On Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City announced the signing of Homegrown striker Wilson Harris. The 20-year-old is coming off another strong season with Sporting KC II where he has scored 23 times since making his professional debut in 2018.
The deal is guaranteed through the 2021 season with team held options for 2022 and 2023. He is the 13th Homegrown signing in Sporting KC history.
The USL season ended for SKC II back on October 3rd and Harris has completed the mandatory protocols and is available for first team selection immediately.
If you haven’t watched Harris with Sporting KC II, you’ve missed out. Over 56 appearances (39 starts) he’s bagged 23 goals which is good for 0.64 goals per 90 minutes played. He again led the team in 2020 with eight goals scored in a shortened season.
Before joining the second team, Harris had committed to go to the University of Louisville but instead opted for a professional contract to remain with the then Swope Park Rangers. Prior to that he was a part of the SKC Academy since 2017. Before joining SKC’s academy he played for Seattle Sounders FC Academy and Real SoCal Academy.
Harris is from Los Angeles, CA, but moved to KC in 2017 in a play that turned critical towards making him a professional. Wilson is also a United States youth international having played for the U-15, U-16, U-18 and U-20 teams.
Where Does Harris Fit with KC?
Despite his abundant success in the USL Championship, Harris has to go to the back of the line at center forward. Alan Pulido will be available after his quarantine and Erik Hurtado has recently emerged as quite the goal scoring threat in relief of Pulido.
However, this move could open up more time for Khiry Shelton on the wing instead of as a replacement center forward. With just four* games to go in the regular season, it would seem Harris may have trouble getting on the field this year, but I know he’s trained with the first team in the past and it’s not beyond expectations that he could make a late sub appearance. He has a knack for scoring, so getting him on when a goal is needed may not be a bad idea.
Long-term, SKC’s Hurtado is out of contract after this season so the signing of Harris could mean the team chooses to part ways with Hurtado. He’s no doubt driven up his value with his recent goal scoring outbreak, including possible the best goal in the history of Sporting KC. Personally, I’d like to see Harris on loan with SKC II much of next season, so there is plenty of room for Hurtado too.
*Sporting technically have a postponed game against Colorado, but that seems unlikely to be made up.
SKC’s Current Roster
Harris becomes the first signing to Sporting since fellow Homegrown John Pulskamp joined the team back on February 24th. It’s been a unique year to see no midseason additions, in large part due to a lack of need and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harris is the 29th player under contract but two roster spots remain open with Eric Dick still out on loan to Phoenix Rising FC in the USL Championship. He’ll also become the 8th active Homegrown on the roster, joining Daniel Salloi, Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey, Wan Kuzain, Tyler Freeman, Cam Duke and Felipe Hernandez.
Of course, this has no impact on international slots, so Sporting maintains two of those with eight days to go until the secondary transfer window closes. The team would have nine from the Adrian Zendejas trade but they dealt an extra slot to D.C. United recently.
If you’ve never seen Harris, here is a quick highlight video from 2019.