Transfer Tracker

St. Louis CITY SC sign midfielder Akil Watts from MLS NEXT Pro affiliate

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St. Louis CITY SC have signed midfielder Akil Watts to a first-team contract in a one-year deal with options for 2024, 2025 and 2026, the club announced Thursday.

The move elevates Watts from St. Louis' MLS NEXT Pro affiliate, St, Louis CITY2, to their first team.

“It makes me proud to see a player like Akil, who worked hard with CITY2, earn a spot on the MLS roster,” said St. Louis sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel in a release. “Over the course of the MLS NEXT Pro season he has proven that he has what it takes to compete at the next level, and so we look forward to seeing how he contributes to the first team.”

Watts led CITY2 in assists in MLS NEXT Pro last season, racking up seven helpers in 24 appearances (23 starts). He also finished second on the team for goals scored, notching six in just over 2000 minutes.

Before joining CITY 2, the 22-year-old midfielder played for Louisville City FC in the USL Championship, and prior to that, spent a year with Spanish side RCD Mallorca.

Watts also featured in 17 matches for the United States U-17 team at the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he played under current CITY2 head coach John Hackworth. 

St. Louis CITY SC's roster now sits at 18 players, as they continue to fill out the squad in preparation for their inaugural season in 2023. Watts is the latest to join, with the club adding five players last week, four through the MLS Expansion Draft and defender Tim Parker through a trade with Houston Dynamo FC.