The Swope Park Rangers have signed Sporting Kansas City Academy midfielders Christian Albelo, Felipe Hernandez, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal and Patrick Wilkinson, the club announced today. All four players are still eligible to play for the Sporting KC Academy and their contracts will not affect their NCAA eligibility.
“We’re excited to welcome Christian, Felipe, Kuzain and Patrick into our squad,” head coach Marc Dos Santos said. “This is another opportunity for us to add talented young players to our roster, and it’s an excellent chance for all four of these players to show us what they can do in training and on the field.”
Albelo, 18, recently joined the Sporting KC Academy after spending extensive time with three German academies. The Fayetteville, N.C. native joined Bundesliga side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s Academy in 2011 while his parents were working for the U.S. Military in Germany.
A stint with FC Kaiserslautern followed before moving on to FSV Frankfurt’s Academy. Albelo has experience with the U.S. Under-15 National Team, representing the side in the Copa Mexico de Naciones in August 2013.
Hernandez joined the Sporting KC Academy ahead of the 2014-15 season. Last season, the 18-year-old made 27 appearances for the Under-18s, scoring six goals – including the strike that clinched a playoff berth for the U-18s and two goals in the side’s dramatic 6-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes that saw the U-18s advance to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoff Quarterfinals.
Wan Kamal, 17, joined the Sporting KC Academy after spending several years with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club. The creative midfielder from Carbondale, Ill. played in 27 games for SLSG in the 2015-16 Development Academy season, adding eight goals for the U-18s.
An Academy contract with fellow USL side Saint Louis FC followed in May for Wan Kamal and he played in two games for the club’s USL Premier Development League U-23 team. In late 2015, Wan Kamal trained with Dutch Eredivisie club Feyenoord’s Academy, while he has also represented the U.S. Under-17 National Team. Wan Kamal has verbally committed to play for college powerhouse the University of Akron.
Wilkinson, who has been a member of the Sporting KC Academy since 2012 and is verbally committed to play soccer at Saint Louis University, made 25 appearances for the Academy in the 2015-16 season while splitting time between the U-16s and U-18s. The Overland Park, Kan. native started three games while playing up with the U-18s, including in the Development Academy Playoff Quarterfinal against FC Dallas.
Christian Albelo (AL-bell-oh)
Born: 8/11/98 (18 years old)
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hometown: Fayetteville, N.C.
Birthplace: Fayetteville, N.C.
Born: 6/8/98 (18 years old)
Weight: 135 lbs.
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Birthplace: Ibague, Colombia
Citizenship: USA, Colombia
Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (COO-zane KUH-mahl)
Born: 9/14/98 (17 years old)
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hometown: Carbondale, Ill.
Birthplace: Carbondale, Ill.
Born: 5/19/99 (17 years old)
Weight: 145 lbs.
Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.
Birthplace: Overland Park, Kan.