Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed Sporting Kansas City II midfielders Ethan Bryant and Sebastian Cruz to short-term loan agreements ahead of Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 match against Houston Dynamo FC.
Sporting will continue their pursuit of a record fifth U.S. Open Cup title against the Dynamo at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on the U.S. Soccer YouTube channel, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
Bryant and Cruz previously earned their Sporting debuts in the club’s 3-0 home win over Tulsa Athletic in the U.S. Open Cup third round on April 25 at Children’s Mercy Park. Bryant logged 59 minutes of midfield action as a first-half substitute, while Cruz entered in the 60th minute and played primarily on the right wing.
Bryant, 21, joined Sporting II ahead of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro campaign after landing 2022 USL League One Young Player of the Year honors as a key contributor for the Richmond Kickers. The Texas native began his professional career as a 16-year-old with San Antonio FC in the USL Championship, becoming the youngest player in club history in 2018, before a brief stint with Belgian side K.S.V. Roeselare in 2019.
After returning to San Antonio in 2020, Bryant went on loan to Richmond in 2021 and made his move to the club permanent in 2022, tallying three goals and five assists last year. Bryant has scored one goal in six appearances this season for Sporting KC II, led by head coach and longtime Sporting great Benny Feilhaber.
Cruz, who enjoyed three standout seasons at Cal State Fullerton by totaling 17 goals and 13 assists in 56 starts from 2019-2022, returned to Kansas City this spring after developing in the Sporting KC Academy from 2016-2018. He represented Sporting at the U-16 through U-19 levels and also played seven matches during the 2019 USL Championship campaign with Sporting KC II.
As a junior last fall, Cruz became the first Cal State Fullerton player to earn Big West Midfielder of the Year honors outright and the program's first player to be named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Region First Team. With six assists and a team-high eight goals, Cruz finished second on the Big West Conference scoring chart as an all-conference first team selection. The 22-year-old has started six matches for Sporting KC II this season, tallying one goal and two assists.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs midfielders Ethan Bryant and Sebastian Cruz to short-term loans from Sporting Kansas City II (MLS NEXT Pro).
Born: 8/20/2001 (21 years old)
Weight: 150 lbs.
Hometown: Longview, Texas
Birthplace: Longview, Texas
Born: 7/31/2000 (22 years old)
Weight: 150 lbs.
Hometown: Fresno, California
Birthplace: Fresno, California
College: Cal State Fullerton