Orlando City SC, in coordination with Major League Soccer (MLS) affiliate Sporting Kansas City, announced Thursday that Forward C.J. Sapong and Defender Kevin Ellis will be on loan with the Lions beginning Thursday, July 11. Both will be available for Orlando’s match tonight at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl against the Charleston Battery.
“Obviously we are really pleased to have C.J. (Sapong) and Kevin (Ellis) here in Orlando,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We have two more quality players and, more importantly, two more quality people on the squad.”
Sapong was named MLS 2011 Rookie of the Year after being drafted 10th in the first round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. During his rookie season, the striker scored five goals while notching five assists-finishing the season as the only Sporting player to appear in all 34 matches.
2012 was equally as exciting for Sapong, who scored nine goals in 31 games played for the MLS side. Sapong scored goals in three of the team's first four MLS matches, including the game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time at D.C. United in the season opener. Sapong has appeared in fourteen of Sporting Kansas City’s matches this season, eight of which he started at forward. He has scored one goal in the 2013 season.
Sapong was invited to the US Men’s National Team’s 2012 January camp alongside Teal Bunbury and Graham Zusi. Sapong came on as a substitute and was capped twice in the friendlies against Venezuela and Panama.
Along with Sapong, Defender Kevin Ellis will join Orlando on loan. Ellis, a Kansas City, Mo., native, made his first start on June 12 against the Lions in US Open Cup competition. Ellis made 10 appearances for Sporting in the 2012 MLS Reserve League, starting seven matches. He has appeared in two regular-season matches for Sporting in 2013, starting one match while playing a total 113 minutes.
The defender was signed in 2011 as the club’s second Home Grown Player, behind current on-loan Goalkeeper Jon Kempin.
Sapong and Ellis join current loanees Jon Kempin (Goalkeeper) and Christian Duke (Midfielder), who have been with Orlando since the club began the 2013 USL PRO season. Sporting Kansas City will have the option to recall any of the team’s four players during the loan period.