KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City announced Friday that it has signed center back Robert Castellanos to a one-year contract with option years for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
Castellanos, 24, a former academy product of Liga MX club Atlas, has spent a majority of his young professional career in lower-tier soccer US league.
He started his professional career with the Los Angeles Galaxy's reserve team and has spent the majority of his career in the USL with Rio Grande Valley FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Castellanos — a 6-foot-2 native of Palmdale, California — had exposure to the MLS, starting a game on Aug. 1, 2021, for Nashville SC. In his lone MLS appearance, he played the full 90 minutes and scored the game-tying goal in a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC.
Castellanos most recently played for Kuopion Palloseura in Finland, appearing in three games for the club since signing in January 2023.
He also made two appearances for the U.S. U-20 Men’s Youth National Team in 2016.
Sporting KC was thin at center back. The club retained Andreu Fontas, its reigning Defensive Player of the Year, but Nicolas Isimat-Mirin was not re-signed.
SKC undoubtedly hopes second-year center back Robi Voloder, a 21-year-old native of Germany signed as a U22 Initiative player before last season, can take a leap forward.
But Sporting KC announced last week that center back Kortne Ford had suffered a torn Achilles and would miss the 2023 season, leaving the roster in need of depth at the position.