Sporting Kansas City defender Jaylin Lindsey was named to MLSsoccer.com’s 22 Under 22 rankings on Wednesday, coming in at No. 20 in a series highlighting Major League Soccer’s best young players.


Lindsey, 18, has enjoyed a breakthrough 2018 season with Sporting Kansas City and USL affiliate Swope Park Rangers. The outside back has started nine of 10 appearances for Sporting KC in all competitions, becoming the youngest player in Kansas City history to play at least 10 matches for the club. He tallied his first MLS assist on July 14 versus Supporters’ Shield contenders New York Red Bulls and started in both of Sporting KC’s U.S. Open Cup victories this summer against Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, respectively.


A product of the Sporting KC Academy, Lindsey has also logged six USL appearances for the Rangers, who are on course to make their third straight trip to the USL Cup Playoffs. Featuring primarily as a right back, Lindsey boasts a 4-0-2 record as a Rangers starter in 2018.


Sporting KC signed Lindsey as a 17-year-old Homegrown Player in September 2017. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native previously starred for the Sporting KC Academy from 2015-2017, competing at the U-16, U-18 and U-19 levels. After impressing throughout his first full Academy season, Lindsey signed an Academy contract with the Rangers on May 6, 2016. A day later, he became the first American player born in 2000 or later to appear in a professional match.


On the international stage, Lindsey has represented the United States as a member of the U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-20 national teams. He played more than 25 matches for the U.S. U-17s from 2016-2017, notably earning 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Best XI honors after helping the Americans to a second-place finish. He made his U.S. U-20 debut last month, starting all three games at the U.S. Soccer U-20 Men’s Invitational in Bradenton, Florida.


After releasing eight editions of the 24 Under 24 series from 2010-2017, MLS transitioned to a younger group of players this season with 22 Under 22, as voted on by an expert panel. The new adjustment saw MLSsoccer.com rank the top 22 players in MLS under the age of 22 as of the end of the 2018 regular season, which concludes Sunday, Oct. 28.


This year’s “22 Under 22” countdown will culminate Thursday when the top 10 players are revealed during a special edition of Extra Time Live, Driven By Continental, at 1 p.m. CT.


All MLS players under the age of 22 before Oct. 28 were eligible for 22 Under 22 consideration. The final rankings reflect votes submitted by a panel of the following 19 individuals:


  • Four anonymous technical staffers
  • Ten members of the MLS Digital team (Matt Doyle, Sam Stejskal, Bobby Warshaw and Andrew Wiebe among others)
  • Five soccer media members across North America, including Marcelo Balboa (Univision), Doug McIntyre (Yahoo Sports), Alexi Lalas (FOX Sports), Paul Tenorio (The Athletic) and Will Parchman (The Athletic)