Kevin Ellis returns to Orlando City for Lions final two regular season matches
Kevin Ellis has re-joined USL PRO affiliate Orlando City Soccer Club for the Lions final two regular season matches, Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday. The 22-year-old Homegrown defender started three games last month for Orlando City, who are in contention for their third straight Commissioner's Cup title, before sustaining an injury while training with Sporting KC and remaining with the club to receive treatment.
The Lions are currently tied atop the USL PRO standings with the Richmond Kickers ahead of Wednesday's meeting between the two clubs at City Stadium in Richmond, Virginia. Orlando City will then close out the team's 26-game regular season schedule at home on Saturday against the Charlotte Eagles.
Should Ellis appear in both matches for Orlando City, then he would become the fifth Sporting KC player eligible for participation in the 2013 USL PRO Playoffs. He joins goalkeeper Jon Kempin and midfielder Christian Duke currently on loan to the Lions, while forwards C.J. Sapong and Dom Dwyer have also met the five-game minimum required for postseason competition.
The 2013 USL PRO Playoffs begin with the quarterfinal round during the weekend of Aug. 23-25 and culminate with the USL PRO Championship the weekend of Sept. 6-8.
Ellis in his third professional season after signing as the club's second Homegrown Player in 2011. The Sporting KC Academy product made his MLS debut in a 3-2 win over Columbus at Sporting Park in June and earned his first MLS start in a 1-1 draw against Vancouver in July. Ellis has also made two career appearances in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition, including Sporting Kansas City's fourth round match-up with Orlando City SC during this year's tournament.