Wilson Harris celebration - Swope Park Rangers vs. Indy Eleven - April 15, 2019
Nick Smith

SPR forward Wilson Harris is top scoring teenager in American soccer

Swope Park Rangers 19-year-old forward Wilson Harris scored his team-best 12th goal of the USL Championship season on Wednesday to cap off a breakout 2019 campaign highlighted by 10 goals in his last 11 appearances.

The sensational run of form has not only made him the top scoring teenager in the USL Championship, but also the top scoring teenager on any American professional soccer team and one of the top scoring teenagers in the world this year.

Of the 73 American teams in Major League Soccer (21), USL Championship (35), USL League One (9) and the National Independent Soccer Association (8), none have a teenager with as many goals as Harris. 

Outside the United States? According to Transfermarkt, only five current teenagers have 12 or more regular season goals this year in a fully professional first or second division.

  • João Félix (Atletico Madrid) - 13 in Liga NOS (Portugal) and 2 in La Liga (Spain)
  • Lassina Traoré (Ajax) - 13 in Keuken Kampioen Divisie (Netherlands)
  • Wilson Harris (Swope Park Rangers) - 12 in USL Championship (United States)
  • Erling Håland (Red Bull Salzburg) - 12 in Bundesliga (Austria)
  • Nikola Krstovic (Red Star Belgrade) - 12 in Telekom 1. CFL (Montenegro)

Transfermarkt also indicates that Harris' 10 goals from August 16-October 16 are the most by a teenager in any first or second division league on the planet over the past two months. Within MLS and USL Championship, his 10 goals since August 16 trail only MLS MVP finalists Zlatan Ibrahimovic (12) and Carlos Vela (11) during the time period.

Moreover, Harris' 12 goals in the USL Championship this year match the league's single-season record for a teenager, set by LA Galaxy II forward Efrain Alvarez in 2018. The only teenager to score 12 goals in a single season in MLS history was Diego Fagundez, who struck for 13 goals in 2013 as an 18-year-old.

WILSON HARRIS: 2019 USL CHAMPIONSHIP STATS

Harris joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2017 and led the Sporting KC U-19s with 18 goals in 17 games during the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. He signed a professional contract with the Rangers last July, scoring three goals during the 2018 USL Championship season, and this year was invited to join Sporting Kansas City during the team's preseason in Arizona, where he scored twice in three preseason appearances, and was later called up to the first team for a 1-1 draw against Vancouver in May.

A past member of the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team, Harris is a leading candidate for the 2019 USL Championship Young Player of the Year award.

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