Since being named to The Guardian’s Next Generation list in 2014, Sporting Kansas City’s Erik Palmer-Brown has been looked at as one of the next big things for U.S. Soccer. After his standout displays for the United States U20 National Team this year at both the CONCACAF U20 Championship and FIFA U20 World Cup, that trajectory shows no signs of slowing down.
Palmer-Brown was the Golden Ball recipient at the CONCACAF U20 Championship as he led the United States to its first victory at the event in program history. His calmness on the ball was evident in his play for the Swope Park Rangers in the USL prior to the event, where his calm decision-making and positioning set him apart in each of his appearances.
“It’s been really helpful for my game,” Palmer-Brown said prior to the FIFA U20 World Cup. “Getting fit, staying sharp, getting touches on the ball, playing with a good team with a great group of guys in the Swope Park Rangers, for me it’s been all I can ask for.”
While Palmer-Brown’s time in the USL was short, the road ahead appears wide open for the outstanding young talent.
Photo courtesy Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC
- 92.2 percent passing accuracy on 71.6 passes/90 minutes for Swope Park Rangers
- 87.5 percent tackles won, 13 interceptions for Swope Park Rangers
- Youngest Homegrown signing in Sporting Kansas City history
- Awarded Golden Ball at 2017 CONCACAF U20 Championship
- Captained United States to Quarterfinals of 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup
TopDrawerSoccer.com Scouting Report
Erik Palmer-Brown’s notoriety launched into the stratosphere at just 16 when Juventus was rumored to be interested, and since then the hulking center back’s only improved. Palmer-Brown now has a loan stint to Porto B under his belt, as well as a stint wearing the captain’s armband for the U.S. U20 World Cup team in 2017. Palmer-Brown’s always been one of the best traditional defenders in the pool, but in the last year or so he’s improved his positional ability and capacity to play out of the back. With the addition of softer feet, Palmer-Brown’s professional breakthrough is only a matter of time.