Sporting Kansas City II just keep making signings. On Wednesday they added a pair of Croatians to their roster. Today they added a familiar face. The club announced the signing of SKC Academy member Kaveh Rad. That brings the roster up to 12 players for 2020.
Rad has featured heavily for the then Swope Park Rangers throughout the 2019 season when he was just on an Academy Contract. Now he’ll be a professional. He didn’t make his debut until May 11th against Nashville SC (now in Major League Soccer) but he would go on to start 20 of 22 appearances, with all those starts coming among the final 26 matches of the season.
Kaveh Rad has been a member of the Sporting Kansas City Academy since the 2016 season. He made 65 appearances between the U-15s, U-17s and U-19s. Even though he is a center back, he added seven goals in that time. Rad, and his twin brother Jahon Rad who also featured for SPR, are part of the pipeline from North Carolina that Sporting KC have tapped into. They have also added players like Gianluca Busio and Jaylin Lindsey to the first team from NC in recent years.
By Rad signing his first professional contract he’ll forego college eligibility. He had previously committed to the North Carolina State Wolfpack with his brother for the fall of 2020. In the past, some players have played part of a season and then left for college (Sean Karani). While others have done what Rad did and skip college to go pro (Wilson Harris).
Future First Team Homegrown Signing?
While Rad has a long way to go to prove his worth, the path to the first team can go through
Swope Park Rangers Sporting KC II. Felipe Hernandez went from the Academy to SPR and finally to Sporting KC last year. Players like Rad and Harris will look to continue that trend.
And Rad has shown promise. While Sporting KC II were historically bad last year, Rad was a bright spot. He had his ups and downs but the 18-year-old played well over large stretches. He was often alongside first teamer Graham Smith or SuperDraft pick Camden Riley and he was as good or better than them for the most part.
There is a real potential he could get a Homegrown deal in the future. A quick look at the center backs on the first team shows it’s just Matt Besler, Roberto Puncec, Botond Barath, Andreu Fontas and Smith. If the 24-year-old Smith doesn’t make progress in 2020, it’s not hard to see him leaving and Rad taking his spot.