Sporting Kansas City announced that they have signed midfielder Grayson Barber, forward Ozzie Cisneros and goalkeeper Brooks Thompson as Homegrown Players. All three have come through Sporting KC’s Academy system and now have contracts with the first team.
Barber played for Sporting KC Academy from 2015-2017 before going to Clemson University where he scored 13 goals with 18 assists over 49 games. The 20-year-old helped lead Clemson to the 2019 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and the 2020 ACC Championship before leaving to join Sporting KC.
“I’m delighted to sign for Sporting KC,” Barber said via press release. “It’s really a dream come true to be back in Kansas City after developing in the Academy. I have always dreamed of playing for this club and getting this opportunity is a great feeling.”
Cisneros has demonstrated an attacking flair since joining Sporting KC academy as a 12-year-old. The young Omaha, Nebraska native has been recognized as one of the best attackers in his age group in the country. At just 16, Cisneros is the fourth youngest Homegrown signing for Sporting KC after Gianluca Busio, Tyler Freeman and Erik Palmer-Brown.
“I’m extremely happy to sign a contract with the first team at Sporting KC,” Cisneros said in the press release. ”This been a dream of mine ever since I first joined the Academy and I’m ready to work my hardest for the club.”
In 2019, Thompson signed with Sporting Kansas City II, SKC’s USL affiliate after playing for Sporting KC Academy when he was just 16-years-old. Now 18, Thompson joins the first team after demonstrating his abilities in the USL. In a shortened season that saw SKC II play almost all games on the road, Thompson ended with 26 saves and a 1.17 goals against average in six matches.
“I’m extremely happy to sign my first MLS contract and join the first team,” Thompson said. “I look forward to what the year has to offer and can’t wait to get to work.”
Barber, Cisneros and Thompson join Gianluca Busio, Cam Duke, Tyler Freeman, Wilson Harris, Felipe Hernandez, Jaylin Lindsey and Daniel Salloi as Academy products on Sporting’s roster.
Sporting KC Homegrown Players from SKC Academy
(Age upon signing in parenthesis)
2010 - Goalkeeper Jon Kempin (17)
2011 - Defender Kevin Ellis (19)
2013 - Defender Erik Palmer-Brown (16)
2016 - Forward Daniel Salloi (19) *
2017 - Midfielder Gianluca Busio (15) *
2017 - Defender Jaylin Lindsey (17) *
2018 - Defender Matt Lewis (21)
2018 - Forward Zach Wright (22)
2018 - Midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (19)
2018 - Forward Tyler Freeman (15) *
2019 - Midfielder Cam Duke (18) *
2019 - Midfielder Felipe Hernandez (21) *
2020 - Forward Wilson Harris (20) *
2021 - Midfielder Grayson Barber (20) *
2021 - Forward Ozzie Cisneros (16) *
2021 - Goalkeeper Brooks Thompson (18) *
* Denotes player on current team