KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- Sporting Kansas City announced on Friday the signing of defender Erik Palmer-Brown, who at 16-years-old becomes the youngest signing in club history and is the only player born in 1997 currently on a team’s roster in Major League Soccer.
“We have put a strong emphasis and many resources into our Academy program and this is another example of the great strides taken in helping our players reach the next level of soccer,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “Jon Parry and his staff have done a tremendous job in the development of Erik Palmer-Brown and we are excited to watch his growth within Sporting Kansas City.”
Palmer joined Sporting’s academy at 13, progressing through the ranks, before making his debut with the reserve team in June 2012.
“I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity ahead,” Palmer-Brown said. “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.”
He is also a member of the United States Under-17 Men’s National Team, making his debut in a pair of January scrimmages in Carson, California, against the LA Galaxy and Nike’s The Chance team.
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.
Palmer-Brown becomes the third Homegrown Player on Sporting Kansas City’s roster, along with Jon Kempin (2010) and Kevin Ellis (2011).
Sporting Kansas City makes its CONCACAF Champions League debut on August 7, when it travels to Nicaragua for a Group 2 encounter against Real Esteli.