Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has acquired Robert Voloder, a 20-year-old German youth international center back, in a transfer from NK Maribor in the Slovenian first division.
Voloder has signed a three-year MLS contract through 2024 with an option for 2025 and will occupy an international spot on Sporting’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa.
A left-footed center back, Voloder has played every minute for Slovenian powerhouse NK Maribor since the 2021-22 PrvaLiga season began in July, guiding the team to the top of the table through 20 matches. In addition to scoring two goals and helping Maribor post 10 shutouts in league play, the German-born defender started four qualifying matches in the inaugural 2021-22 UEFA Europa Conference League last summer.
Prior to joining Maribor, Voloder began his professional career at heralded German side FC Cologne. He developed in the club’s academy from 2016-2020 and captained the U-19s during the 2019-20 season, scoring five goals from central defense in 18 appearances. Voloder was also selected to Cologne’s first team squad for three German Bundesliga matches at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
Voloder featured regularly for FC Cologne II in 2020-21, starting all 26 appearances and contributing to six shutouts as the side earned a fifth-place finish in the 21-team German Regionalliga West.
On the youth international stage, Voloder represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the U-17 through U-19 levels from 2017-2019. He was a staple for the Bosnians in their 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championship campaign, starting in all six qualifiers and all three group stage matches of the competition.
Voloder switched his national team allegiance to Germany in September 2019, debuting for the country’s U-19s in a friendly against England. He played his first of five matches for the German U-20s in the fall of 2020 and recently captained the team in an Under 20 Elite League matchup against Norway on Sept. 6, 2021.
A native of Frankfurt, Voloder spent time in youth academies at Eintracht Frankfurt (2008-10), FSV Frankfurt (2010-14, 2015-16) and SG Rosenhohe Offenbach (2014-15) before moving to FC Cologne.
Voloder becomes the fifth newcomer to sign for Sporting this offseason, joining fellow European defender Logan Ndenbe and free agent trio Kortne Forde, Uri Rosell and Ben Sweat. For a full list of Sporting’s roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/news/tracker.
Sporting will kick off the 2022 MLS campaign on Feb. 27, visiting Atlanta United FC in a 2 p.m. CT showdown on FS1, before hosting rivals Houston Dynamo FC in their highly anticipated Children’s Mercy Park home opener on March 5 at 2:30 p.m. CT. Sporting KC season tickets and several 2022 ticket packages and promotions and are available by calling 888-4KC-GOAL or visiting SportingKC.com.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) acquires defender Robert Voloder in a transfer from NK Maribor (Slovenian PrvaLiga).
Born: 5/9/2001 (20 years old)
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hometown: Frankfurt, Germany
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Previous Club: NK Maribor (Slovenia)