Sporting KC signs three Sporting KC II players to short-term loans ahead of Tuesday’s Open Cup home match

Sporting KC short-term loan signings 2023

Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed three Sporting Kansas City II players to short-term loans ahead of Tuesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup home match against Tulsa Athletic: defender Mo Abualnadi, midfielder Ethan Bryant and midfielder Sebastian Cruz.

Sporting will begin its pursuit of a record fifth U.S. Open Cup title in Tuesday’s third round by hosting Tulsa Athletic of the fourth-division National Premier Soccer League. Kickoff at Children’s Mercy Park is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT and tickets are available at, including a buy one, get one offer that grants admission to both the Open Cup game as well as Sporting’s MLS home match against CF Montreal on Saturday.

Abualnadi, a native of Overland Park, Kansas, developed in the Sporting KC Academy from 2017-2019 and logged four USL Championship appearances for Sporting KC II in the spring of 2019 before embarking on a four-year college career in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He spent two seasons each at Notre Dame (2019-2020) and Pittsburgh (2021-2022), amassing 59 total appearances in central defense to go with two goals and two assists. Abualnadi trained with the Sporting KC first team during the 2023 preseason and made his return to Sporting KC II in February. The 22-year-old has played in two of the club’s first five MLS NEXT Pro matches this season.

Bryant 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, he 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. The 21-year-old has scored one goal in four appearances for Sporting KC II this season.

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 earned four starts for Sporting KC II this season, tallying one goal and one assist.

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs defender Mo Abualnadi, midfielder Ethan Bryant and midfielder Sebastian Cruz to short-term loans from Sporting Kansas City II (MLS NEXT Pro).


Mo Abualnadi (AH-bwahl NAH-dee)
Number: 60
Position: Defender
Born: 2/8/2001 (22 years old)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 165 lbs.
Hometown: Leawood, Kansas
Birthplace: Overland Park, Kansas
Citizenship: USA, Jordan
Colleges: Notre Dame, Pittsburgh
Instagram: @moabualnadi

Ethan Bryant
Number: 39
Position: Midfielder
Born: 8/20/2001 (21 years old)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 130 lbs.
Hometown: Longview, Texas
Birthplace: Longview, Texas
Citizenship: USA
Instagram: @ethan\bryant\

Sebastian Cruz
Number: 98
Position: Midfielder
Born: 7/31/2000 (22 years old)
Height: 5-7
Weight: 150 lbs.
Hometown: Fresno, California
Birthplace: Fresno, California
Citizenship: USA
College: Cal State Fullerton
Twitter: @Cruzs100
Instagram: @sebascruz_10