Homegrown player becomes youngest signing in club history.
Sporting Kansas City have announced the signing of 16 year-old Homegrown Player Erik Palmer-Brown, according to their official website. The defender, born in 1997, is the youngest signing in club history and will be the third Homegrown player at the club, although other HGP’s Kevin Ellis and Jon Kempin are currently on loan at Orlando City. Palmer-Brown will occupy the club’s available off-budget roster spot and will remain eligible to play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the Sporting KC Academy under-18 team.
Palmer-Brown is considered one of the top youth prospects for his age in the country. A member of the United States Under-17 Men’s National Team, he is ranked the No. 1 player in the region and No. 9 player nationally for the Class of 2015 by Top Drawer Soccer (the leader in online coverage of college and high school soccer).
The 6’1, 175-pound central defender has steadily progressed in the Sporting Kansas City Academy since joining in June 2009 at age 13. Within three years of development under Director of Coaching Jon Parry, Palmer-Brown was training with Sporting Kansas City’s senior team and appeared in an MLS Reserve League match in June 2012.
In January, Palmer-Brown was invited to attend the prestigious U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. under the direction of U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams. He debuted with the U17’s in a pair of scrimmages in Carson, Calif. against the LA Galaxy and Nike’s The Chance team and has since travelled extensively for international competition.
At the Under-15 level, Palmer-Brown represented the United States at the 2013 Tournament Delle Nazioni in Italy. In June, he was on the U.S. Under-17’s roster for the Caspian Cup in Azerbaijan and most recently, he helped the United States win an international tournament in Japan at the U-17 level.
“I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity ahead,” Palmer-Brown told the club’s official website, “To play the sport I love professionally and to begin my career in my hometown is a dream come true. I owe a lot to my family, my coaches and my teammates for helping me reach this point.”
Palmer-Brown is a three-time State Cup champion (2009-2011) and appeared in 40 U.S. Soccer Development Academy matches – starting in 38 of those games — over the last two seasons. In addition to his prolific club soccer career, Palmer-Brown played one season of high school soccer as a freshman at Lee’s Summit High School in the fall of 2011. He was named All-Conference First Team and Defensive Player of the Year, as well as receiving honourable mention recognition on the MSHSAA Western All-Region and Class 3 All-Kansas City teams.