Sporting KC signs 25-year-old midfielder from Swope Park Rangers

James Musa has been a top player for the Swope Park Rangers this season.
Sporting Kansas City

Another player for the Swope Park Rangers has been signed by Sporting Kansas City. James Musa, a 25-year-old midfielder, is moving up from the club’s United Soccer League affiliate.

Musa, a citizen of the United Kingdom and New Zealand, will occupy an international roster spot on Sporting KC’s roster. He has signed an MLS contract for the remainder of the 2017 season with options for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Musa can play as a holding midfielder or center back.

“When we brought James in for the Swope Park Rangers, we brought him here for two purposes,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said in a team press release. “One was as a central defender and the other was a defensive midfielder. We wanted to see if he would adapt to our model of play, and I think he has progressed tremendously through the course of the year with the Rangers. We think this is a testament to the system that we have put in place where players can sign and play for the Rangers while continuing to develop toward a first-team contract. James is a very good decision-maker and reads the game well.”

Musa becomes the fourth player signed by Sporting KC from the Rangers, following goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas and defenders Amer Didic and Tyler Pasher.

“It was one of my goals in signing for Swope Park Rangers to progress to the first team,” Musa said in the release. “I’ve done that and am very happy.”

Musa joined the Rangers last November and has played the full 90 minutes in all 18 appearances. He ranks third in the USL in total passes and leads the team with 49 interceptions and 33 aerial duels won. He played every minute during the Rangers’ five-game shutout streak from June 30 to July 20.

Musa spent the 2015 and 2016 USL seasons with Saint Louis FC, where he was a consistent starter while totaling five goals and three assists in 51 matches. He played in New Zealand, England and Australia from 2010-14 before moving to the U.S. in 2015.