Sporting Kansas City’s USL club, the Swope Park Rangers, have added another player to their 2017 roster. This week they announced the signing of the 2015 USL Rookie of the Year, Kharlton Belmar.
Belmar has spent the prior two seasons with the Portland Timbers 2 after being drafted by their senior club in the second round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Belmar is a forward who will be much needed on an SPR team that has lost Kris Tyrpak (to San Antonio), Tyler Pasher (SKC), Dane Kelly and Akeil Barrett this offseason. The only forwards on the roster other than Belmar are Mark Anthony Gonzalez and Nansel Selbol.
Belmar had a fantastic 2015 for T2 when he scored 12 goals and added three assists. His 2016 had quite the drop off. He only was able to put in three goals with three assists across 25 appearances. He ended up spending some of 2016 on loan with the now defunct New York Cosmos of the NASL.
Based on comments by new SPR head coach, Nikola Popovic, it doesn’t look like Belmar will be looked at to start.
“Kharlton is a player with a lot of speed, he’ll give us that depth up front,” Swope Park Rangers head coach Nikola Popovic said. “He’s very strong physically and his finishing is excellent. He’ll provide us with options in the front line, he’s very versatile and can play in any of the front three positions.”
It’s likely he’ll be depth off the bench as the Rangers only have 10 players under contract for 2017 at this time. Belmar is still relatively young at just 24-years-old and is someone that could always have a resurgence in the attack minded SPR offense. With three forwards on the field at all times it would seem minutes will be there for the taking. Maybe he’ll be like another MLS SuperDraft pick that had a resurgence with SPR last year. Oumar Ballo is the likely starter at center back after being cast off by the Houston Dynamo. Let’s hope SPR have found another gem.
We’ll leave you with the vitals courtesy of SportingKC.com:
Born: 12/1/92 (24 years old)
Weight: 160 lbs.
Last Club: Portland Timbers 2 (USL)
College: Virginia Commonwealth University
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
Birthplace: Virginia Beach, Va.