Sporting KC signs 19-year-old midfielder as its ninth homegrown player
In signing an MLS contract with Sporting Kansas City, midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal becomes the ninth homegrown player in club history.
Kuzain, 19, is a product of the Sporting KC Academy. His MLS contract runs through 2020 with options for 2021 and 2022.
“Kuzain is a player who has come through our academy and developed at an incredible rate,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a team press release. “He has an excellent understanding of his role in our model of play, and there is no doubt in our mind that he is deserving of a shot at the next level. As someone with a great attitude and mentality, Kuzain exudes many of the core values we have as a club. He has a very bright future ahead of him.”
Kuzain is the first Sporting KC homegrown signing to progress from the Sporting KC Academy to the Swope Park Rangers to the senior team.
“I’m extremely excited and thankful for this opportunity with Sporting KC,” Kuzain said in the release. “This is something that all young players want to experience. It’s great to be a part of everything at the club, knowing that I moved from the academy to the Rangers and now get my chance with the first team. I’m not just representing myself, I’m representing all of the academy coaches and staff.”
Kuzain was born to Malaysian parents in Carbondale, Illinois. He joined the Sporting KC Academy in August 2016 and signed an academy contract with the Rangers later that month, allowing him to play for both SPR and the academy while retaining his amateur status. The midfielder finished the 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season with Central Conference Best XI honors, tallying four goals in 20 appearances for the Sporting KC U-18s.
Kuzain played for the Rangers in 2017, signing his first professional contract with the club in July. He has started four of the Rangers’ first five matches this season, completing 90.8 percent of his passes.
Major League Soccer established the homegrown player initiative in 2007, allowing teams to promote youth academy players to professional contracts.