Currenly on loan with FC Porto in Portugal, Homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown is the youngest signing in club history and one of the youngest players currently under contract in Major League Soccer. An 18-year-old native of Lee's Summit, Missouri, Palmer-Brown is considered one of the top youth prospects for his age in the country. He was named to the United States Under-20 Men's National Team for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, starting the third and final group stage match in the tournament before the U.S. was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Palmer-Brown made his debut and first MLS start in May 2014, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to start a match as a defender, for the first of six appearances in all competitions (including debuts in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League). He added seven more competitive appearances in 2015, including four starts.
Palmer-Brown has represented United States youth national teams at the U-15, U-17, U-18 and U-20 levels and captained the U-20s at the Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament in September 2015.
2016: Sporting KC loaned Palmer-Brown to FC Porto in Portugal for the 2016 season.
2015: MLS regular season: Earned seven appearances with four starts (376 minutes played) and contributed to one shutout. Made his first start of the season in a 1-1 draw at D.C. United on May 9, becoming the youngest MLS player in 2015 to start in defense. MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not feature. Open Cup: Did not feature. All-Star: Started and played 71 minutes in the 2015 MLS Chipotle Homegrown Game on July 28, a 5-4 penalty kick loss to the Club America U-20s after a 1-1 draw through regulation.
2014: MLS regular season: Played in three matches with two starts. Earned his MLS debut and first start for the club in a 2-1 loss to Chicago on May 18, becoming the youngest player in MLS history (17 years, 24 days) to start a regular season match as a defender. Made his second appearance on May 31 at D.C. United, replacing injured Aurelien Collin in the 9th minute. Earned his first victory as a starter in a 2-0 win at Houston on June 6. MLS Playoffs: Did not feature. CCL: Featured in the 2014-15 group stage, starting and playing 60 minutes in a 3-0 win over Real Esteli on Sept. 23. Open Cup: Played 90 minutes in a 2-0 fourth round win over Minnesota United FC on June 18. Played 90 minutes in a 3-1 fifth round loss to Portland on June 24. Friendly: Played 45 minutes in a 4-1 Champions Shield defeat to Manchester City on July 23 at Sporting Park. All-Star: Played the full match at right back in the inaugural Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game on Aug. 4 in Portland, contributing to a 0-0 clean sheet against Portland Timbers U-23. He missed the rest of the season after suffering a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Sept. 30.
2013: Did not feature for Sporting KC.
U.S. National Team: 2015: Was named to the United States Under-20 Men's National Team for a training camp in England from March 23-30. Joined the U-20's for a training camp in Austria from April 18-26, celebrating his 18th birthday on April 24 by starting the next day in a 1-0 win over Croatia's Under-20 squad. Was selected to the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team roster for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, starting the third and final group stage match in the tournament before the U.S. was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Was selected to the U-20 roster for the 2015 Stevan Vilotic-Cele Tournament in Serbia, captaining the team in consecutive starts against Serbia (Sept. 3) and France (Sept. 4). 2014: Was named to the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team roster for a training camp in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Sept. 1-10, 2014. Appeared in four wins for the squad at the 2014 Dallas Cup in April. Palmer-Brown continued his climb through the youth national team ranks after previously representing the United States at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-18 levels. 2013: Named to the U.S. U-18's roster for the Limoges Tournament in France from Oct. 6-14, 2013. Started and played 90 minutes in all three matches for the USMNT. Scored his first international goal in a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic (video).
Academy: The central defender has steadily progressed in the Sporting Kansas City Academy since joining in June 2009 at age 13. Within three years of development under Director of Coaching Jon Parry, Palmer-Brown was training with Sporting Kansas City’s senior team and appeared in an MLS Reserve League match in June 2012.
He joined the United States Under-15 Boys National Team in September 2012 and was named the Week 6 Player of the Week in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy a month later. He was chosen to the 1996-97 Academy Select Game at the 2012 Winter Showcase, earning Man of the Match honors from U.S. Soccer, and was named a Winter Showcase Standout by Top Drawer Soccer.
In January 2013, Palmer-Brown was invited to attend the prestigious U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. under the direction of U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams. He debuted with the U17’s in a pair of scrimmages in Carson, Calif. against the LA Galaxy and Nike’s The Chance team and has since travelled extensively for international competition.
At the Under-15 level, Palmer-Brown represented the United States at the 2013 Tournament Delle Nazioni in Italy. In June, he was on the U.S. Under-17’s roster for the Caspian Cup in Azerbaijan and helped the United States win an international tournament in Japan at the U-17 level.
Palmer-Brown is a three-time State Cup champion (2009-2011) and appeared in 40 U.S. Soccer Development Academy matches – starting in 38 of those games -- over the last two seasons. In addition to his prolific club soccer career, Palmer-Brown played one season of high school soccer as a freshman at Lee’s Summit High School in the fall of 2011. He was named All-Conference First Team and Defensive Player of the Year, as well as receiving honorable mention recognition on the MSHSAA Western All-Region and Class 3 All-Kansas City teams.
Palmer-Brown became the third Homegrown Player on Sporting Kansas City’s roster, along with Jon Kempin (2010) and Kevin Ellis (2011). He will remain eligible to play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the Sporting KC Academy under-18 team.