Mekideche Inks MLS Next Pro Deal With SKC
Former Valour defender Nassim Mekideche has signed an MLS Next Pro contract with Sporting Kansas City, where he’s spent the last two weeks trialing prior to today’s announcement.
The 22-year-old centre-back had impressed at the CPL level after proving himself to be a strong mid-season addition for Valour FC last year, earning eight starts in ten appearances while grabbing a long ball assist against Cavalry FC in August:
His influence on the Valour backline can’t be understated: the team averaged 1.47 goals against without Mekideche, but only 0.62 when he featured for the majority of the match. Had he not inked an MLS NEXT Pro deal, we’ve heard that more than one CPL side had been interested in the centre-back.
Mekideche holds both Canadian and Algerian passports, having been born in Algiers but raised in Montreal. He turned professional with Algerian side JS Kabylie in 2018, signing a three-year deal before making the move to Tunisia with CS Hammam-Lif. He made four appearances there before departing in the summer to join Valour FC, who missed out on playoffs by one spot in the league table.
Mekideche’s addition now brings the Sporting Kansas City II roster up to fourteen players in all, with head coach Benny Feilhaber set to lead the team into the 2023 MLS Next Pro season.
SKC head coach Peter Vermer also confirmed that Canadian MLS SuperDraft pick Stephen Afrifa will return to college for the spring semester, though he’ll train with SKC on breaks and is expected to join the team on a full-time basis in late April or early May.