Sporting Kansas City became a decidedly younger side today when the club signed Academy products Grayson Barber, Ozzie Cisneros and Brooks Thompson as Homegrown Players. Sporting’s current roster now features 10 players who developed at the Academy level before making the jump to Major League Soccer.
In the space below, we cast the spotlight on 16-year-old forward Ozzie Cisneros, one of the brightest American soccer prospects in his age group.
1. Young Buck
At 16 years and 10 months old, Cisneros is the fourth-youngest player in Sporting history. Current teammates Gianluca Busio and Tyler Freeman began their professional careers at age 15, while former Sporting defender Erik Palmer-Brown was 16 years and three months old when he signed for the club.
2. Rising the Ranks
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Cisneros joined the Sporting KC Academy as a 12-year-old in 2016. Since then, he has represented the club at the U-13 through U-19 levels, notably reaching the U-19s by the time he was 15.
3. First Impression
Only a few months after moving from Omaha to Kansas City, Cisneros led Sporting to fourth place at the Concacaf U-13 Champions League in Mexico City. Sporting finished higher than any other MLS club at the tournament.
4. Academy Star
From 2016-2020, Cisneros played almost 70 matches for Sporting in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and scored 15 goals. He was an integral part of the U-17 team that finished second in the group stage of the 2019 Development Academy Playoffs in Oceanside, California.
5. Youth International
Cisneros represented the U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team throughout 2018 and 2019. He starred at the 2019 Concacaf U-15 Championship in Bradenton, scoring both goals in a 2-0 quarterfinal win over Costa Rica, and also found the back of the net at the 2019 Torneo delle Nazioni in Italy.
6. Versatile Attacker
Cisneros is capable of playing in a number of different attacking positions. During his time with the Academy, the 16-year-old has been deployed as an attacking midfielder, winger and forward.
7. Last Fall
Following a six-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cisneros and the Sporting KC Academy returned to competitive action last September in MLS Next, a newly launched youth platform featuring elite academy clubs from across the country. Cisneros struck twice during the abbreviated fall season—once for the U-17s and once for the U-19s.
8. On Camera
Last fall, Cisneros was one of the prominently featured players in “The Academy,” a five-part documentary series from Audi and Bleacher Report that highlighted youth development within the Sporting KC Academy system.
9. Man United Supporter
A longtime fan of Sporting at the MLS level, Cisneros also supports English Premier League club Manchester United. He is particularly fond of the Red Devils attacking corps, including Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.