Sporting KC II player signings

Sporting Kansas City II announced today that the club has signed three attacking players to MLS NEXT Pro professional contracts, pending league and U.S. Soccer Federation approval: 23-year-old striker Bakary Bagayoko, 23-year-old winger Josh Coan and 20-year-old winger Julian Vazquez.

Bagayoko, Coan and Vazquez will join Sporting KC II for the team’s first season in MLS NEXT Pro, a new professional league that will kick off in late March. With the roster move, Sporting KC II currently has nine players under professional contract heading into the MLS NEXT Pro campaign.

Current Sporting KC II Roster

  • Defenders (3): Aljaz Dzankic, Spencer Glass, Joseph Addo Tetteh
  • Midfielders (2): Collin Fernandez, Jahon Rad
  • Forwards (4): Bakary Bagayoko, Josh Coan, Rauf Salifu, Julian Vazquez

Bagayoko begins his professional career with Sporting KC II after a prolific five-year spell in the college ranks. He totaled 38 goals and 17 assists across four seasons at NAIA school Cumberland University in Tennessee—landing 2021 NAIA All-American honors as a senior—before spending his graduate year at Lipscomb University in Florida, where he notched five goals and five assists while leading the Bisons to an ASUN Conference championship and a berth in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Bagayoko notably scored in the ASUN Final to spark a 4-1 win over Central Arkansas and in Lipscomb’s first-round NCAA Tournament defeat to Hofstra.

Born in Guinea and raised in Bronx, New York, Bagayoko also scored four goals for Reading United during the 2019 USL League Two season, helping the Pennsylvania club finish as league runners-up.

Coan arrives in Kansas City with two years of professional experience under his belt, having scored seven goals in two USL League One seasons split between FC Tucson (2020) and North Carolina FC (2021). He tallied four goals as a rookie in Tucson before taking another step in 2021, hitting four goals and three assists in 28 matches for North Carolina FC.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Coan spent the first half of his four-year college career at the University of Pittsburgh, where he contributed four assists in 32 matches. He then transferred to Marquette University for his junior and senior campaigns, logging nine goals and seven assists from 2018-2019 and earning All-Big East Third Team accolades as a senior. While in college, Coan featured for several USL League Two sides, including stints with North Carolina FC U-23s, IMG Academy Bradenton, Des Moines Menace and Chicago FC United.

Vazquez developed as a youth in the Real Salt Lake Academy and signed an MLS contract as the club’s 16th Homegrown Player in 2018. He spent most of the 2019 and 2020 seasons on loan with Real Monarchs in the USL Championship, helping the team win a league title in 2019 with a goal and two assists that year. Vazquez made his Real Salt Lake first team debut on June 11, 2019, in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup defeat to LAFC.

A native of Brigham City, Utah, Vazquez left Real Salt Lake at the end of 2020 and spent the 2021 USL Championship campaign with Las Vegas Lights, where he tabbed a goal and an assist while playing primarily as a left winger.

At the youth international level, Vazquez featured for the Mexico U-18s in the spring of 2019—playing in a pair of friendlies against England—and for the Mexico U-20s in January 2020, starting one of two appearances against Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp and the United States.

Sporting KC II enters its seventh season in club history under the guidance of first-year head coach Benny Feilhaber and assistant coach Ike Opara. Feilhaber and Opara starred for Sporting at the MLS level last decade and have taken the helm of Sporting KC II in 2022, ushering in a new era in MLS NEXT Pro.

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City II signs forwards Bakary Bagayoko, Josh Coan and Julian Vazquez to MLS NEXT Pro professional contracts.

VITALS

Bakary Bagayoko
Position: Forward
Born: 10/7/1998 (23 years old)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 170 lbs.
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Birthplace: Conakry, Guinea
College: Lipscomb University, Cumberland University
Citizenship: Guinea

Josh Coan
Position: Forward
Born: 2/21/1998 (23 years old)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 150 lbs.
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana
College: Marquette University, University of Pittsburgh
Citizenship: USA

Julian Vazquez
Position: Forward
Born: 3/30/2001 (20 years old)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hometown: Nibley, Utah
Birthplace: Brigham City, Utah
Citizenship: USA, Mexico