Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sporting KC signs draft pick James Ansu Rogers

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Sporting Kansas City announced on Wednesday that the club has signed forward James Ansu Rogers, the 53rd overall selection (third round) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The University of New Mexico product has been added to the team's roster.

"We're very happy for James," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. "Because of his persistence and work ethic, he has earned himself a roster spot for Sporting KC."

"It is a great opportunity to be with such a wonderful group of guys," Ansu Rogers said. "I really appreciate the chance I have been given. I look forward to working hard and doing my best."

Ansu Rogers, 21, was a member of the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team in 2012 after first representing the U.S. at the under-15 level in 2007.

A native of Sierra Leone, Ansu Rogers moved to the United States at age 11 and competed for the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake academies prior to being recruited to the University of New Mexico.

He contributed 22 goals, fourth most in program history, and 20 assists during a four-year collegiate career, leading the Lobos to three straight first-place finishes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (2011, 2012) and Conference USA (2013).

After reaching the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16 in his first two collegiate seasons, the Lobos advanced to the College Cup semifinals for only the second time in school history in 2013.

Last month, Ansu Rogers was named one of 24 national semifinalists for the prestigious Wooden Citizenship Cup by Athletes for a Better World and was invited to attend the 2015 MLS Player Combine in Florida.

He scored in one of three matches at the annual showcase event and recorded the sixth-highest vertical jump among all participants.

Ansu Rogers has appeared in all four matches for Sporting Kansas City during the team's preseason campaign, most recently scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday. Sporting KC will resume preseason action at 9 p.m. CT tonight against Real Salt Lake as the top two teams in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup play at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Arizona.