The Proven Pathway from the Academy to Swope Park Rangers Continues With the Signing of 16-year-old Goalkeeper Brooks Thompson
Sporting Kansas City is one of the best clubs in America and several of its players are from the club’s pathway bridging the youth soccer world to its professional ranks.
Sporting Kansas City is a championship team. While the club plays at the highest level, and just competed in the CONCACAF Champions League, Sporting KC always provides opportunities to young developing players.
As the 2017 U.S. OPEN CUP Champions, Sporting KC earned a spot in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League when they lifted the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. While Sporting KC just lost the quarterfinal first leg of CONCACAF Champions League 2-1 to Independiente de la Chorrera on Wednesday in Panama, the team performed well overall and rolled to a 5-0 aggregate win over Liga MX side Toluca in the Round of 16. And, on the field for those matches were recently signed academy products benefiting from minuted played in CONCACAF.
Sporting’s manager Peter Vermes has cultivated a very dedicated team always willing to go the extra mile and has created a powerful professional pathway from Sporting’s Academy to Swope Park Rangers and onto the first team.
A leader in the American soccer world, Vermes cultivates winners and believes in developing homegrown talent. Every Sporting player — from the award-winning Sporting Academy and USL Swope Park Rangers to his first-team all play the same style — so when a young player advances, the transition is easier.
And this works well for Sporting KC which currently has five Academy products on its first team roster, and uses its USL team as part of its developmental structure. Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, and Daniel Salloi all are examples of the club’s focus on development and its success.
Today, one more teenager’s dream of becoming a professional soccer player has come true by officially signing with Sporting KC’s USL team. The Swope Park Rangers has signed 16-year-old goalkeeper Brooks Thompson to a USL Championship contract.
Thompson becomes the youngest player to sign a professional contract in Rangers history.
Thompson has recently started two preseason matches for the Rangers, a 5-0 defeat of Barton Community College on Feb. 2 and a 2-1 win at North Texas SC on Feb. 13.
Thompson was also one of five Sporting KC Academy players who trained with Sporting Kansas City at the club’s 2019 preseason camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, featuring in a shutout win over Phoenix Rising FC trialists on January 23.
A native of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, Thompson has played a leading role for the Sporting Kansas City Academy U-19s during the 2018-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy campaign.
He has posted a 6-2-3 record in 11 league matches, earning four shutouts with a 1.09 goals against average and an 84.6 save percentage. The 6-foot-3 goalkeeper has also competed for the Sporting KC U-17s throughout 2019 Generation adidas Cup qualifying.
The Sporting KC Academy welcomed Thompson last summer after he spent the previous two years with IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He represented the IMG U-14s in 2016-17 and the IMG U-17s in 2017-18, having moved to Florida from his native Indiana in the summer of 2016.
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers now have 15 players under USL Championship contract heading into 2019. Throughout the year, the club may also use Sporting KC loanees and Sporting KC Academy players signed to amateur academy contracts.
SPR will kick off the regular season at New York Red Bulls II on Saturday at noon CT before hosting Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in their Children’s Mercy Park home opener on March 23 at 4 p.m. CT.
Born: 6/13/2002 (16 years old)
Hometown: Floyds Knobs, Indiana
Birthplace: Jefferson, Indiana
Partial Source: Press Release on Thompson