Eric Dick and Graham Smith sign for Sporting KC - 2 Across DL

Sporting KC signs first-round draft picks Eric Dick and Graham Smith to MLS contracts

Sporting Kansas City has signed 23-year-old goalkeeper Eric Dick and 22-year-old defender Graham Smith, the club announced on Thursday.

Dick and Smith, who joined Sporting KC in the first round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft last month, have both signed one-year contracts with options for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

“Eric and Graham are two players who have made good impressions since joining our club for the preseason,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. “Eric has a lot of qualities that we look for in a goalkeeper, while Graham gives us additional depth along the backline. We look forward to working with both of them as they continue to integrate into the team.”

“This is a dream come true,” Dick said. “I’m very excited to compete at the next level and join a great goalkeeping unit, team and coaching staff. I hope to repay the faith they’ve shown in me going forward.”

“I’m extremely excited to start my professional career in Kansas City,” Smith said, “Everything I’ve seen so far leads me to believe this is a first-class organization, and I can’t wait to start the season with my new teammates and coaches.”

Dick made his preseason debut for Sporting KC on Jan. 27, contributing to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids, while Smith featured in each of the club’s three exhibition wins during the first leg of the 2018 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy.

Dick, the 13th overall pick in the SuperDraft, was a four-year starter at Butler University in Indianapolis. As a senior last fall, he was named the 2017 Big East Conference Goalkeeper of the Year and received United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American honors. He ended his college career with 28 shutouts and a 0.96 goals against average across 71 starts.

Born in Kansas City suburb Roeland Park, Kansas, Dick led Butler to the 2016 Big East Championship and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances over his last two seasons. He compiled a 27-10-4 record over his junior and senior campaigns, landing First Team All-Big East Conference accolades in 2017.

At the youth level, Dick played for the Indiana Fire Academy and attended Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, where he was a two-time All-District and All-County performer.

Smith split his four-year college career between Oregon State University (2014-15) and the University of Denver (2016-17). The versatile defender started all 80 appearances at the NCAA Division I level, registering six goals and seven assists in his final two seasons with the Denver Pioneers.

A native of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Smith was teammates with current Sporting KC forward Khiry Shelton during his freshman campaign at Oregon State. He assisted three goals in 38 matches for the Beavers, helping the side reach the NCAA Tournament in 2014.

Upon transferring to Denver in 2016, Smith helped the Pioneers reach the Men’s College Cup for the first time in program history. He split time between the holding midfield and center back positions, serving as the anchor of a defense that notched a 0.52 goals against average in 2016 and a 0.71 goals against average in 2017. As a senior, Smith was a United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Second Team selection and a CoSIDA Academic All-American.

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs goalkeeper Erick Dick and defender Graham Smith to one-year contracts with options for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

VITALS
Eric Dick
Position: Goalkeeper
Number: 18
Born: 10/3/1994 (23 years old)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 205
College: Butler University
Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
Birthplace: Roeland Park, Kansas
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @DaBrickWall00

VITALS
Graham Smith
Position: Defender
Number: 16
Born: 11/25/1995 (22 years old)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 186
College: University of Denver
Hometown: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Birthplace: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Citizenship: USA
Instagram: @insta__graham95

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