clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking Back at the Last Five Years of Sporting KC Draft History and Their Production

Only four first round picks and only ONE player is still around. Where are the rest of them?

Sporting Kansas City v Vancouver Whitecaps: Round of 16 - MLS Is Back Tournament

With the 2021 edition of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft coming and going last week it’s generated a lot of conversation about if the draft should even still exist or what should potentially replace it. I do think it’s time for the draft to die, but we’ll talk more about that in the near future.

Instead, today, let’s take a look at the last five years of Sporting Kansas City drafts and see how those have turned out and in what ways those players impacted the team as a whole.

Obviously, we’ll skip the 2021 draft as there hasn’t been any time for those players to do anything and they are unlikely to make the first team (and may not even make the second team). Let’s start at the 2020 draft and work backwards.

2020 MLS SuperDraft

Number of Picks: 2

3rd Round

58th — Jaret Townsend — Winger (University of Washington)

  • Signed to Sporting KC II. He played limited minutes and had his option declined after the 2020 season. As of this writing, he is unsigned.

4th Round

84th — James Kasak — Defender (Virginia Tech University)

  • Kasak played in preseason with SKC II but didn’t join the team. He appears to be out of soccer.

2019 MLS SuperDraft

Number of Picks: 3

1st Round

21st — Kamar Marriott — Defender (Flordia Gulf Coast University)

  • Never signed, currently out of soccer.

2nd Round

45th — Camden Riley — Defender (Pacific University)

3rd Round

69th — Franky Martinez — (University of Massachusetts Lowell)

  • Never signed, currently out of soccer.

2018 MLS SuperDraft

Number of Picks: 4

1st Round

13th — Eric Dick — Goalkeeper (Butler University)

  • Signed to a first team contract. Made one MLS appearance (6-0 loss). Spent 2018 and 2019 mostly on loan with SPR/SKC II before spending 2020 on loan with Phoenix Rising FC. Had his contract option declined following the 2020 season.

18th — Graham Smith — Defender (University of Denver)

  • Signed to a first team contract. Has played extensively in USL with SPR/SKC II before the 2020 season where loans were limited. He has 17 MLS regular season appearances in three season (16 starts) for 1,377 minutes. He added a goal and an assist. He is the only player in this entire story still under contract with Sporting KC.

4th Round

75th — Will Bagrou — Forward (Mercer University)

  • Never signed by Sporting KC, he ended up with the Birmingham Hammers (USL League Two) before playing for Orlando City B (USL League One). He’s currently playing for ATSV Stadl-Paura in the Austrian third tier.

82nd — Wilfred Williams — Defender (Oakland University)

  • Never signed by SKC, he signed with Detroit City FC (NISA) before also joining Orlando City B (USL1). In 2020 he played for Oakland Roots who are set to move up to the USL Championship in 2021. He is now with Chattanooga FC (NISA).

2017 MLS SuperDraft

Number of Picks: 2

1st Round

14th — Colton Storm — Defender (University of North Carolina)

  • Signed with Sporting KC though he never made an appearance with the first team. He spent much of 2017 and 2018 on loan with Swope Park, making 53 appearances. After the 2018 season SKC declined his contract option. He signed late in 2019 with North Carolina FC (USLC) but did not play in 2020. He is currently without a team.

3rd Round

58th — David Greczek — Goalkeeper (Rutgers University)

  • He signed with SPR but only made three appearances. He was out of soccer until 2019 when he signed with FC Motown (NPSL). He joined Greenville Triumph SC in USL1. He is currently without a team.

2016 MLS SuperDraft

Number of Picks: 2

3rd Round

52nd — Ryan James — Midfielder (Bowling Green University)

  • Never signed with Sporting KC. Instead he signed with the Rochester Rhinos (USLC) and played two seasons there. He joined Nashville SC (when they were still in USL) for in 2018. He spent 2019 and 2020 with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USLC) before joining the Birmingham Legion (USLC) for the 2021 season.

4th Round

72nd — Faik Hajderovic — Midfielder (St. Louis University)

  • Never signed to Sporting but he joined the St Louis FC U-23s for part of 2016 before heading overseas to join NK Vinogradar (Croatian third division) for the rest of 2016. He appears to currently be out of soccer.

Over the last five years there have been a total of four first round picks and only three of them actually earned first team contracts (another three made the second team). Only one player of the total one of the 13 draft picks (Graham Smith) is still even on Sporting KC’s roster. Only two are still in MLS (Eric Dick with the Columbus Crew).

The stats are a bit manipulated because if I included the 2015 draft, that included first round picks Connor Hallisey (out of soccer), Saad Abdul-Salaam (currently with FC Cincinnati) and Amadou Dia (back in MLS with KC). Five years felt like a nice number to stop on.

Part of the issue with the lack of success for KC picks is, of course, that Sporting haven’t picked very high. They would have in 2019 but the New England Revolution owned that pick as a part of the Krisztian Nemeth trade. But even high draft picks pretty consistently don’t work out.

The Blue Testament will bring you more on what should replace the MLS SuperDraft in the near future. It’s clear the draft basically doesn’t matter anymore, but there should still be a path to the pros for players who choose to go to college.