For the 18th time in franchise history, Sporting Kansas City is signing a Homegrown Player from the Sporting Kansas City Academy.
The club announced Tuesday that it has signed 18-year-old outside back Kayden Pierre to a four-year MLS contract through 2024 with an option for 2025. With the acquisition of Pierre, Sporting leads Major League Soccer with 12 academy products on its current roster.
Born and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Pierre joined the Sporting KC Academy in 2018 from Vardar SC in his native state. He went on to represent Sporting at the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels, making upwards of 60 academy appearances and guiding the U-17s to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in 2019. While in Kansas City, Pierre has lived with a host family through a program currently supported by the Audi Goals Drive Progress initiative.
Capable of playing as a left back and a right back, Pierre gained his first professional experience last fall when he signed an amateur academy contract for Sporting Kansas City II. He started in two of three USL Championship matches, including a 90-minute outing in a dramatic 2-1 road victory over Indy Eleven on Sept. 30. In 205 minutes of USL Championship action last year, Pierre recorded four interceptions and 10 clearances while winning 77% of his duels and completing 89% of his passes, including three chances created.
Pierre enjoyed a strong 2021 preseason campaign with the Sporting KC first team this spring in Arizona, featuring in all four friendly matches and logging 176 minutes as an outside back. He most recently started for Sporting Kansas City II in their 2021 season opener on Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes at right back in a 2-0 loss to FC Tulsa.
On the international stage, Pierre has competed for the United States U-14 and U-16 national teams over the last five years. He participated in multiple U-14 training camps from 2016-2017 before jumping to the U-16s for training camps from 2018-2019.
Pierre joins Grayson Barber, Gianluca Busio, Ozzie Cisneros, Cam Duke, Tyler Freeman, Wilson Harris, Felipe Hernandez, Jaylin Lindsey, Kaveh Rad, Daniel Salloi and Brooks Thompson as academy products on Sporting's roster.