The Swope Park Rangers continue to build their roster for the 2016 season. Today the club announced the signing of three players to academy contracts. Three members of Sporting KC's U18 academy team signed a deal with the USL club. Ezra Armstrong, Will Little, and Steven Tekesky have joined the club ahead of their inaugural season. The trio all spent time with the Rangers during their preseason even in Arizona where Armstrong and Little both got minutes playing in the Desert Diamond Cup for the Rangers.
The USL allows teams to sign up to five academy players that can play for the team and not count against the clubs 30 players. Those players have to be under the age of 21 and not have played in the NCAA or NAIA, or signed a professional contract before. The players also must be from the USL or MLS clubs academy system to be able to be signed to an academy contract. The players are able to retain their college eligibility with this contract as well.
This may be my favorite part of having an USL team for KC, giving those academy kids a stepping stone to the first team. Whether it be directly from high school or as a stepping stone to college where KC can continue to monitor their progress.