Sporting Kansas City made a huge Homegrown splash today, signing Academy products Grayson Barber, Ozzie Cisneros and Brooks Thompson to the first team. Sporting’s current roster now features 10 players who developed at the Academy level before jumping to Major League Soccer.
In the space below, we cast the spotlight on 18-year-old goalkeeper Brooks Thompson, who has already enjoyed a strong start to his professional career with Sporting Kansas City II in the USL Championship.
1. Academy Import
Thompson, who grew up in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, joined the Sporting KC Academy in the summer of 2018 following a two-year stint with the IMG Academy in Florida. He played a leading role for the U-19s during the 2018-19 Development Academy campaign, posting a 7-2-3 record with four clean sheets while also featuring in the Generation adidas Cup.
2. Early Starter
At age 16, Thompson became the youngest professional signing in Sporting KC II history when he inked a USL Championship contract in March of 2019. He claimed a victory on his pro debut against Hartford Athletic on July 17, 2019, at Children’s Mercy Park.
3. First Team Familiarity
Thompson is no stranger to competing with Sporting’s first team. He made two preseason appearances for Manager Peter Vermes’ men in early 2019 and has trained regularly with the MLS side at Compass Minerals National Performance Center over the last two years.
4. Solid in 2020
The 6-foot-3 Thompson led Sporting KC II goalkeepers during the shortened 2020 USL Championship campaign with 26 saves and a 1.17 goals against average in six matches. His save total was the highest among the league’s teenage goalkeepers.
5. Career Game
Thompson exploded for a career-high nine saves in his 2020 debut on July 18 at Indy Eleven, including one that placed second in USL Championship Fans’ Choice Save of the Year voting.
6. Excellent August
Thompson earned his first professional clean sheet last August in another trip to Indy, saving four shots in a 1-0 win to land USL Championship Team of the Week honors. He collected his second victory of the season by making another four saves in a resolute 2-1 triumph at FC Tulsa on Aug. 29.
7. Climbing the Ranks
Among the 17 Homegrown Players in Sporting history, Thompson is the fourth to emerge from the Academy, sign a USL Championship contract with Sporting KC II, then sign an MLS contract with the first team. The first three players to hit that feat were midfielder Wan Kuzain (2018), midfielder Felipe Hernandez (2019) and forward Wilson Harris (2020).
8. As a Youngster
Thompson was born in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and spent much of his childhood in Floyds Knobs, attending Floyds Knobs Elementary and Highland Hills Middle School. Prior to his eighth-grade year, Thompson pursued soccer more seriously by moving to IMG Academy in Florida as a 14-year-old.
9. On the Mend
Thompson is presently making a strong recovery from a back injury and will return to competitive action this summer. Before sustaining his injury last fall, he was one of the premier young goalkeepers in the USL Championship.