Saint Louis FC announced today the signings of Academy players Aedan Stanley and Kuzain Wan Kamal.
The duo become the first St. Louis Scott Gallagher Academy players to sign contracts with Saint Louis FC.
General Manager Jeremy Alumbaugh described the signing as an exciting time for the club. "Today is an important step for the club with signing these two players to Academy contracts." said Alumbaugh. "Having them in this environment allows them to grow and mature while still competing at the Development Academy level. Being on the roster will bring more opportunities for them as well. I credit the players and the entire organization for taking this next step in the development model that is prevalent around the world."
Kuzain, a class for 2017 product, has played for SLSG Illinois, been selected to train with the U17 U.S. National Team and Dutch club Feyenoord as well.
"Kuzain has improved quite a bit over the year. Part of it is maturity and growing up and the other part is being in the training environment with Saint Louis FC every day." said Kevin Stoll, Kuzain's Academy coach. "He's a great kid, works hard and this is something he's worked toward for a very long time and he's certainly deserving of it."
Stanley, who graduates in 2018, spent last August in Sweden as a member of the U18 U.S. National Team during the 2015 Open Nordic Cup Tournament.
"Aedan's one of the players who has the right mentality and he's worked for it every single day." said Jon Boyer, Stanley's Academy coach. "He doesn't cheat anything and works hard. When I consider those traits along with his natural talents, I'm not surprised he's where he is today."
Stanley and Kuzain traveled with the Saint Louis FC first team to Charleston, South Carolina in February during its preseason training. Both players spoke highly of the experience and were eager to continue their development after returning.
"I'm ready to compete at the next level." said Kuzain when asked about what he had learned from his time with the first team. "I think I can compete with some pros and hopefully that will take me further than the Academy."
Stanley agreed when asked what he had learned. "The biggest thing I've learned about myself is that I can compete at this level and I have good characteristics that I will keep leaning on."
Since the 2013 season, teams are allowed as many as five Academy players in USL competition. To qualify for an Academy spot, players must be younger than 21 at the start of the current season; they can't have competed collegiately; they must never have signed as a professional and the player must either be from a club's region, an affiliate youth team or from an MLS affiliate.