U.S. youth international inks MLS contract
after strong 2019 season with Sporting KC II
Sporting Kansas City has signed 18-year-old goalkeeper John Pulskamp as a Homegrown Player, the club announced today. Pulskamp has inked a three-year MLS contract through 2022 with an option for 2023, becoming the second-youngest goalkeeper in team history.
Sporting has added Pulskamp to the club’s 2020 roster after acquiring his Homegrown rights from the LA Galaxy in exchange for $50,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money. The 6-foot-2 goalkeeper spent two seasons with the LA Galaxy Academy before turning professional in 2019 with Sporting Kansas City II at the USL Championship level.
“We’re very excited about signing a young goalkeeper of John’s quality, and more importantly I’m proud of the way he has bet on himself, worked his way up from Sporting KC II and earned an MLS contract,” said Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes. “Now it’s about taking that next step as a professional, and we believe John will continue to improve as he gains more experience.”
A native of Bakersfield, California, Pulskamp appeared in four of Sporting’s six exhibition matches during the 2020 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy. He contributed to shutouts against Real Salt Lake, FC Cincinnati and a team of Phoenix Rising FC trialists as Sporting prepared for the 2020 MLS campaign in Arizona.
Pulskamp joins the MLS ranks on the heels of a 2019 USL Championship season in which he led Sporting KC II goalkeepers in starts (14), minutes (1,260), wins (four) and saves (45). He enjoyed several standout performances throughout the year, making five saves in a victory over reigning league champion Louisville City on May 6 and four saves in a defeat of rivals Saint Louis FC on June 30. He later shut out North Carolina FC in a 1-0 win on Sept. 14 and posted six saves in a 3-0 road triumph over Charlotte Independence on Sept. 21.
At the youth international level, Pulskamp recently debuted for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team in a friendly against regional rivals Mexico on Jan. 18 in Bradenton, Florida. He also competed at a U.S. U-18 training camp in June 2018 at Pinnacle, Sporting’s world-class training home in Kansas City, Kansas. That same year, he went on trial with English Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth.
Pulskamp arrived in Kansas City in April 2019 after a two-year stint in the LA Galaxy Academy, where he competed at the U-17 and U-19 levels in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Prior to joining the Galaxy, he represented youth sides Real So Cal and Central California Aztecs.
Pulskamp is one of 29 Sporting players under MLS contract ahead of the 2020 regular season, which will begin Saturday with a visit to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 9:30 p.m. CT. For a full list of the club’s offseason roster moves, visit SportingKC.com/tracker.
After meeting Vancouver, Sporting will return to Children’s Mercy Park for their highly anticipated home opener against rivals Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 7. Tickets for Sporting’s first 10 home matches of the 2020 season, as well as numerous multi-game ticket packages, are on sale now at SportingKC.com/tickets.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs goalkeeper John Pulskamp as a Homegrown Player after acquiring his Homegrown rights from the LA Galaxy in exchange for $50,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money.
Born: 4/19/2001 (18 years old)
Weight: 190 lbs.
Last club: Sporting Kansas City II
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Birthplace: Bakersfield, California