January 30, 2023 – MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro) – Sporting Kansas City II Press Release
Sporting Kansas City II have signed 21-year-old defender Mo Abualnadi to a professional MLS NEXT Pro contract, sealing the centre-back’s return to his hometown club.
A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Abualnadi was raised in Sporting KC Academy from 2017 to 2019 and posted four USL Championship appearances for Sporting KC II in the spring of 2019 before embarking on a four-year college career in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He spent two seasons each at Notre Dame (2019-2020) and Pittsburgh (2021-2022), amassing 59 total plate appearances (51 starts) in center defense to go with two goals and two assists.
Abualnadi will begin his professional journey in Kansas City nearly four years after first representing Sporting KC II, formerly of the Swope Park Rangers, as an amateur player. The defender made his club debut with a 90-minute outing in a 2-2 draw against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in March 2019 at Children’s Mercy Park, then earned his second of four caps that season helping the side to a dramatic 3-2 home win against USL championship powerhouse Louisville City SC on May 6.
Abualnadi joined Sporting KC Academy in summer of 2017 and played more than 40 matches between Under 17 and Under 19 teams in two seasons. He also spent a lot of time with the Sporting KC first team during the 2019 preseason in Arizona. Later that year, Abualnadi made his debut for the Jordan U-19 men’s national team by participating in two friendlies against Qatar’s Aspire Academy.
After two standout seasons at Sporting, Abualnadi ventured to South Bend, Indiana to begin his stint at perennial title contender Notre Dame. He made an immediate impact as a freshman, starting 15 of 19 appearances and helping the Irish to the NCAA Tournament. He played 16 more games as a sophomore, helping the team to five victories.
Abualnadi moved to Pitt in 2021 and started 21 of 24 starts over his last two collegiate seasons as a Panther. His campaign as a junior was highlighted by a goal, an assist, and Pitt’s run to the quarterfinals of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Notre Dame in a penalty shootout. As a senior, Abualnadi was part of a Panthers team that upset previously undefeated Kentucky in the Sweet 16 and advanced to the NCAA Men’s College Cup, where they fell to Indiana in the national semifinals last December.
Abualnadi gained more first-team exposure by training with Sporting this month during the club’s 2023 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy.
With the addition of Abualnadi, Sporting KC II now has 15 players signed to professional MLS NEXT Pro contracts.
Sporting KC II Roster (as of January 25, 2023)
Goalkeepers (1): Ethan Bandre
Defenders (7): Mo Abualnadi, Aljaz Dzankic, Coby Jones, Mikey Lenis, Nassim Mekideche, Jahon Rad, Diedie Traore
Midfielders (2): Ethan Bryant, Enzo Mauriz
Forwards (5): Bakary Bagayoko, Josh Coan, Andrew Draper, Amadou Traore, Pau Vidal
Led by long-time Sporting manager and midfielder Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC II will begin preparations in February for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season, which will feature an expanded field of 28 clubs.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City II signs defender Mo Abualnadi to a professional MLS NEXT Pro contract.
Mo Abualnadi (AH-bwahl NAH-dee)
Born: 2/8/2001 (21 years old)
Weight: 165 lbs.
Hometown: Leawood, Kansas
Place of birth: Overland Park, Kansas
Citizenship: USA, Jordan
University: Notre Dame, Pittsburgh
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