Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has signed 18-year-old outside back Kayden Pierre as a Homegrown Player.
Pierre has signed a four-year MLS contract through 2024 with an option for 2025, becoming the 18th Homegrown Player to emerge from the Sporting Kansas City Academy. 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 two of three USL Championship appearances under head coach Paulo Nagamura, 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. For a full list of Sporting’s 2021 roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/tracker.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs defender Kayden Pierre as a Homegrown Player.
Born: 2/16/2003 (18 years old)
Weight: 140 lbs.
Hometown: Rochester Hills, Michigan
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, Michigan
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) *
2021 – Defender Kaveh Rad (19) *
2021 – Defender Kayden Pierre (18) *
* Denotes player on current team