Jaylin Lindsey returned to training with the Swope Park Rangers this week after playing for the U.S. Under-17 National Team at the AIFF Youth Cup in India. Lindsey made one appearance – playing the full 90 minutes against Malaysia on May 23 – as the U.S. advanced to the final of the competition.
“India was very challenging because of the hot weather. The teams we faced put up a great fight – maybe more than we expected – and it was a really great experience for us.”
Before the 16-year-old departed for India, he became the first American born in the 2000s or later to make his professional debut when he played the final five minutes against Saint Louis FC on May 7.
“It feels great being one of the first out of my age group to have professional minutes, it’s an honor,” Lindsey said. “I think that kids can look at me and see that I’m only sixteen and getting professional minutes, so it pushes them harder to get to where I am.”
The defender signed an Academy contract with the Rangers on May 6 after has spending the last few years in the Sporting KC Academy, splitting time between the U-18s and U-16s. Being a product of the Sporting Kansas City Academy, Lindsey recognizes the importance of being an example to other prospects.
“Go into practice with a great mentality. It doesn’t have to be going and doing drills or anything. Just have the right mentality by telling yourself I’m going to bust my butt and do the best that I can. Have a great mentality and keep going.”