Sporting Kansas City II announced today that the club has signed 25-year-old Brazilian right back Lucas Rosa to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract, pending receipt of his P1 visa.
Rosa begins his professional career in Kansas City after leading the Pittsburgh Panthers to the 2022 NCAA Men's College Cup last December. The talented defender tallied two goals and six assists while starting all 22 matches for a Pitt side that finished the year 12-5-5 and advanced to the national semifinals before falling to Indiana. Rosa played in all but 24 minutes of the season and consistently delivered on the big stage, including the match-winning assist to spark a 1-0 win over Portland in the NCAA Tournament elite eight.
Born and raised in Brazil, Rosa was the team captain for his club team Atibaia/Ferroviaria in the state of Sao Paulo before moving to the United States to begin his college soccer career at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. He spent three seasons with the Red Flash from 2017-2019 and made an instant impact as a freshman, contributing four goals and three assists in 17 appearances as a Northeast Conference All-Rookie Team honoree.
After an injury-shortened sophomore campaign, Rosa enjoyed a breakout 2019 season at Saint Francis as the Northeastern Conference Player of the Year and a member of the United Soccer Coaches All Northeast Region Team. In 15 starts, he notched 11 goals and two assists.
Saint Francis' 2020 soccer season was canceled due to Covid and Rosa transferred to ACC heavyweight Pittsburgh in 2021. He did not compete in his first year with the program but flourished as a graduate senior last fall, cementing the right back position for one of the top college teams in the country.
With the addition of Rosa, Sporting KC II now has 17 players signed to MLS NEXT Pro professional contracts entering the 2023 campaign.
Sporting KC II Roster (as of March 1, 2023)
- Goalkeepers (1): Ethan Bandre
- Defenders (8): Mo Abualnadi, Aljaz Dzankic, Coby Jones, Mikey Lenis, Nassim Mekideche, Jahon Rad, Lucas Rosa, Diedie Traore
- Midfielders (3): Ethan Bryant, Josh Coan, Enzo Mauriz
- Forwards (5): Bakary Bagayoko, Andrew Draper, Yeison Mejia, Amadou Traore, Pau Vidal
Led by head coach and longtime Sporting midfielder Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC II will travel to face USL Championship side FC Tulsa at 1 p.m. CT Saturday in the resumption of the club's 2023 preseason presented by Central Bank. The MLS NEXT Pro regular season will kick off in late March, featuring an expanded field of 28 clubs, and the league's match schedule will be released in the near term.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City II signs defender Lucas Rosa to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract.
Born: 8/25/1997 (25 years old)
Weight: 163 lbs.
Birthplace: Atibaia, Brazil