(Jan. 21, 2021) — Sporting Kansas City selected a pair of 22-year-old college seniors in MLS SuperDraft 2021 presented by adidas on Thursday, taking center back Matt Constant from the University of North Carolina and winger Jamil Roberts from Marshall University.
A native of Dallas, Constant spent his first two collegiate seasons at the University of New Mexico, where he started 38 matches for the Lobos from 2016-2017 and helped the team to an NCAA Tournament appearance as a freshman.
Upon transferring to North Carolina, the 6-foot-6 center back started 11 of 12 appearances as a junior in 2019. During a shortened season last fall, Constant started in all seven matches and scored a game-winning goal against archrival Duke on Oct. 2 as North Carolina posted five shutouts in their seven games.
At the youth level, Constant played seven seasons with the Dallas Texans of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. In his final year with the Texans, he earned 2014-15 Winter Showcase Best XI and Central Conference Best XI honors. On the international stage, Constant was part of the United States U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Florida, in 2015 before representing the Canada U-20s in 2016 and 2017.
Roberts, a native of Langport, England and a product of Plymouth Argyle FC’s academy, played collegiately at Marshall University in West Virginia. The 22-year-old recorded 14 goals and 15 assists in three seasons from 2017-2019, making 18 appearances each season.
As a junior in 2019, Roberts led the Thundering Herd to the team’s first ever NCAA Tournament appearance with a 16-3-3 record after winning the Conference USA regular season and tournament championships. His 10 assists in 2019 tied the school’s single-season record en route to earning All-Conference USA Second Team and United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region First Team honors.
Most recently, Roberts participated in the 2020 College Invitational Combine hosted by Sporting Kansas City in November after Conference USA’s 2020 season was postponed due to COVID-19. Roberts was coached by Sporting Kansas City II manager Paulo Nagamura at the Combine as a member of Team Gansler along with Sporting KC II forward Preston Judd.
Born: 8/17/1998 (22 years old)
Weight: 190 lbs.
College: University of North Carolina
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Born: 6/14/1998 (22 years old)
Weight: 170 lbs.
College: Marshall University
Hometown: Langport, England