It seems Sporting Kansas City players can’t turn off the competitive juices, no matter how young they are.
Case in point: Sporting KC defender Erik Palmer-Brown and goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who will play in Monday night’s MLS Homegrown Game in Portland.
That is a new addition to the All-Star Game festivities, and 20 of the league’s top homegrown players will play the Portland Timber under-23 team. Kickoff is 9 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.
Homegrown players are signed by MLS teams from their development academies directly to the first-team roster.
For Palmer-Brown, 17, it will be more fodder for any what-I-did-this-summer essays he may have to write at O’Hara High School.
“I’m really pumped to get there to Portland and play in front of that packed stadium,” Palmer-Brown said. “It’s going to be really awesome.
“It’s All-Star weekend, so I want to let the fans have some fun. But I never want to lose, so I want to go out there and try to win the game.”
Getting to Portland apparently was a bit troublesome.
Also safe to say the duo is excited to be playing in the game, which features some of the best young American talent in the game.
“We’re not going to have a practice beforehand, so we’re just going to be thrown into it,” said Kempin, 21, who attended Blue Valley North High School. “I think it’s more about having fun. “Obviously you want to get a result, but it’s more about representing your city and doing well.”
The MLS All-Star Game, which pits league stars against German powerhouse Bayern Munich, is Wednesday.