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Sporting KC signs Pulskamp to Homegrown contract

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Pulskamp has played for the US U-20 National Team

Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City announced that they have signed John Pulskamp as a Homegrown Player. The contract is a three-year MLS deal through 2022 with an option for 2023. The 18-year-old goalkeeper becomes the second-youngest goalkeeper in team history. The youngest was Sporting KC’s first Homegrown player, 17-year-old Jon Kempin in 2010.

Even though Pulskamp did not play in the Sporting KC Academy, the team was able to sign him to a Homegrown contract after they acquitted his Homegrown right from the LA Galaxy for $50,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money.

”We’re very excited about signing a young goalkeeper of John’s quality, and more importantly I’m proud of the way he has bet on himself, worked his way up from Sporting KC II and earned an MLS contract,” said Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes via press release. “Now it’s about taking that next step as a professional, and we believe John will continue to improve as he gains more experience.”

Pulskamp came to Kansas City in 2019 when he signed his first professional contract with Sporting Kansas City II (Swope Park Rangers at the time). With SKC II, Pulskamp put in good performances and led all SKC II keepers in a number of stats in 2019. As a U.S. Youth National Team player, Pulskamp did get a taste of Sporting KC when he trained at Pinnacle with the U-18 National Team in 2018. One of his team mates at the time was fellow Sporting KC Homegrown player Cameron Duke.

The Bakersfield, California was with the U-20’s in January before heading to preseason with Sporting KC where he helped the team to three shutouts.

Analysis:

This is a good signing for Sporting KC. Pulskamp is young, carries the Homegrown tag so he is a freebie on the salary cap and has a large upside to him. in 2019, he proved he was the equal of older keepers Adrian Zendejas and Eric Dick. He was good in the air, strong shot stopper and a good verbal leader directing the defense in front of him. His footwork and positioning improved throughout the season and he displayed a maturity in his play and demeanor.

It had been expected that he might sign in the off season with how well he had played. When Zendejas was traded to Nashville SC the speculation grew although picking up Richard Sanchez dampened the idea a bit. With Dick on loan in Phoenix it for the season (he can be recalled) it opened up spot for Puslkamp.

Of the keepers on the SKC and SKC II rosters last season, Pulskmap is the most like Tim Melia in style. Expect more time with Sporting KC II for Puslkamp with Sanchez backing up Melia on the first team and Pulskamp getting a fair amount of starts in the USL.

Thad Bell

VITALS

John Pulskamp

Number: 24

Position: Goalkeeper

Born: 4/19/2001 (18 years old)

Height: 6-2

Weight: 190 lbs.

Last club: Sporting Kansas City II

Hometown: Bakersfield, California

Birthplace: Bakersfield, California

Citizenship: USA

Twitter: @john_pulskamp

Instagram: @john_pulskamp