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Swope Park signs 16-year-old goalkeeper Brooks Thompson

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The pathway from the Academy to the pros continues to guide players

Thompson (center) in training with Sporting KC
Thad Bell

Brooks Thompson is the latest academy product signed to a professional contract. Thompson has been signed to a USL Championship contract with the Swope Park Rangers. At just 16-years-old, the standout goalkeeper is the youngest player to have signed with Swope Park.

“It feel really good, especially with everything my parents have done for me. They let me leave home, which I didn’t thing they would ever do and now I’m here signing a contract which is amazing,” Thompson told The Blue Testament.

Coming from Sporting Kansas City’s Academy, Thompson will still be able to play for the Academy as he adjusts to the USL level of play. “I’m excited to see where I get games this year. I know I will still play with the Academy but I am really looking forward to getting games with Swope Park.”

Thompson spent the preseason with Sporting Kansas City before returning to train with the Rangers and has already appeared for both Sporting KC and Swope Park in preseason matches.

“He’s a very talented young keeper, very high-end and for me one of the best in the country for his age. I think he has a bright future if he keeps working hard,” Swope Park and Academy goalkeeper coach Gavin McInerney explained.

When asked how soon Thompson might get some USL starts, McInerney stated, “This is the next progression for him, we will obviously take our time putting him in but for me I think he is more than capable. He has done very well in training, had a great preseason with the first team and with Swope Park. It’s the next progression to see how he adapts to the games at USL.”

Thomson is a native of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, and went to the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for two years before joining SKCs Academy last year. “I came to Sporting because I saw they pushed their players from Academy to USL and to the first team which I thought was amazing,” Thompson explained. “I had never seen that before so it made me want to come here.”

Sporting Kansas City has moved a number of players through the Academy to either the first team or Swope Park and that is part of their pro-pathway for development.

What keeper does Thompson try to emulate? “I try to model my game after David DeGea,” Thompson answered easily.

When asked who with the club has helped him the most, he quickly praised the older keepers with Sporting KC. “Adrian (Zendejas), Tim (Melia), (Eric) Dick have all been great player-wise, helping me, giving me instruction and mentoring me.” Thompson said. “All the coaches have been excellent, they have all had my best interests and pushed me to be the best I can be.”