Sporting KC signs Ellis as second home-grown player
Sporting Kansas City signed 19-year-old defender Kevin Ellis as the second Home Grown Player in club history on Friday. Ellis is a product of the Sporting Kansas City Juniors academy.
Ellis was brought through the Sporting Kansas City Juniors academy for the last four years, highlighted by his participation with the Under-17 team in the inaugural SUM Cup in 2007 and most recently in the Kansas State Cup and Region II Regionals with the Under-19 team last year.
At the 2007 SUM U-17 Cup in Colorado, Ellis scored two goals in back-to-back minutes of the second half of the group finale against FC Dallas to lead the team to a 3-2 comeback victory. The Juniors then advanced to the championship match in the inaugural event with Ellis in the starting lineup throughout the tournament.
The Kansas City, Mo., native went on to score regularly for the Juniors in league and tournament competition, while also starring at Oak Park (Mo.) High School. He then attended Barton County Community College in Kansas, where he led the school to back-to-back Region VI championships and NJCAA National Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010.
As a freshman for the Cougars soccer program, Ellis recorded 23 goals and eight assists en route to earning NJCAA Second Team All-American honors. Last year, Ellis transitioned to defense while still contributing 11 goals and four assists and helping Barton County earn third place at the NJCAA National Tournament, the best finish in school history.
He was named the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and added All-Region VI First Team, NJCAA All-Tournament Team and NJCAA First Team All-American honors. His 34 goals and 80 points in the two-year career are an all-time school record.
Ellis was invited to Sporting Kansas City’s invitation-only combine in January at the Kansas City Chiefs Indoor Practice Facility, along with fellow Juniors product Konner Knoll. Ellis’ strong performance at the three-day combine earned him a spot on the team’s pre-season roster in Phoenix, Arizona, where he has trained with the first team for the last two weeks.
Ellis joins Sporting goalkeeper Jon Kempin as the second Home Grown Player on Kansas City’s 2011 roster. Kempin was signed in August 2010 and has represented the United States National Team at the Under-18 and Under-20 levels since graduating from Blue Valley North High School in December.