After being reported over the weekend, Sporting Kansas City officially announced the signing of the club’s seventh homegrown player, University of North Carolina senior, Zach Wright. The Smithville, Texas native moved to Kansas City and joined Sporting KC’s academy for the 2013-2014 US Soccer Developmental Academy season. Wright signed a one year contract with the club with three options years.
Over his four year career as a Tar Heel, Wright scored 15 goals and added 28 assists in 79 games with the Tar Heels. In his senior season, Wright scored four goals and added 11 assists as UNC made it all the way to the College Cup before falling 1-0 to Indiana. In their quarterfinal match up against Fordham, Wright had a goal and an assist in UNC’s 2-1 win that saw them advance to the College Cup.
Wright’s spent only one season in Sporting’s academy, enough to qualify him to be a homegrown player for the club, as Peter Vermes continued to do his best to work within and around the homegrown player rules. Wright is the fourth straight Homegrown player signing that moved to KC specifically to join the Sporting academy, following Daniel Salloi, Gianluca Busio, and Jaylin Lindsey. It’s a testament to the system that Vermes has worked to create in Kansas City that the club continues to pull players into the academy from other parts of the United States (or abroad) that aren’t currently covered by MLS academies.
Wright isn’t the DP striker that fans have been begging for, in fact right now he’s likely a depth signing that will spend a fair amount of time in 2018 with the Swope Park Rangers, but he’s another young player that the club will look to get playing time and help develop into a contributor to the club.