Faik Hajderovic Ryan James

Sporting KC selects two players to close out 2016 MLS SuperDraft

Sporting Kansas City selected Bowling Green State University midfielder Ryan James (No. 52 overall) and Saint Louis University midfielder Faik Hajderovic (No. 72 overall) in the final two rounds of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft on Tuesday.

James and Hajderovic comprise Sporting Kansas City’s 2016 draft class after the club traded its first-round pick to D.C. United last Thursday in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money. Sporting Kansas City did not hold a second-round pick in the 2016 draft.

James played in all 79 matches during his four-year Bowling Green career, making 69 starts with nine goals and 15 assists. He received second team All Mid-American Conference accolades in 2014 and 2015, starting all 40 games in his final two seasons with the Falcons. As a junior, James helped lead Bowling Green to the 2014 MAC Tournament Championship and a 14-6-1 record, the program’s winningest season since 1997.

A native of Mississauga, Ontario, James recorded four goals and a team-leading five assists during his senior campaign and was named a Senior CLASS Award finalist after earning Academic All-MAC and MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete honors. The midfielder is a member of the Canadian National Player Pool.

Hajderovic ended his four-year collegiate career with Saint Louis after spending his first three seasons at the University of Evansville. The attacking midfielder tallied two goals and two assists for the Billikens last fall, starting 14 of 15 appearances as the program completed its fourth straight winning season. 

Born and raised in St. Louis, Hajderovic notched 10 goals and 24 assists in three years at Evansville, where he was coached by current Sporting KC Assistant Technical Director Mike Jacobs. He led NCAA Division I as a sophomore with 0.74 assists per game (14 assists) in 2013 and earned first team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 2013 and 2014.

Sporting Kansas City will begin its 21st season on March 6 at Seattle Sounders FC in a nationally televised match on FS1 and FOX Deportes. Before then, the club will travel to Tucson, Arizona, for two phases of preseason training — Jan. 23 – Feb. 8 and Feb. 14-27. Visit SportingKC.com/schedule for the team’s full, 34-game regular season schedule as well as full details on the club's preseason, presented by Children's Mercy. 

Ryan James
Position: Midfielder
Born: 4/21/1994
Height: 5-9
Weight: 160 lbs.
College: Bowling Green State University
Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Birthplace: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Citizenship: Canada
Instagram: @jrleejames

Faik Hajderovic
Pronunciation: FIKE high-DARE-o-vitch
Position: Midfielder
Born: 2/24/1994
Height: 5-8
Weight: 150 lbs.
College: Saint Louis University
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
Citizenship: USA