Sporting Kansas City midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal has been named the No. 3 player on the United Soccer League’s 20 Under 20 rankings, a list highlighting the best young talent to play in the USL this season.
The USL began its 20 Under 20 countdown on Monday and announced players ranked No. 1-3 today. This year’s series, which also features Sporting KC players Jaylin Lindsey (No. 11) and Gianluca Busio (No. 6) along with SPR midfielder Felipe Hernandez (No. 5), is compiled through input from head coaches and technical staffs at all 33 clubs across the league.
Kuzain, 20, has started 19 games for the Swope Park Rangers this season in addition to logging a goal and an assist in eight appearances with Sporting Kansas City. His 89.3 percent passing accuracy in the USL ranks fourth best among all midfielders with a minimum of 75 passes, and his two goals from set piece – including the USL Goal of the Month in August – are third most in the USL.
A key cog in the SPR midfield on both sides of the ball, Kuzain has also recorded 80 duels won, 23 interceptions and 11 clearances in the USL.
Born to Malaysian parents in Carbondale, Illinois, Kuzain first represented the U.S. at the Under-17 National Team level in 2015. He joined the Sporting Kansas City Academy in August 2016 and earned Central Conference Best XI honors for the 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. In July 2017, Kuzain signed his first professional contract with the Rangers and made 13 appearances to help the Rangers reach the 2017 USL Cup Final.
This year, Kuzain became the ninth Homegrown Player in Sporting KC history upon signing an MLS contract in April and the first to progress from the Sporting KC Academy to the Swope Park Rangers to the senior team. He made his MLS debut in May and one week later became the second-youngest player in club history to score a regular season goal with the game-winner in a 4-1 victory over Minnesota United.
Swope Park Rangers head coach Paulo Nagamura on Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal
What makes Kuzain so talented?
With Kuzain, what makes him so talented is he’s a very technical player with very good quality of passing. One of the reasons that he’s so talented in the way that we play is that he possesses those qualities and really fits the way we want to build the team.
What’s going to take Kuzain to the next level?
It’s just about getting used to the speed of play in MLS, and the physicality and the athleticism that is required to play on that level. Kuzain is on a good route and hopefully he can make it.