Erik Palmer-Brown press conference

Sporting Kansas City homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown will join the United States Under-18 Men's National Team for a training camp from Jan. 4-11 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Palmer-Brown, 16, scored his first goal on the international level and played every minute for U.S. U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez in October during a four-team international tournament in France.

“The objective is to build a strong U-20 team for after the next U-20 World Cup," Perez told in October. "We want to be consistent with what we have been doing, but at the same time, we want to bring more ’97s into the group to provide them with international experience."

The Lee's Summit, Mo. native became the youngest signing in club history and the only player born in 1997 on a MLS roster when he signed a Homegrown Player contract with Sporting Kansas City in August. As a Homegrown Player, he remains eligible to play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the Sporting KC Under-18 Academy team and has played in 11 games since the start of the 2013-14 USSDA season in September.

He attended the prestigious U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. for the spring semester and featured extensively in international competition for the United States Under-15, Under-17 and Under-18 youth national teams in 2013. Palmer-Brown was one of five finalists for U.S. Soccer's 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year.

"It's a huge honor to represent my country," Palmer-Brown said. "It will be good to be with my friends from residency and have the chance to play with some new players as well. This is a great way for me to maintain my game-fitness and I'm excited to continue to gel with a group of guys that will be the core for the next U-20 cycle."

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