Sporting KC acquires 20-year-old forward Alenis Vargas


Sporting Kansas City has acquired 20-year-old forward Alenis Vargas in a transfer from Costa Rican side Futbol Consultants Desamparados, the club announced today.

Vargas has signed a three-year MLS contract through 2026 with a club option for 2027. The Honduran will occupy an international slot on Sporting’s roster, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa.

Vargas was loaned from Futbol Consultants to Sporting Kansas City II in April and enjoyed an excellent 2023 season in MLS NEXT Pro. In 21 appearances under Sporting KC II head coach Benny Feilhaber, Vargas recorded six goals and five assists while drawing three penalty kicks and helping the team reach the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs with a third-place finish in the Western Conference.

A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras—the same birthplace of former Sporting midfielder and longtime club great Roger Espinoza—Vargas did not begin playing competitive soccer until he was 16. He developed in the Leones Academy from 2019-2020 before joining the reserve team at Honduran powerhouse C.D. Olimpia in December 2020 at age 17.

Vargas left his home country in 2022, signing for Futbol Consultants in Costa Rica’s second division. During the latter half of the year, he trained with reigning top-flight champion Cartaginés, where he was coached by former striker and Costa Rican World Cup veteran Paulo Wanchope.

Capable of playing as a striker and a winger, Vargas began his loan spell with Sporting KC II last spring. He earned his MLS NEXT Pro debut on April 24, notching an assist in a narrow loss to FC Cincinnati 2. The following month, Vargas tabbed assists in consecutive matches against LA Galaxy II and St. Louis City SC 2.

Vargas caught fire during the summer, opening his SKC II scoring account on July 3 in a 7-1 drubbing of Whitecaps FC 2 at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas. On July 30, he bagged one of the greatest goals in SKC II history with a sensational scissor-kick strike to spark a 4-0 home win over first-place Colorado Rapids 2.

Vargas continued his strong run of form with a devastating hat-trick in a 6-1 victory over Portland Timbers 2 on Aug. 13 before scoring the late winner in a 1-0 triumph against Minnesota United FC 2 six days later. Thanks in part to the contributions of Vargas, Sporting KC II finished second in the West with 60 goals in 28 regular season matches.

With the acquisition of Vargas, Sporting now has 26 players under contract for the 2024 season:

  • Goalkeepers (2): Tim Melia, John Pulskamp
  • Defenders (10): Zorhan Bassong, Jake Davis, Robert Castellanos, Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold, Logan Ndenbe, Kayden Pierre, Chris Rindov, Dany Rosero, Robert Voloder
  • Midfielders (6): Ozzie Cisneros, Danny Flores, Felipe Hernandez, Nemanja Radoja, Erik Thommy, Remi Walter
  • Forwards (8): Stephen Afrifa, Willy Agada, Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton, Marinos Tzionis, Alenis Vargas

Sporting’s roster will continue to take shape in the buildup to the 2024 MLS campaign. For a full list of the team’s offseason roster moves, visit The calendar of Major League Soccer’s offseason roster-building events is listed below.

MLS Offseason Roster Mechanisms

  • Tuesday, Dec. 19: MLS SuperDraft 2024 presented by Adidas (2 p.m. CT)
  • Thursday, Dec. 21: Re-Entry Draft Stage 2 (12 p.m. CT)

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) acquires forward Alenis Vargas in a transfer from Futbol Consultants Desamparados (Costa Rica).

Alenis Vargas (uh-LEN-iss)
Position: Forward
Born: 12/4/2003 (20 years old)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 170 lbs.
Hometown: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Birthplace: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Citizenship: Honduras
Previous Club: Futbol Consultants Desamparados (Costa Rica)
Instagram: @_aleenis