Sporting Kansas City II has signed Academy players Dylan Hooper, Gavin Krenecki, Isaiah LeFlore, Michael Lenis, Kayden Pierre, Bailey Sparks, Max Trejo and Jayvin Van Deventer to Academy contracts, the club announced today. Each player will retain their NCAA eligibility while being registered to compete in USL Championship matches with Sporting II.
Hooper, 17, has spent the last four seasons with the Sporting KC Academy playing primarily as a center back. The Shawnee, Kansas native has been a constant feature for the Sporting U-17s and U-19s over the past few seasons and previously signed an Academy contract with SKC II in 2019 but did not make an appearance in the USL Championship.
Goalkeeper Krenecki, 18, signs an Academy deal with Sporting II after spending all of preseason camp with the Sporting KC first team in Arizona during March and early April. The Fair Oaks, California native has been on an Academy contract with SKC II the past two seasons, making two appearances in 2020 – including his professional debut away to Saint Louis FC on August 15, 2020.
LeFlore, 18, joined the Sporting KC Academy in early 2020, having spent the previous three years with AD Oeiras in Portugal. The Minneapolis native, who can play as an outside back or on the wing, joined up with Sporting’s Under-19 squad before signing an Academy contract with SKC II last July, starting two of seven appearances and scoring his first professional goal against Saint Louis FC on Sept. 19, 2020. Prior to his time in Portugal, LeFlore played for Minnesota-based Development Academy club Shattuck-St. Mary’s, representing the club’s U-14 side up until his departure in 2016.
Outside back Lenis, 17, joined the Sporting KC Academy in early 2017 having been born and raised in Florida before moving back to his mother’s hometown of Kansas City. He has represented the Sporting KC U-17s and U-19s over the past several seasons and has been a member of the U.S. Under-14 and Under-16 national teams in the past.
Pierre, 18, is a defender that can play in both outside back roles. He joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2018 from Vardar SC in his native Michigan. Since then, Pierre has advanced from the Under-15 age group up to the Under-17s and Under-19s. The Rochester Hills native signed an Academy contract with SKC II in 2020 and made three appearances in the tail end of last season before spending all of the 2021 preseason with the first team in Arizona. On the international stage, Pierre has represented the U.S. Under-14s and Under-16s.
Dynamic midfielder Sparks, 18, arrived in Kansas City last summer having led Texas club Solar SC to the U-17 Boys’ Development Academy Championship during the 2018-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. Sparks’ performance during the postseason tournament earned him the Golden Ball for the U-17 division, honoring the best player of the USSDA Playoffs. Sparks signed an Academy contract with Sporting II last summer, making two appearances and scoring a dramatic game-winner on the road against Indy Eleven on Sept. 30, 2020.
Trejo, 19, was born in Mexico City but grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and has been a part of the Sporting KC Academy since 2016. The goalkeeper has risen from the Under-15 side to the Under-19s and signed an Academy contract with SKC II two years ago, making two appearances in the 2019 USL Championship season.
Van Deventer, 17, joined the Sporting KC Academy through the club’s Center of Excellence as a 12-year-old in 2016 and the midfielder has since risen from the U-12s to the U-19s. In 2018, Van Deventer was named the MVP of the Copa Rayados Internacional in Texas after leading the Sporting U-15s to the semifinals of the tournament involving several U.S. and Mexican Academy teams.
Sporting KC II opens the 2021 USL Championship season tomorrow night when the side travels to take on FC Tulsa at ONEOK Stadium in Oklahoma. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
Born: 11/13/2003 (17 years old)
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hometown: Shawnee, Kan.
Birthplace: Overland Park, Kan.
Born: 3/8/2003 (18 years old)
Weight: 170 lbs.
Hometown: Fair Oaks, Calif.
Birthplace: Sacramento, Calif.
Born: 12/11/2002 (18 years old)
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minn.
Born: 10/12/2003 (17 years old)
Weight: 130 lbs.
Hometown: Weston, Fla.
Birthplace: Miami, Fla.
Born: 2/16/2003 (18 years old)
Weight: 140 lbs.
Hometown: Rochester Hills, Mich.
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, Mich.
Born: 12/30/2002 (18 years old)
Weight: 150 lbs.
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Birthplace: Tampa, Fla.
Born: 4/10/2002 (19 years old)
Weight: 155 lbs.
Hometown: Lawrence, Kan.
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Citizenship: Mexico, USA
Jayvin Van Deventer
Born: 1/1/2004 (17 years old)
Weight: 140 lbs.
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Birthplace: Tuscaloosa, Ala.