Sporting Kansas City announced today the signing of 22-year-old forward Stephen Afrifa, who was selected by the club in the first round of MLS SuperDraft 2023 presented by adidas last December. Afrifa has signed an MLS contract for the 2023 season with options in 2024, 2025 and 2026.
Afrifa, who was taken eighth overall in the SuperDraft, is Sporting’s highest draft pick since 2010 when the club took Teal Bunbury at No. 4 overall. The Canadian forward enjoyed a standout four-year career at Florida International, where he amassed 23 goals and 11 assists in 63 appearances from 2019-2022. He is scheduled to arrive in Kansas City on Friday after completing the spring semester of his senior year.
Capable of playing as a striker or a winger, Afrifa will begin his professional journey on the heels of a phenomenal campaign last fall that yielded a team-high 10 goals, four assists and United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American honors. He guided the Panthers to the 2022 American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles and was named the AAC Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player, scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 semifinal win over Memphis on Nov. 10.
On Nov. 20, Florida International reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003 by edging New Hampshire 10-9 on penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw, with Afrifa notching an assist in the wild second-round battle. Afrifa ended his senior season as a 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist and a member of the United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Team.
A native of Toronto, Afrifa played club soccer for Woodbridge SC Strikers in League1 Ontario before starting his college career at Florida International. He made an instant impact as a freshman, tallying three goals and three assists, and added two goals and an assist during his COVID-shortened sophomore year in the spring of 2021.
As a junior, Afrifa helped Florida International make its first of two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances by scoring a team-best eight goals and recording three assists. He was a member of the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region First Team and an All-Conference USA First Team honoree, notably scoring in FIU’s 4-1 upset win over top-ranked Marshall in the 2021 regular season finale.
Afrifa competed for USL League Two side One Knoxville SC earlier this year, scoring 10 goals and leading the first-year club to a first-place finish in the South Central Division and a run to the national quarterfinals.
Fresh off a 3-0 home win over Tulsa Athletic in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round on Tuesday, Sporting will continue its MLS regular season campaign on Saturday by hosting CF Montreal at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are available at SeatGeek.com and the action will air live on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs forward Stephen Afrifa.
Stephen Afrifa (uh-FREE-fuh)
Born: 2/19/2001 (22 years old)
Weight: 150 lbs.
College: Florida International University
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada