Sporting KC II signs Ian James, Johann Ortiz, Carlito Saylon and Cielo Tschantret to MLS NEXT Pro amateur contracts ahead of season opener

SKC II Player Signings (multiple players)

Sporting Kansas City II announced today that the club has signed four Sporting Kansas City Academy players to MLS NEXT Pro amateur contracts: defender Ian James, midfielder Johann Ortiz, goalkeeper Carlito Saylon and midfielder Cielo Tschantret.

All three players have inked amateur contracts on a single-game basis, preserving their NCAA eligibility, and will be available for selection on Sunday when Sporting Kansas City II opens the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season at Houston Dynamo 2 in a 5 p.m. CT matchup that will stream live on and the MLS YouTube channel.

James, a Minnesota native, joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2021 and has risen through the ranks playing minutes with the U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-19 squads. He captained the U-15s throughout the 2022-23 MLS NEXT season including several GA Cup and MLS NEXT FLEX matches. Earlier this year, the 15-year-old joined the first team for preseason down in Miami, appearing in three friendlies.

Ortiz joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2018 as a U-12 and has repped the U-13s, U-14s, U-15s, U-17s and U-19s. The midfielder split his time this past year with the U-17 and U-19 teams, helping the U-19s capture the 2023 UPSL Oklahoma-Arkansas regular season title. The 17-year-old Ortiz played in four of SKC II's five preseason matches in February and March.

Saylon is an SKC II veteran, signing his third MLS NEXT Pro amateur contract. The Michigan native joined the Academy in 2020 and has played for the U-15, U-17 and U-19 age groups. He made his pro debut on July 31, 2022, against North Texas SC and earned his first professional win and clean sheet on Sept. 5, 2022, against Rapids 2. Saylon made two appearances last year for SKC II winning a crucial road match at Austin FC II on Aug. 25.

Tschantret joined the Sporting KC Academy ahead of the 2020-21 season after moving to Kansas City from his native Baltimore, Maryland. The midfielder has appeared for Sporting's U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams and was a part of the 2023 OK-AR division title-winning U-19s. Last season for SKC II, Tschantret started three of six appearances, netting two goals, including the match-winner at Austin. His outing against Austin also earned him MLS NEXT Rising Star of Matchday 24 honors.

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City II signs defender Ian James, midfielder Johann Ortiz, goalkeeper Carlito Saylon and midfielder Cielo Tschantret to MLS NEXT Pro amateur contracts.


Ian James
Position: Defender
Birthdate: 06/06/2008 (15 years old)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota
Birthplace: St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Johann Ortiz
Position: Midfielder
Birthdate: 01/01/2007 (17 years old)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 168
Hometown: Springdale, Arkansas
Birthplace: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Carlito Saylon
Position: Goalkeeper
Birthdate: 07/20/2006 (17 years old)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hometown: Brighton, Michigan
Birthplace: Dearborn, Michigan

Cielo Tschantret
Position: Midfielder
Birthdate: 02/22/2006 (18 years old)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 155 lbs.
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland