team, he had violated MLS rules regardless. 

The investigation was launched last July after the player disclosed to Sporting Kansas City that he was concerned about his personal safety as a result of his gambling debts. 

He was originally suspended for the rest of the 2021 season, and eligible for reinstatement on January 1 upon application to MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Now, the midfielder will be eligible to play when Sporting Kansas City’s season kicks off on February 27 when visiting Atlanta United.

"This is an opportunity for him, it's a second opportunity," Sporting KC manager and sporting director Peter Vermes told reporters. "He's got to be smart about it and I think he will be. We're providing him with all the assistance that he's needed.

"As a player on the field, he just comes back and he's got to try and get back into the form that he left the team last year with because he was actually in great form, his best soccer he's been playing. And he was playing significant minutes, so he's got preseason to work through that and try to make a spot for himself like anybody else."

Prior to the suspension, Hernandez featured in six matches for Sporting Kansas City in 2021, recording his first career MLS goal and two assists.