Sporting KC signs center back Robert Castellanos

Defender has made 70 professional club appearances since 2017

(February 17, 2023) — Sporting Kansas City has signed 24-year-old center back Robert Castellanos, the club announced today. Castellanos has signed an MLS contract for the 2023 season with option years in 2024 and 2025.

Castellanos has made 70 club appearances since turning professional in 2017, including USL Championship stints with LA Galaxy II (2017), Rio Grande Valley FC (2018-2020) and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (2022) and spending the 2021 MLS campaign with Nashville SC. He arrives in Kansas City after a brief spell at KuPS in Finland’s top division.

A native of Palmdale, California, Castellanos developed at the youth level with Nomads SC in San Diego before joining the academy of Liga MX club Atlas in 2016. He launched his professional career in early 2017, signing for LA Galaxy II as an 18-year-old, and started 15 of 16 appearances in his debut USL Championship season. Castellanos spent the next three years at RGVFC in Edinburg, Texas, where he played 37 matches (30 starts) and scored two goals.

Castellanos jumped from the USL Championship to MLS by signing for Nashville in February 2021. In his lone appearance for the club, Castellanos scored an equalizing goal and went the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 regular season draw at Toronto FC.

Nashville loaned Castellanos to the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the 2022 USL Championship season. He played 13 matches throughout the year, including starts in all three playoff games as the Rowdies reached the Eastern Conference Final before losing to Louisville City FC in extra time.

Castellanos ventured abroad last month by joining KuPS, where he started in three Finnish League Cup matches before leaving the club. He returns to MLS as a former U.S. youth international, having made two appearances for the United States U-20 Men’s National Team in 2016.

For a full list of Sporting’s offseason roster moves, visit

Sporting Kansas City will kick off the 2023 MLS campaign on Feb. 25 by visiting the Portland Timbers in the earliest start to a regular season in club history. The season opener will air live on MLS Season Pass , a new subscription service from Apple and MLS that will stream every match of the regular season, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and Leagues Cup with no blackouts.

Sporting Kansas City’s home schedule begins March 11 against the LA Galaxy at Children’s Mercy Park. Season tickets are available by calling 888-4KC-GOAL or visiting Additional  ticket packages and promotions are available as well as single-match tickets  for the club’s first eight regular season home matches.

Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) signs defender Robert Castellanos to a one-year MLS contract for 2023 with options for 2024 and 2025.


Robert Castellanos (CASS-tee-YAH-nos)
Position: Defender
Number: 19
Born: 5/11/1998 (24 years old)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hometown: Palmdale, California
Birthplace: Palmdale, California
Citizenship: USA
Twitter: @rc4official
Instagram: @caste4

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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