Sporting KC select two defenders in 2022 MLS SuperDraft

Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City players celebrate a goal by forward Daniel Salloi (20) during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Austin FC Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. The match ended tied 1-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City used two of their three picks in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft selecting defenders to bolster the depth along their backline.

Round 1: Esai Easley – Grand Canyon – 22nd overall pick

The Hawaiian-born defender helped the Lopes to a 15-4-1 record and was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Easley’s role at GCU had him slip into midfield responsibilities occasionally giving him versatility that a manager like Peter Vermes will use to its full capacity.

Round 2: Brett St. Martin – Maryland – 50th overall pick

St. Martin brings championship pedigree to the MLS level having won the national championship with Maryland in 2018.

The Maryland native was selected to the 2021 All-Big Ten First Team and joins Terrapin alumnus Graham Zusi in Sporting blue.

St. Martin played a majority of his 61 collegiate games at center back, but slipped into an outside back position when it was necessary.

In recent history, Sporting KC have not shown an affinity to utilize many draft picks on their roster.

2018 MLS SuperDraft pick Graham Smith appeared in 17 games for the senior team and had a much larger role with MLS Next Pro Club affiliate Sporting KC II. His contract option was declined at the end of the 2021 season.

Saad Abdul-Salaam and Amadou Dia were both selected in the 2015 draft and showed promise on the roster, but both are no longer with the club.

From 2009 to 2012, the club drafted the likes of Teal Bunbury, CJ Sapong and Dom Dwyer, two of which helped the team win the 2013 MLS Cup.

Sporting continue to finalize their roster as they prepare for an early-starting MLS season in 2022.

They start the season on the road at Atlanta United on Feb. 27.

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