Sporting KC signs 17-year-old, continues youth movement

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City continued its recent youth movement Thursday by adding a second teenager to its talent pool in less than a month.

The MLS club announced the signing of 17-year-old Jaylin Lindsey, coming on the heels of the team agreeing to a similar homegrown contract with 15-year-old Gianluca Busio last month .

The defender will be added to the team’s roster at the beginning of 2018, and his contract runs through 2021 with an option for 2022.

“This is an exciting day for me and my family,” Lindsey said. “I plan to work hard and to repay the faith (Sporting KC) have shown in me and help this club achieve all of its goals.”

The North Carolina native has made more than 25 appearances for the U.S. under-17 national team over the last two years, and he joined the Sporting KC academy in 2015. Busio, who is also from North Carolina, was the youngest player signed by an MLS club since Fred Adu joined D.C. United as a 14-year-old in 2004.

Lindsey will be the sixth homegrown player to join Sporting KC and third since the start of 2016, including Busio and forward Daniel Salloi. He appeared for the U.S. under-15s for the first time in late 2014 and joined Sporting KC’s academy in 2015.

At both the club and international levels, the 5-foot-8, 155-pound Lindsey has impressed — resulting in Thursday’s signing.

“During his time in our academy, Jaylin has demonstrated incredible progress on the field and a very high level of maturity for a player his age,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “He has a good understanding of what it takes to be a professional, and we are excited to provide him with the environment and opportunity to realize his potential as a player.”

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