With the 2020 MLS season on temporary hold, SportingKC.com is taking daily strolls down memory lane with an "On This Day" web series that celebrates memorable moments in team history. As one of Major League Soccer's proud charter members, Sporting has a decorated past full of thrilling victories, amazing goals, momentous off-the-field developments and more. "On This Day" pays tribute to these specific instances, turning back the clocks while treating fans to nostalgia and club history lessons. To catch up on the series as it unfolds, visit SportingKC.com/OnThisDay.
Four years ago today, a rising prospect from the Sporting Kansas City Academy inked his first Academy contract for Sporting Kansas City II, formerly the Swope Park Rangers.
On May 6, 2016, defender Jaylin Lindsey was announced as SPR's newest Academy signing, joining the likes of Ezra Armstrong, Will Little and Steven Tekesky. A day later, Lindsey became the first American player born in 2000 or later to appear in a professional match, featuring in the Rangers' road game at rivals Saint Louis FC.
Just 16 years old at the time, Lindsey split time between the Rangers and the Sporting KC Academy before joining the United States U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida, in August 2016. He returned to Kansas City the following year and signed professionally as a Homegrown Player in September 2017.
After representing the United States at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, Lindsey blossomed into a regular first-team player and enjoyed a breakout 2018 campaign that saw him make 10 competitive appearances for Sporting Kansas City under Manager Peter Vermes. That same year, he helped the United States win the Concacaf U-20 Championship title.
Lindsey was a strong candidate to compete for the U.S. at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, but a knee injury ruled him out for the first half of the 2019 MLS campaign. He returned midway through last season, secured a starting role for Sporting KC II and last October was named among the USL Championship's best 20 players under the age of 20.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Lindsey turned 20 years old on March 27 and will be among the many Sporting players to commence voluntary individual workouts today at Compass Minerals National Performance Center, formerly Pinnacle.