Now that the 2017 MLS SuperDraft is completed the roster of the Swope Park Rangers should really start filling out. The first signing on the heels of the draft was to add right back, Joe Amico, out of Jacksonville University. Amico previously played for the Sporting Kansas City Academy and seems to fill a desperate hole for the Rangers.
Currently, looking over the roster for SPR, there doesn't appear to be a clear right back on the roster. Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo and Liam Doyle are all center backs. Parker Maher is a left back. And while Christian Duke is listed as a defender, he spent a majority of 2016 in the midfield, though he did start the season as a left back. The only other defender is James Musa, who appeared to line up as a midfielder frequently for St. Louis FC.
The only other possible competition for the new signing Amico is 1st Round 2017 MLS SuperDraft pick, Colton Storm, from Sporting KC. He hasn't yet signed a contract, but if he does he seems a likely candidate for a season long loan to SPR since he's likely behind Saad Abdul-Salaam and Igor Juliao at the right back spot.
Amico is just 21-years-old and did go undrafted on Friday and Tuesday, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The USL is becoming a place for guys who didn't quite develop enough to find second life in American soccer. In college, Amico started with the University of Central Florida before moving to Jacksonville University. Once there, he had 50 appearances across three seasons (43 starts) and scored a goal and added an assist from his defensive spot.
He is pretty tall at 6 feet even and visually reminds me of Johnny Grant, who was a project last year at right back (and occasionally on the wing when SPR was ahead).
The Swope Park Rangers will spend a week in Indianapolis for preseason this year (instead of Tucson, Arizona) and that will be a homecoming for Amico, who is from Indy, before moving to Missouri and joining the SKC Academy.
Expect more signings in the coming days and weeks now that the draft is over and college players will be looking for a pro career that doesn't involve a nine to five job like the rest of us bums. I leave you with Joe's vitals, courtesy of SportingKC.com.
Born: 4/17/95 (21 years old)
Weight: 165 lbs.
College: Jacksonville University
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Ind.