Sporting Kansas City announced their first two signings for the 2017 season today, but they're two names that will be familiar to people who followed the Swope Park Rangers last season. The team today announced that they'd signed winger Tyler Pasher and goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas from the Swope Park Rangers for the 2017 season with options for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons. The pair are the first two players who started with the Rangers to get signed to the first team.
Zendejas was a midseason signing for the Rangers from Mexican club, Club Tijuana, mainly playing or their U20 team, his few first team appearances came in friendlies and preseason games. He got his first start in late August for the Rangers after Jon Kempin was recalled to Sporting to cover for an injury to Tim Melia. Given the chance to play, Zendejas made the most of his opportunity, starting five of the final seven games for Swope, Kempin never saw the field again for SPR. Zendejas went 5-0 in the regular season and then proceeded to go 3-1 in the playoffs for the Rangers as they advanced all the way to the USL championship. The signing of Zendejas would seem to be the closing of the chapter on Kempin's time in Kansas City, the homegrown goalkeeper showed flashes but could never nail a spot down. I'd expect Zendejas to have a similar role as Kempin next year (assuming KC re-signs Alec Kann), being loaned to the Rangers and only being recalled if KC is down a goalkeeper.
Both moves fill positions of need and were two players that watching SPR this season you could see were very likely to get their chance with the first team.