Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed 26-year-old forward Khiry Shelton to a three-year MLS contract through 2022 with an option for 2023.
Shelton, who has spent 2019 with German club SC Paderborn 07, returns to Kansas City for his second stint at Sporting after helping the club to first place in the Western Conference and a record-breaking scoring season in 2018.
“Khiry is an experienced player who we are excited to bring back to the club,” Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said. “As the 2020 season approaches, we will continue to strengthen our roster with signings on all three lines of the field.”
Capable of playing multiple positions in attack, Shelton started 17 of 24 appearances for Sporting in all competitions during a 2018 campaign that saw the club set regular season club records in goals, assists and goal differential. He tallied two goals and five assists in MLS play as Sporting finished atop the West with 62 points and an 18-8-8 record. Sporting was 12-3-5 in regular season matches that Shelton played and advanced to the Western Conference Championship, falling one game short of an MLS Cup appearance.
Shelton moved from Sporting to Paderborn in January, joining midway through the 2018-19 German 2. Bundesliga season. He debuted the following month and helped the team finish as second-division runners-up, clinching promotion to the top-flight Bundesliga for the 2019-20 campaign. Shelton logged four appearances for Paderborn this season, notably making his Bundesliga debut in a 3-2 loss to European powerhouse FC Bayern Munich on Sept. 28.
Born in Fort Carson, Colorado, and raised in Leander, Texas, Shelton began his professional career at New York City FC, where he recorded six goals and 10 assists over three seasons from 2015-2017. The 6-foot-3 attacker enjoyed a strong sophomore campaign in 2016, tallying four goals and placing second on the team with nine assists. The final two years of his spell at NYCFC ended with second-place finishes in the Eastern Conference.
Shelton registered 19 goals and 15 assists during a four-year college career at Oregon State University. As a senior in 2014, he was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and a MAC Hermann Finalist after notching 10 goals and 12 assists. NYCFC took Shelton with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
On the youth international level, Shelton was selected to the United States U-18 Men’s National Team for the 2010 Winter Tournament in Israel and the 2011 Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal. He represented his country again in 2015 and 2016 with the U-23 MNT, competing in friendlies and Olympic qualifiers. He also joined the U.S. Men’s National Team for January Camp at the start of 2016.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs forward Khiry Shelton.
Khiry Shelton (KY-ree)
Weight: 191 lbs.
Birthplace: Fort Carson, Colorado
Hometown: Leander, Texas
Previous club: SC Paderborn 07 (Germany)