Sporting Kansas City’s highly-touted young defensive standout Erik Palmer-Brown has made the move to Europe after years of being pursued by the continent's top clubs, joining FC Porto on a year-long loan, Sporting announced on Monday.


Palmer-Brown, 18, becomes the second Homegrown MLS defender to leave for Europe this offseason, after Matt Miazga’s transfer to Chelsea.


"We feel this is a good move for both Erik and the club," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said in a team statement. "Over the years, we have formed a good relationship with Porto and we see this as a great opportunity to further Erik's development as a player and person."


The Lee's Summit, Missouri native joined the SKC Academy in 2009 and has made 10 overall league appearances for the club since signing a professional contract in 2013. He has also represented the United States at the Under-15, U-17, U-18 and U-20 international levels and made one appearance for the US at the 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.


Porto are fighting to win their first league title since 2013 and currently sit third in the 15-team Primeira Liga, five points behind leaders Sporting CP. They will also take on Borussia Dortmund, who feature another young US prospect in Christian Pulisic, in the 2015-16 Europa League Round of 32, starting Feb. 18.


Considering that the club also features center backs Bruno Martins Indi and Maicon, who have helped Porto have the best defensive record in domestic play this season, this might be a move for the future. Still, in signing the young American, the team has picked a promising young defensive prospect. The Guardian named him one of the top 40 young players in his age group, while Serie A champions Juventus were reportedly big fans of Palmer-Brown and tried to sign him at both 16 and 17 years of age.