SPR Team 2017
Nick Smith

Swope Park Rangers adds seven Sporting KC Academy players to 2017 roster

The Swope Park Rangers have signed Sporting Kansas City Academy’s Ezra Armstrong, Chase Bromstedt, Leroy Enzugusi, Max Rugova, Steven Tekesky, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal and Patrick Wilkinson to Academy contracts, the club announced today. The additions bring the roster total to 26 ahead of the 2017 USL season, which includes 12 current and former Academy players. The signings are pending USL and federation approval.

“I think it’s fantastic to have 12 players from the Academy on the team,” Swope Park Rangers head coach Nikola Popovic said. “We are starting to see this roster like a future roster for the first team. Our job here is to develop our Academy players, to prepare them to be future first-team players.”

“This season is a start for them at the professional level. We have to be careful in how we play them and put them in an environment to succeed. The idea is to create a platform for them to grow and to achieve the level we want to see for the first team. Some of them have spent time with the National Team, which is very good and I have high expectations of them. The USL is a very strong league and this will provide them with excellent experience.”

Armstrong, 18, signed an Academy contract with the Rangers last season and made two appearances for the club. He joined the Sporting KC Academy ahead of the 2014-15 season after relocating from Academy affiliate Sporting Nashville Heroes based in Tennessee. So far in the 2016-17 Development Academy season, Armstrong has made nine appearances with the Under-18s. Armstrong, who recorded an assist in a scrimmage against the University of Tulsa on Feb. 26, is the son of Desmond Armstrong – a National Soccer Hall of Famer.

Bromstedt is a Parkville, Mo. native and joined the Sporting KC Academy ahead of the 2010-11 season, advancing through the age groups to the U-18s. In the 2016-17 season, Bromstedt has started 13 of the side’s 14 games, adding two goals from the midfield. The 18-year-old spent significant time training with the Rangers in the tail end of the 2016 season and won a penalty in SPR’s opening preseason scrimmage against UMKC on Feb. 19 before adding an assist a week later against the University of Tulsa.

Enzugusi, the 2016 Gatorade High School Player of the Year for Iowa, joined the Sporting KC Academy in August 2016 and has plundered home nine goals in 12 games for the U-18s in his first Development Academy season. The 17-year-old, who was born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in Marion, Iowa, is a former member of the Iowa Olympic Development Program and scored in the Rangers’ first two friendlies this preseason against UMKC and the University of Tulsa.

Rugova, 17, joined the Academy ahead of the 2013-14 season and has gone on to impress at both the U-16 and U-18 levels. The Overland Park, Kan. native had 14 goals in 27 games while splitting time between the two age groups last season, while the winger has five goals in nine games for the U-16s so far in the 2016-17 season. Rugova has spent significant time training with the Rangers over the last year and won a penalty in a friendly game against the University of Tulsa on April 16, 2016. A month later, Rugova earned his first call up to the U.S. Under-17 National Team for a training camp.

Goalkeeper Tekesky returns for his second season as an Academy signing with the Rangers, having spent all of the 2016 season training with the side. The 19-year-old joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2010 and has made 13 appearances for the U-18s in the 2016-17 season, posting a 1.62 goals against average. In 2014, the Raymore, Mo. native was among 54 MLS Academy players selected for the Generation adidas Elite Soccer Program event held in Portland, Ore. Later that same year, he was called up to the first-ever U.S. Youth Futsal National Team, joining the U-16 team for three games in Toronto, Ontario.

Wan Kamal, 18, joined the Sporting KC Academy in August after spending several years with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club and signed an Academy contract with the Rangers later that month. The midfielder from Carbondale, Ill. has played in 13 games for the Sporting KC U-18s this season, tallying two goals. In late 2015, Wan Kamal trained with Dutch Eredivisie club Feyenoord’s Academy, while he has also represented the U.S. U-17 National Team.

Wilkinson, 17, has been a member of the Sporting KC Academy since 2011, making 10 appearances for the U-18s in the 2016-17 season. The Overland Park, Kan. native signed an Academy deal with SPR in 2016 and was only the fourth player on an Academy contract to play in a game for the Rangers last season when he appeared off the bench against Saint Louis FC on Aug. 21 at Children’s Mercy Park.

VITALS
Ezra Armstrong
Position: Defender
Born: 12/15/98 (18 years old)
Height: 5-8
Weight: 155 lbs.
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Birthplace: Gastonia, N.C.
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @ezraarmstrong
Instagram: @simply__nani

VITALS
Chase Bromstedt
Position: Midfielder
Born: 5/26/98 (18 years old)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 130 lbs.
Hometown: Parkville, Mo.
Birthplace: Sioux City, Iowa
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @ChaserrBro
Instagram: @cm_bromstedt

VITALS
Leroy Enzugusi (EN-zuh-GOO-see)
Position: Forward
Born: 6/13/99 (17 years old)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 155 lbs.
Hometown: Marion, Iowa
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @Enzugusi
Instagram: @leroy_enzugusi

VITALS
Max Rugova (ruh-GO-vuh)
Position: Midfielder
Born: 2/17/00 (17 years old)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 165 lbs.
Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.
Birthplace: Overland Park, Kan.
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @maxrugova
Instagram: @maxrugova

VITALS
Steven Tekesky
Position: Goalkeeper
Born: 1/20/98 (19 years old)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 165 lbs.
Hometown: Raymore, Mo.
Birthplace: San Bernadino, Calif.
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @StevenTekesky
Instagram: @stevie_tekesky

VITALS
Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (COO-zane KUH-mahl)
Position: Midfielder
Born: 9/14/98 (18 years old)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hometown: Carbondale, Ill.
Birthplace: Carbondale, Ill.
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @Kuz_TheAsianWiz
Instagram: @kuzain7

VITALS
Patrick Wilkinson
Position: Midfielder
Born: 5/19/99 (17 years old)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 145 lbs.
Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.
Birthplace: Overland Park, Kan.
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @pcwilkinson_18
Instagram: @pcwilko

Topics: