Sporting Kansas City II has signed Academy players Josh Chong, Ryan Fessler, Mason Leeth and Jahon Rad to Academy contracts, the club announced today. Each player will retain their NCAA eligibility while being registered to compete in USL Championship matches for Sporting II.
Chong, 19, was a part of the Sporting KC Academy as a U-14 player before departing for a stint with the European Soccer Institute in Kansas. He rejoined the Sporting KC Academy in 2018 and has made 55 appearances since, tallying 11 goals playing primarily on either wing for both the Under-17 and Under-19 teams.
Chong, who was born in Seoul, South Korea but grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia, moved to Kansas City in 2013. Chong spent significant time training with Sporting II in 2018 before signing an Academy contract for the 2019 season.
Fessler, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, linked up with the Sporting KC Academy ahead of the 2016-17 USSDA campaign and has since made 65 appearances for the U-17 and U-19 squads, tallying 12 goals. Fessler was scheduled to join collegiate powerhouse Wake Forest in the fall of 2019 but elected to stay in Kansas City and train with Sporting KC II instead.
Fessler, 19, signed an Academy contract with Sporting II during the 2018 USL Championship season, though he did not make an appearance.
Leeth, 19, joined the Sporting Academy from Academy Affiliate Sporting Blue Valley in 2017. He has played in 44 games for the U-17s and U-19s, tallying 11 goals while playing in a myriad of positions across the field. Leeth has spent a large amount of time over the past year training with Sporting II.
Jahon Rad joins his twin brother, Kaveh Rad, on the Sporting II roster. The two 19-year-olds joined the Sporting KC Academy together at the start of the 2016-17 USSDA season, having previously been a part of the North Carolina FC Academy in their native state. J. Rad has made 88 appearances for the Academy, including 15 in the curtailed 2019-20 season for the U-19s.
J. Rad, who signed Academy contracts the previous two seasons, made his professional debut with Sporting II in 2018, earning his first of five appearances as a substitute against Sacramento Republic FC on July 10, 2018, before later making his first professional start against Orange County SC at Children’s Mercy Park on July 18, 2018. J. Rad made a further three appearances in 2019, including one start at Nashville SC on May 11, 2019.
In addition, Portuguese winger Ze Pedro, who joined Sporting II midway through the 2019 season, has left the club after his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
Gyuwon Joshua Chong
Born: 1/29/2001 (19 years old)
Weight: 135 lbs.
Hometown: Lynchburg, Va.
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Citizenship: South Korea
Born: 3/8/2001 (19 years old)
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Birthplace: Palm Beach, Fla.
Born: 6/1/2001 (19 years old)
Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.
Birthplace: Kansas City, Mo.
Born: 6/13/2001 (19 years old)
Weight: 180 lbs.
Hometown: Durham, N.C.
Birthplace: Chapel Hill, N.C.