Sporting Kansas City Under-18 Academy midfielder David Leichty has agreed to a professional contract with Oklahoma City Energy FC, Sporting’s USP PRO affiliate.
“I know David always wanted to play professionally. He has always wanted to play at that level,” Sporting Kansas City Academy Director of Coaching Jon Parry said. “I think it speaks volumes for our Academy. It’s very exciting to have another player being signed as a pro.”
Leichty, an 18-year-old from Overland Park, Kansas, joined Sporting’s Academy in 2009 and played in all 18 of the Academy’s matches in 2013. His play for the Academy earned him the 2013 Bob Gansler Award, which is given to the Academy’s most outstanding player.
His first professional year will also be the inaugural season for Energy FC, who are coached by former Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. Leichty is excited for the opportunity.
“It will be great to play for Jimmy Nielsen, a guy that I have looked up to from the first team, and be a part of the professional environment,” Leichty said. “I’m excited to learn from him and all that he has to offer from the coaching side of the game.”
A graduate of Shawnee Mission South High School, Leichty scored 25 goals and added 17 assists in three high school seasons and was a Class 6A First Team All-State selection. TopDrawerSoccer.com ranked Leichty 91st nationally in the class of 2013 and third in the Heartland Region.
Nielsen understands Leichty’s professional path.
“He is choosing a different direction than a lot of kids his age and choosing the professional way like I did in my younger days,” Nielsen said. “I am very excited for him. He has a huge passion for the game and I am very happy to have him on the team. I am confident that he has a bright soccer future.”
Leichty joins fellow Sporting KC Academy alum Kyle Miller on the Energy FC roster, which also features former Sporting Kansas City players Cyprian Hedrick and Michael Thomas.