Sporting Kansas City Academy and U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team defender Jaylin Lindsey made his professional debut for the Swope Park Rangers in the United Soccer League on Saturday, entering in the 85th minute against cross-state rivals Saint Louis FC at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri.
At age 16, Lindsey becomes the first American soccer player with a birth year of 2000 or later to make a professional appearance in a competitive match.
Lindsey, who traveled to preseason with the Swope Park Rangers and has trained with Sporting Kansas City in recent weeks, was signed to an Academy contract by SPR on Friday. One day later, he took the field in front of more than 5,000 fans and in doing so became the second youngest player - behind only Canadian U-20 forward Alphonso Davies - to appear in a regular-season match across MLS, NASL and USL action in 2016.
Lindsey is one of eight players on the Rangers roster to come through the Sporting KC Academy along with Jon Kempin, Christian Duke, Daniel Salloi, Nansel Selbol, Will Little, Ezra Armstrong and Steven Tekesky. Combined, the group has logged 1,532 minutes through six games in the club's inaugural season with three goals and two assists.
The Swope Park Rangers will host Tulsa Roughnecks FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Victory Field in Swope Soccer Village. Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com or at the venue box office on gameday, where all children in a soccer uniform will receive $5 off admission for Youth Soccer Night.
In addition, local soccer supporters can secure general admission seats to cheer on the Swope Park Rangers on Saturday as well as Sporting Kansas City on Sunday (2:30 p.m. CT at Children's Mercy Park) with a $39 SPR/SKC ticket package. For more information, contact Swope Park Rangers sales executive Rodrigo Futema at 913-951-3562.