The Swope Park Rangers have signed defender Mo Abualnadi, midfielder Jake Davis and winger Sean Karani to Academy contracts ahead of tomorrow’s USL Championship opener away at New York Red Bulls II, the club announced today. All three signings are pending league and federation approval, while their Academy contracts do not affect each players’ NCAA eligibility.
Versatile defender Abualnadi joined the Sporting KC Academy ahead of the 2017-18 Academy season, and has made 38 appearances to date between the Under-17 and Under-19 sides. The 18-year-old spent significant time with the Sporting KC first team during preseason, appearing in scrimmages in both the first and second legs of preseason in Arizona.
On the international stage, Leawood, Kansas native Abualnadi made his debut for the Jordan Under-19 National Team earlier this year, appearing in a pair of friendlies against Qatar’s Aspire Academy in late January.
Like Abualnadi, Davis also joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2017 and has made 34 appearances for the Under-17 squad over the last two seasons, tallying nine goals from a central midfield position.
Davis, 17, has produced a reputation as a set-piece specialist, tallying five goals off direct free kicks in the 2018-19 Academy campaign alone. Davis spent the first leg of preseason with Sporting Kansas City in Arizona, before splitting time between Rangers preseason and Academy duties over the last month.
Wichita, Kansas native Karani has been a part of the Sporting KC Academy for the last five years, rising through the ranks to make four appearances for the Rangers in 2018 while on an Academy contract, recording one assist.
In the Academy, Karani has advanced from the Under-16 group to the Under-19s, playing in 56 overall games and recording 20 goals, including five in 10 appearances for the U-19s so far this season. The 18-year-old spent the first portion of preseason training with Sporting KC, before linking up with the Rangers where he scored one goal in three preseason matches.
The Rangers open the season on the road against New York Red Bulls II tomorrow at MSU Soccer Park, before returning to Kansas City for their home opener against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Children’s Mercy Park on March 23. All USL Championship games are streamed live on ESPN+, while tickets for home games are available via SeatGeek.com.
Born: 2/8/2001 (18 years old)
Weight: 165 lbs.
Hometown: Leawood, Kan.
Birthplace: Overland Park, Kan.
Citizenship: Jordan, USA
Born: 1/3/2002 (17 years old)
Weight: 150 lbs.
Hometown: Rochester, Mich.
Birthplace: Rochester, Mich.
Born: 12/14/00 (18 years old)
Weight: 155 lbs.
Hometown: Wichita, Kan.
Birthplace: Wichita, Kan.