Sporting Kansas City midfielder Kevin Oliveira will join the Cape Verde Men's National Team for a crucial World Cup qualifier against Senegal on Oct. 7 at Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia, Cape Verde.


Oliveira was previously named to Cape Verde's squad for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda, where he was an unused substitute in a 1-0 loss. The creative midfielder is seeking his first international appearance at the senior level, having represented the Cape Verde U-16s in 2012.


Oliveira's selection to the Cape Verde squad continues a banner month for the 21-year-old, who signed an MLS contract with Sporting KC from the Swope Park Rangers on Sept. 15 and made his MLS debut a day later in a 3-1 win over the New England Revolution. He was also a second-half substitute in Sporting KC's 2-1 defeat of the New York Red Bulls in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Sept. 20.


Cape Verde is currently competing in the final round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying among nations in CAF (Confederation of African Football). The Blue Sharks have never qualified for a World Cup, but a victory over Senegal on Oct. 7 would great boost Cape Verde's hopes of doing so. The team sits in second place in Group D with two qualifying matches still to play, the last of which is slated for Nov. 6. The Group D winner will advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.


2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
CAF Third Round – Group D

Team
PTS
W
L
D
GF
GA
GD
Burkina Faso
6
1
0
3
5
3
+2
Cape Verde
6
2
2
0
4
6
-2
Senegal
5
1
0
2
4
2
+2
South Africa
1
0
2
1
3
5
-2

In addition to playing twice for Sporting KC this month, Oliveira has logged 17 USL appearance for the Swope Park Rangers since returning from a long-term ACL injury in April. He has tallied three goals, five assists and 24 chances created for an SPR outfit that has clinched a playoff berth and occupies third place in the Western Conference standings. 


Oliveira joined the Swope Park Rangers ahead of their inaugural season in 2016, the same year he was selected at No. 2 of the United Soccer League’s 20-Under-20 list highlighting the league’s best young talent.