skip navigation

Sporting KC midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal makes momentous MLS debut

By Sam Kovzan,, 05/28/18, 1:45PM CDT


A historic moment took place in the 87th minute of Sunday's scoreless draw between Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew SC at Children's Mercy Park.

Midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, a Sporting KC Academy product who had been selected to Manager Peter Vermes' matchday 18 for the first time, replaced Roger Espinoza to make his Sporting KC and MLS debut. In doing so, the 19-year-old Kuzain became the eighth-youngest Sporting KC player to feature in a regular season match and the second-youngest Homegrown Player to debut for the side.

Kuzain, who signed for Sporting KC as the club's ninth Homegrown Player on April 13, entered the action to a standing ovation and completed eight of his nine passes as Vermes' men collected their sixth shutout in nine games dating back to March 31.

A highly skilled holding midfielder who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Malaysia, Kuzain is the first Sporting KC Homegrown signing to progress from the Sporting KC Academy to the Swope Park Rangers to the senior team. His development at the club over the last two years serves as a momentous testament to the professional pathway forged by Vermes and a technical staff that includes Rangers head coach Paulo Nagamura and Academy Director Jon Parry.


  • August 2016 – joins Sporting KC Academy
  • Aug. 18, 2016 – signs Academy contract with Swope Park Rangers
  • July 11, 2017 – signs professional USL contract with Swope Park Rangers
  • April 13, 2018 – signs MLS Homegrown contract with Sporting Kansas City
  • May 27, 2018 – makes Sporting KC and MLS debut

Born to Malaysian parents in Carbondale, Illinois, Kuzain spent several years with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club before joining the Sporting Kansas City Academy in August 2016. He signed an Academy contract with the Rangers later that month, allowing him to play for both SPR and the Academy while retaining his amateur status.

Kuzain continued to develop in 2017 with the Swope Park Rangers, where he helped Sporting KC’s USL affiliate to a second straight Western Conference championship. He has started nine USL matches this season for SPR, completing 89.4 percent of his passes.


Player Age Debut Date Opponent Result
Erik Palmer-Brown 17 years, 24 days 05/18/2014 at Chicago Fire L 1-2
Nino da Silva 18 years, 158 days 08/31/1997 at D.C. United L 0-2
Yura Movsisyan 18 years, 311 days 05/13/2006 at D.C. United L 1-2
Soony Saad 19 years, 0 days 08/17/2011 vs. Portland Timbers W 3-1
Jake Dancy 19 years, 137 days 08/24/1997 at San Jose Earthquakes T 2-2
Jose Burciaga 19 years, 184 days 05/19/2001 at Chicago Fire L 0-2
Jimmy Medranda 19 years, 212 days 09/07/2013 vs. Columbus Crew SC W 3-0
Kuzain 19 years, 255 days 05/27/2018 vs. Columbus Crew SC T 0-0
Igor Juliao 19 years, 264 days 05/14/2014 vs. Philadelphia Union L 1-2
Teal Bunbury 20 years, 28 days 03/27/2010 vs. D.C. United W 4-0


Player Age Debut Date Opponent Result
Erik Palmer-Brown 17 years, 24 days 05/18/2014 at Chicago Fire L 1-2
Kuzain 19 years, 255 days 05/27/2018 vs. Columbus Crew SC T 0-0
Daniel Salloi 20 years, 264 days 04/09/2017 vs. Colorado Rapids W 3-1
Jon Kempin 21 years, 144 days 08/10/2014 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC L 0-2
Kevin Ellis 21 years, 364 days 06/29/2013 vs. Columbus Crew SC W 3-2